Please, Please … Ban Book Pollution

Several times a month, I get calls or emails from aspiring or just-ready-to-give-birth authors. Or so they think. Maybe they are ready for the book birth—but too many times, it’s a false labor, or should be. This past month, after an SOS from a book designer I work with, I literally pulled two books out of the “line” where the authors had jumped the gun and submitted theirs too soon and directly to him, bypassing my final round of input to save a few bucks. The authors didn’t see what the problem was … until they came into my offices to look at their books one more time. One had over 200 additional tweaks that I had recommended to get it to the final polish. If the book hadn’t been pulled … the result would be a trashy book, one that most readers would have thought,

poorly publishing, not edited, etc., etc.


With the almost 3,000,000 books from all formats published last year, we’ve entered an era of book pollution. Don’t add to it. There are two things authors do that consistently get them, and their books, into trouble:

1                 They rush to publish.

2                 They fail to support the book after it is born.

What does rushing to publish entail? Plenty. Start with content—polishing hasn’t happened; the content can be sucky–let’s face it, not all authors can writer–they need writers to shape their words and thoughts; and editing … “editing” consists of a few friends, or maybe a relative or two, reading it vs. someone who is ready and able to yield the red pen and do slashing, burning and rebuilding when necessary. The editor–one who does it for a living.

The surest way to ID a self-published/vanity book is three-fold: obvious lack of editing, a mediocre cover, sloppy layout. Why an author would think he has the talent to create the cover that beckons to a potential buyer—
I’m here, come to me …
I have the answers …
I can solve your problem …
Buy me—

is a wonder. And not a good one. This is not an area that you go to for—get it done right. Graphics, colors, fonts and layout are the icing on your cake. Interiors need to be crisp and clean and presented so that the reader falls in. Hyphen mania, paragraph perpetuity, widows, orphans, and just too, too much text without an eye break in sight is a guarantee that the book will be quickly shut and forgotten.

At Author U, several of our Associate members create book covers that are professional and reasonably priced. Several Associate members are interior designers—bringing a book to visual life. Editors are your friends, bringing another set of eyes that every author needs. It takes a village to create a book that doesn’t add to the pollution factor.

Last month, the Extravaganza filled three days. This brings me to point two: failure to support the book once it’s born. Over those two days, amazing content was provided by seasoned pros in multiple aspects of publishing. it delivered a heavy emphasis on marketing—in just about any format an author can imagine. Because of the morphing book-selling world, if the author doesn’t support his new offspring, it’s over. Period. If he doesn’t commit to the marketing aspect of his book, the take-away is zip—nothing—it’s over. An obituary will be the next step. As mega-author Stephen King wrote:

Horse shit

Marketing will vary according to genre and format—fiction, nonfiction, eBook, aBook, pBook. It’s a different game today. And for those of you who have made a commitment to support your book, you won’t miss it or miss out. These gurus of publishing, along with a variety of Exhibitors, will show you that It Takes a Village to Create and Market Your Book. The Village is now available on DVDs and CDs that you can get on the Store tab. The skies will be clearer for you—no book pollution in sight. You, and your Book, can’t afford to miss the Extravaganza. And you definitely can’t afford being cast as a book polluter!





Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd a book publishing expert and coach. She is the Founder of Author U,  a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 31 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms, Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers  and a speaker at publishing conferences.

Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at . Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook.  If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at

 If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen.

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2 Comments on Please, Please … Ban Book Pollution

  1. Johnson Grace Maganja says:

    Hello, Judith. I find you information about book pollution so educative.I just learnt that not all authors can write. Rushing to publish is distrous! Marketing your book after its birth is of paramount importance. And to top it up all i just love this quote from Stephen King “If a book is not alive in the writer’s mind, it is as dead as year-old horse shit.” I just love. Please send me more information.Johnson Grace Maganja. Kampala, Uganda. Author of “100 QUOTES THROUGH LIFE”

    • Judith Briles says:

      King is a hoot—isn’t he?…and so right on target. The rushing to publish is always a mistake–I’m working with an author who has done just that now and getting her to pull back, breathe, then re-address her book and her strategy. Ego sometimes gets in the way. Suggest you keep following–sign up for ezine; get my book, Show Me About Book Publishing (Amazon has) and when available, Creating and Developing the Author and Book Platforms–we are final layout on the guidebook now–audios all done. Good luck with your writing and publishing! Judith

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