Author Timothy Pychyl on His Journey With Xlibris
My name is Tim Pychyl. I’m the author of Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change. It was an irony to writing a long book about procrastination because anyone who procrastinates will have a good intention to read the whole book but never get to it. So my goal was to write a concise summary of what we understand procrastination to be and, more importantly, what you can do differently to procrastinate less if it’s bothering you.
Xlibris and I got together because I knew I wanted to go the independent route, and I got a consistent voice with Xlibris and that made a difference to me—someone who listened to me, someone who made the things I want to happen happen. When my manuscript was done, we turned that into a book in a weekend. I was blown away. I’m a pretty intense person myself. I work very quickly, very focused, and I know from traditional publishing in the academia, I could send a manuscript in for review and it’s gone for 3 or 4 months. Literally, for 48 hours, it turned from a manuscript to galleys of a book. That was incredible. It was back and forth and as long as I was going to keep up with them, they were willing to keep up with me.
The spring of 2013, Tarcher/Penguin asked me if they could publish my book. I think I’ve succeeded in terms of being picked up by a traditional publisher primarily because I had good sales with the independent publisher. And the reason, I think, that I had good sales with the independent publisher is that for the past 5 or 6 years, I’ve been writing a blog for Psychology Today and for the past 9 years, I’ve been doing a podcast on iTunes. So I think that leads to success when there’s already a group of people who are interested in reading what you’re gonna write. Everybody wants to be a writer at some point. We all realize when we read something that we have stories to tell, we have expertise to share. But then you have to start getting it down to what exactly do you want to share, what is that storyline? And then you got to move to “Who’s gonna read this? Why would someone read my stuff?” And that’s where I develop an audience. There are other ways to write before you get to the book. Do you write a blog? Have you written for anything else? Does anybody know who you are? Because the problem in our world is the economics of attention—we have to get people’s attention.
I’d certainly recommend Xlibris to others who are thinking about self-publishing. They have great service, they’ve produced a good book for me, the final piece was well-formatted, and I ended up with an e-book and a published paperback which was exactly what I was looking for as this first concise guide.