Disadvantages of Self-Publishing

In the last year not only have sales of eBook readers like the Kindle and Nook exploded, but the number of book titles available to download into these devices has more than doubled. With major online retailers offering writers a means to self-publish works for sale, one can expect to see thousands more novels and works of non-fiction and poetry on virtual shelves. For the author frustrated by the traditional, agency publishing model, self-publishing offers the freedom of creative control and the opportunity to keep more revenue. Despite the recent successes of some authors, though, it’s important to note the challenges that self-publishing brings.

Self-publishing may not carry the stigma it did in years past, where one assumed that an author putting out his own work could not interest a “real” publisher. These days, writers choose to self-publish rather than submit a work at all. In fact, some authors who have published traditionally now take the liberty of producing and distributing their own work. That said, one must realize there are disadvantages. This article is not intended to discourage anybody from independently publishing a novel, but rather to keep people aware of possible obstacles. Let’s take a look at some of them.

1) As a self-publisher, you are responsible for every step of the process, from writing to work to making sure it is edited and proofed. You will need to find suitable cover art and distribution channels, and handle marketing. Now, you’re probably wondering how this is a disadvantage – well, it really depends on how you look at it. When you sign a contract with a publisher, many of these items are handled for you. You will not cover the cost of an editor and artist, and depending on the publisher’s budget you probably won’t have to spend too much for promotion. When you take the DIY route, everything comes out of your pocket, and you are investing time in finding the right people to assist you. One could view this as time that could be spent writing your next book.

2) You may run into complications with distribution. Whether you publish exclusively in digital format or make your work available in print, you need to work with distribution channels to get your work to the public. While Amazon and Barnes and Noble welcome self-published authors to join their platforms, other distributors may require you to build an extensive catalog before you can distribute through them. Brick and mortar stores may require you to place your books with a service like Ingram or Baker and Taylor before they will order your books. It’s important to research whether or not you can work with such companies.

3) As a self-publisher, you are held accountable. If you produce a book of poor quality, you risk alienating readers or inspiring word of mouth that discourages new readers from checking out your books. This is not to say that all books published with agency houses are perfect – opinions on quality will always vary – but acting as publisher and writer means taking extra care to ensure a good book. You will need to commit to every step of the process.

If you choose to self-publish, do not feel rushed to get a book in the stores for the sake of having something to sell. This is your work, and you want to present the best written story possible to readers. Take caution to know the pros and cons before you make any sudden leaps.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on self-publishing services.

Author: Kathryn Lively
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Five Things to Consider Before You Self-Publish

It should come as no surprise that the allure of self-publishing has strengthened over the last year. The rise in popularity of digital book readers like the Kindle and Nook have inspired user-friendly publishing platforms for writers who wish to sell compatible eBooks. The simplicity of do-it-yourself print on demand sites allows writers to take charge of formatting and design for their books, and to make them available for sale rather quickly. While it’s true that an author contracted with a traditional publisher has advantages, a number of self-published phenoms have proven they can sell as well as the next New York Times chart-topper.

Bear in mind,however, that self-pub successes like Amanda Hocking and John Locke typically are not the norm. It doesn’t mean you don’t have the potential to sell in the thousands or more if you self-publish, but it’s important to decide if this is right path for you. When you make the commitment to write a book, you have the opportunity to share your voice with readers. Taking on the responsibility of publishing and marketing your work should progress in a way that attracts people to your sales pages. If you have become frustrated by traditional publishing or if you have wanted to strike out on your own, take these points into consideration:

1) How much time will I devote to the process? Self-publishing a novel may be accomplished full-time or part-time – you manage your schedule and put in the necessary hours. The same goes for marketing, too. How will you divide your time among social media, blogging, and making contacts for reviews and events?

2) Who will edit the book? You might think because you have so many years of experience in writing and literature, that you are qualified to self-edit. You may have edited well for others, but when it comes to your own work you risk letting your ego get in the way. You may also become so attached to your manuscript that you let errors slide. It is crucial to employ an editor to work with you to ensure that your work is polished and error-free, that characters remain consistent, and that the story makes sense. Your first book becomes the primary promotional item that sells your next book, so make it count!

3) Who will design the cover? Readers do judge a book by the cover, and often the cover and title are what prompt readers to buy in the first place. If you want to present your book in a professional manner, you need a cover designed by a pro. You may be tempted to cut corners with royalty-free stock photography, but think about the end result if you know little about design. Your book deserves a great cover, so make sure you know where to find it.

4) Who is the target audience? Who will read your book – men, women, teenagers? If your book is non-fiction, is there a certain market that would be more interested — music lovers, people from a specific geographic area, people of a certain faith or creed? How you market the book depends upon the demographics of your intended readership, so know your audience.

5) How will I sell the book? You probably have the plans in motion to distribute through Amazon.com and other retailers, but what else do you have planned? Will you sell through your website or social profiles? Do you have leads for book signings and book events?

If you are new to the publishing world and feel intimidated by the growing to-do list of a self-published author, here’s one thing to keep in mind: even if you are published traditionally through a house like St. Martin’s or Harlequin, you are expected to pull your own weight. Some decisions, like cover art and editing, may be handled for you, but unless you are the house’s mega-star, you will discover that you must schedule your blog tours and book signings, and order your promotional items. Moreover, you must write the next book.

