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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lisa Dempster's Guide to Being a Publishing Success PART TWO

This is Lisa
With the opening of the 2011 Emerging Writers Festival imminent, this year's Director still had time to discuss her Top 7 Tips to becoming a success in the Publishing Biz.

On Tuesday in Lisa Dempster's Guide to Being a Publishing Success PART ONE I shared Lisa's Tips #1-4

#1 Forget about a career path

#2 Embrace DIY: Independent Publishing

#3 No opportunity is too small

#3a Show up to things

#4 Put your writing out there

Let's continue!

#5 Anyone can be successful

Why does Lisa know this? Because SHE is successful. And if SHE can be successful…(her words!)
The most visible example I can see this by the number of indie authors finding success with ebooks. 
Lisa considers herself “deeply average” but she says YES a lot and puts herself in positions in which she can be successful. For example, if you want to be published in McSweeney’s but you don’t submit to them they can't publish you.

#6 You will fail and make enormous mistakes: But that’s okay.

This is what stops people from trying.
When you put yourself and your work out there, there is a really big chance of failure. The potential for success is enormous but so is the potential for failure.
Lisa knows people who lost $50k when starting an independent press, went broke but started a new press later and became successful. These people failed huge but learnt from it.
And nothing lasts forever! People move on, they forget, and it never looks as bad to the outside world as it feels to you.
By trying something and making mistakes, you have gained experience and know ways NOT to do something next time you try it.

And finally,

#7 Do what you care about

Pursue your passions because at the end of the day, nothing else matters. You will naturally be much more successful doing something you love than if you were doing something you are not passionate about.
Find a niche. Eg Lisa is a vegan food writer. If she had been an omnivore, her career would not have progressed as fast, as there is so much competition. But she has a niche, she is the only person doing vegan food writing so she gets a lot of writing gigs because of it. 

Find your passion, people, and do that!

If you're in Melbourne, it's well worth checking out the Emerging Writers Festival between May 26 and June 5 2011 as there will be a lot of great speakers, panels and workshops on a variety of topics, including Trends in Publishing, Faking it vs Making it, Going Global, Beyond Academia and Stand up. My personal faves are the Getting into Genre panels, YA Fiction, Romance, Crime and Speculative Fiction. You might even find me there! If not, take notes, 'kay?

Lisa Dempster is a jack of all trades in the publishing industry. She is a vegan food writer, has worked on a contract basis for publishing companies, bought out a small press and created her very own, Vignette Press, and is currently the Director of a two week festival for writers here in Melbourne, The Emerging Writers Festival (which starts this week) as well as being a Bachelor of Writing & Publishing Lecturer at NMIT, Fairfield. Phew!


  1. Great post guys, going to write these down :)

  2. I'm glad you found them helpful, Monique, and happy you enjoyed them Sally. It's always great to learn from other people's experience, hmm?


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