I have seen a lot written about self-publishing recently and although I have to agree with some points, many are really way off the mark and show little understanding about publishing today. With the advent of new electronic markets such as Kindle and now Apple iBooks, the world is starting to become an oyster for those authors who wish to take up the challenge.
However, there is one important point to consider if you are an author or writer. Are you a publisher too?
While writing a book takes time and skill, having it published by one of the many self-publishing houses is very simple. Converting your manuscript to pdf or to a Kindle e-book is child’s play. Placing a preview on Bookbuzzr or Smashwords is a cinch. So this is the point where it is all very easy for a writer. Your book is now in the public domain. You are published. Well, you will be when you sell your fist copy anyway.
But who is going to buy it? And why?
A very good reason not to buy a book is because the preview read of your book is riddled with typo’s, grammar errors, spelling mistakes and simple plot errors. So, you need to get or become an editor. Then change hats and become an excellent proof reader too.
Another turn off. Your book has a lousy cover. Either become a proficient graphic designer or hire one.
Reason three why it will not be bought. Your book is lost in the crowd. The classic example for me is seeing 99 out of 100 promo tweets saying ‘Check out my book’. And you said you were a writer? Surely you have the talent to write something better than that!
Probably the last reason is that no one knows about your book. So you had better put your marketing and sales hat on now and start flogging your book like crazy.
In my mind the tag of self-publishing is only correct if you are willing to follow the ‘stick a book on Amazon and forget about it’ method. If you are really determined and willing to do the hard work that a traditional publisher does for their authors then you should be called an independent author and publisher. Or in other words a writer, author, editor, proofreader, graphic designer, administrator and imaginative marketing guru. It might have taken you a year to write your book, but you will need to market it and sell it for the next ten years at least. Nine times the effort. Yes indeed.
A thought for you.
If no one knows about it, the greatest book ever written will never sell.
If everyone is talking about it, a crappy romance rag about your next door neighbour’s cat will sell. And sell like hot cakes!