The life of a writer is not an easy one.
Between the rejection letters, writers’ block, and a severe case of coffee breath, the life of an author is riddled with heartache and frustration. For years, writers have had to get their work approved by the gatekeepers; the literary agents and publishers who hold the key to the promise land, getting published.
Getting your work recognized by publishers and agents is an arduous task that can test the will of any writer. Even some of the world’s most well renowned authors such as J.K Rowling have been rejected by countless publishers before eventually hitting it big.
Rejection is part of the writing trade, however, rejection can be brutal and soul crushing for any writer who has spent considerable time on his/her craft.Writers almost feel helpless, their careers and livelihoods in the hands of publishers who seem to not understand or care about their manuscript. But now, times have change.
Thanks to the Internet…
…writers no longer have to pucker up to publishers just so they can get their work sold to the masses.
Self-publishing has become the preferred choice for many amateur writers who are looking to sell and promote their work. There are many advantages to self-publishing. For one, you get more creative control over your work. When working with a publisher, they may want you to change intricate parts of your manuscript, diluting creative control and changing the essence of your piece.
With self publishing, you not only control the content of your manuscript, but the cover and interior formatting, giving you complete freedom to design and format your book any way you like.
Another caveat is higher royalties. Publishers will take a considerable percentage for each copy sold before you ever see a dime of your hard earned money. With self-publishing, you can earn up to 70% on royalties, depending on the distribution channel or if your book is sold as an e-book or hard copy. Even if you self publish, publishers still have the option to sign you, providing you another avenue to sell your work while seeking publishers and agents.
There are several self-publishing firms to choose from if you decide to go the self-publishing route. Createspace, a member of the Amazon group, and Lulu, are the two most popular self-publishing companies to date.
You can upload your manuscript, format the title and cover and publish on either site with little to no cost. Unlike publishers, you can publish your book on your schedule rather then waiting six months to a year to get published with a brick and mortar publisher.
There are additional services such as editing, e-book conversion, interior formatting, and marketing services you can purchase through these sites. These services can be pricey, so it’s important to make sure you lead with revenue and only purchase these services if they are absolutely essential, or if you can’t do them yourself.
Self-publishing is a liberating experience for any struggling writer…
…but there are challenges. If you self publish, you will have to do most of the grunt work that publishers do for you, especially marketing. You need to establish a solid marketing plan that will create buzz and a call to action for readers to buy your book.
Here is a checklist to follow to help you market your book:
- Design a blog or website through WordPress or similar site.
- Create Facebook and Pinterest pages linking to your website or blog. Your goal is to use all these platforms together to drive traffic to your website.
- On your blog, constantly upload content pertaining to your book. This will optimize your site to be picked by search engines and potential readers.
- Be genuine. When using social media or meeting people face to face, be yourself and talk about your book. Readers want the genuine article; why not give it to them.
- Join book clubs and organizations. Meet fellow writers who can critique and promote your work.
- Contact independent booksellers and see if they are willing to work with self-published authors.
For too long writers have had to fight the good fight to get their work noticed. Now, writers like you can take matters into your own hands and finally free yourself from the bonds of frustration, and share your work with the rest of the world in your own terms. The literary world has changed forever because of self-publishing, and you better believe, publishers have taken notice.