Self-Publishing: Riding With a New Breed of Writer
The stigma of self-publishing is fading fast in the red dust of a savvy new breed of writer.
Bob Sanders, VP and Marketing Director of Mundania Press, once told me that people don’t buy books because of who the publisher is. They buy books because of the author…and because of the story within the pages that grabs their interest.
It’s no secret that the digital age is bringing about a revolution in the publishing industry. Able to choose from a range of traditional, self-publishing and e-publishing opportunities, many authors are finding a wealth of choices at their fingertips.
If you’re considering a self-publishing or e-publishing model for your novel, here’s some food for thought to nourish you along the way.
1) Examine your reasons. Self-publishing often provides excellent opportunities for work that falls short of the needs of traditional publishing models. This includes genre fiction shorter than 60,000 words, stories above 8,000 (too long for most magazine markets), and short story collections and private anthologies, to name a few. Never self-publish because your work isn’t “good enough” for traditional publishing. Make it good enough, then self-publish because it’s the best choice for the manuscript.
2) Do your homework. There are hundreds of self-publishing companies, from print publishers who bind and print the book you design to self-publishers who handle every aspect of the job up to and including marketing. Make a list of the priorities you need for your book and comparison-shop in order to locate the biggest bang for your buck. Yes, Virginia, sometimes a cliché says it best. Not always, but sometimes.
3) Don’t skimp on the cover! Your book cover is your first opportunity to win a reader. Most self-publishing companies will design a cover for you. But look carefully at what they offer. Typically, the priciest model will provide you with three cover options to choose from. Sometimes, that means one cover image in three different shades. Be aware what you’re buying. Alternatively, provide your own well-done cover art.
4) Edit, edit, edit. The single biggest problem with self-published titles lies within the writing itself. The most intriguing plot in the world won’t survive missing, misspelled, or misused words, weak verbs, awkward or repetitive sentence structure, and so on. Self-publishing companies often employ editors who can make your work shine. Take full advantage of them–or hire an editor of your own. Rest assured it won’t be money wasted. You’ll gain in the long run–with satisfied readers.
5) Finally, remember this: These people aren’t doing you a “favor” by publishing your novel. They’re selling you a product. Make sure you get the product you want. If they can’t provide it, and do so in a prompt, friendly, and supportive manner, then take your business elsewhere. Hi-ho, Silver! Away!
Note from the author: I self-published my novel Skinwalker Moon because of the feedback I was receiving that at 53,000 words, it fell a bit short for the commercial fiction market. Rather than pad it with extra words, I chose self-publication with Outskirts Press. Ultimately I was thrilled, both with the work done by Outskirts and the total control I held over the end product–not to mention the retention of all rights. Sadly, a friend did not fare as well with a self-publisher–prompting me to add the final, cautionary tip to the wise. A tip which is, in my opinion, one of the best reasons of all for selecting self-publishing.
…Incidentally, my friend’s second attempt with a self-publisher netted fabulous results…and a sweet book which is netting big sales.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wiswor0a-21&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1432732781&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrSkinwalker Moon: the story of broken love, desperate reunion, and one man’s terrible retribution. Available in paperback through Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble and in eBook format through Smashwords.com. The author can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org She invites you to visit her websites at www.skinwalkermoon.com and www.hlmontgomery.com