With the rise of ebooks, many writers are going the self published route. Is it right for you? Before you decide, here are some things to think about.
#1 Is your book fiction or nonfiction? In general, nonfiction is easier to sell because many nonfiction authors also speak on the subject or are in a business related to the subject. That provides a natural avenue for sales outside of bookstores that fiction authors don’t have.
#2 How much do you like to do marketing? Even traditionally published authors shoulder most of the burden for marketing their books. Self-published authors do it all. If you don’t like it, aren’t good at it or won’t get around to it, better think twice.
#3 Can you deal with snobbery? There’s still a lingering stigma in some corners (mostly fiction) about self-published work (at least, until you sell a gazilliion copies, which is more the exception than the rule). Bookstores won’t stock you, and even genre conventions may not roll out the red carpet. There’s little enough glamour left in publishing even in the traditional manner, so if you’re in it for the ego boost, better think twice.
#4 Can you sweat the details? If you’re going the self-pub route, you’d better be obsessive about details. That means paying for editing (no, you can’t do it yourself), formatting, cover art, ISBN numbers and similar details, shopping cart workings, etc. You are essentially launching a new business. Are you up for it?
#5 How will self-publishing this particular work affect your brand? Again, in some corners of non-fiction, like Internet marketing, there are people earning seven figures off self-published home study courses. In other industries, there’s still a bias toward traditional publishing credits. Make sure you help, not hurt, your brand with how your book represents you.
#6 Are you really angling for a traditional book deal? Yes, a few people gotten invitations to publish their originally self-published book with a traditional publisher, but many others have lost the ability to sell that work to a publisher because it has had prior exposure. The verdict is still out on this, and publishers aren’t consistent. Make sure you can live with your decision.
Self-publishing is more acceptable than ever before and technology has closed the quality gap. With the Internet, you can reach a global audience. But to succeed, you need to ask yourself six questions and be honest with your answers.
Writing a book is a fantastic step toward achieving your dreams, promoting your business and exploring your creativity. Make this the year that you make your dream come true!
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