Is self-publishing right for you? Only you can make that decision, but if you decide to do it be prepared!

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on self-publishing services and book editing services for indie authors.

Author: Kathryn Lively
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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The 10 Reasons That Convinced Me To Become A Self-Publisher

Here I share my favorite reasons for becoming a self-publisher. Some reasons are much more important to me than they might be to you. But I am certain that on this list you will find a reason that is important or intriguing to you. I hope that you find one that gets your internal capitalist into gear, and gets you onto a new path too.

1. Retain Ownership: As a self-publisher you retain complete control and ownership of the book – forever. I’m sure that for all of you reading this article, this is a very important reason – as it was for me.

2. Instant Credibility: The book will instantly give you credibility – and help boost your career or business. We all want this. The more professional your book is, the more credibility you will have with your audience. With self-publishing you can easily and quickly make improvements to your book – especially with an ebook.

3. Control Fate of My Book: As a self-publisher you control the fate of your book – not some publisher that has no interest in your book or subject other than how much money they can make from you. Self-publishers are writing and publishing books because we love our subject, and want to share our knowledge with others.

4. Speed to Market: Traditional publishers take way too long to bring your book to the market. A big publisher would think that you are a silly fool to believe that you could get your book into a world-wide audience within a few weeks. But of course, we now all know that we can – and do.

5. Plenty of Help Available: As a self-publisher you can choose to be involved with as much, or as little, of the creative process. Self-publishing is where you, the author, bypass all the intermediaries that are involved in traditional publishing. These intermediaries do the editing, designing, illustrating, marketing, promotion, etc., of your book. As a self-publisher these functions will typically be your job. Although, you can easily hire people to do these functions for you and still be considered a self-publisher. As a self-publisher you get to choose which functions you want to do, and which ones you need to hire someone to help you with.

6. Keep All Profits: As a self-publisher you keep all of the profits. A traditional publisher will keep almost all of the profits. Then, after several months, when your book sales start to slow down, they will dump you for someone else that is more profitable for them. Even if your book makes you just a few hundred dollars a year, these profits will come to you year after year after year. The more effort you put into making your book look professional, and into your marketing and sales, the more profit you will make. You have complete control as to how much success your book will have.

7. Low Entry Cost: It is much less costly to produce a book now than it has ever been before. You can get an ebook online with a big-name website for free within minutes. You can also get your book accepted by a big-name print-on-demand company that will distribute your book to the entire market for about $112. Additional expenses like ISBN fees, and CIP fees, will add about $100. Hiring a professional cover designer can be anywhere from $250 to $750.

8. My Knowledge of The Market: With some effort and study, you can do a much better job promoting your book than a traditional publisher can. This is especially true when your book is directly related to your career or business. You know your market, your audience, your customers, and your readers, much better than anyone else does. This intimate knowledge of their needs is what will help make your book and career a success.

9. Niche for Success: Your book’s subject might fit into a very small niche – one that is too small for a traditional publisher to even bother with. Filling a small, tight niche is where the money is for many self-publishers.

10. Creative Outlet: Self-publishing is a great way to satisfy your need to be creative – writing, designing, and illustrating – as well as being creative with marketing, advertising, and promotion. Self-publishing will force you to be creative in many areas.

Joseph C. Kunz, Jr. is an author, publisher, educator, business manager, and entrepreneur. Life-long love affair with books and reading. Very excited about being part of the new media movement. Known for casual, easy-to-read writing style and ability to explain complex topics in an understandable way. “If you are serious about your work you should self-publish. Retain creative control. Retain the profits. Enjoy the satisfaction and status that comes with being published.” Visit Kunz’s website about all aspects of self-publishing at http://www.KunzOnPublishing.com/, for an insider’s guide to becoming a financially successful and happy self-publisher, and sign-up for his free newsletter.

Author: Joseph C Kunz, Jr
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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How to Earn $50,000 a Year Self-Publishing on Amazon’s Kindle

Why self-publish on Amazon? The Kindle ereader is the company’s number one selling product. According to Jared Newman of PC World.com, Amazon sold more than one million devices a week for three straight weeks during the 2011 holiday season. Millions of Kindles have been sold, yet only 3 to 4 percent of readers use ereaders. This is a market that is still growing and there’s still plenty of room for enterprising freelance writers.

The $50,000 Formula

Six books or reports self-published on Kindle listed at $4.99 selling 200 each per month yields $5,988, or $71,856 annually. Of that, authors receive 70 percent. Here are the eight steps to earning $50,000 a year self-publishing on Kindle:

1) Find Your Niche-Without finding a profitable niche, you won’t sell many books. Amazon has millions of titles available and some authors haven’t sold one book. Finding Kindle niches calls for finding topics Kindle readers are already paying to read about. Check out Kindle’s bestseller list for topic ideas.

2) Write Your eBook, eArticle or eReport-Write about topics that solve problems. Non-fiction bestsellers on Kindle show readers how to solve specific problems such as earning more money, improving photography skills or even creating a thriving garden.

3) Create a Website for each Niche-If you write six titles in the “improve your photography” category, create one website for your photography niche where you promote all your titles. Having a niche website helps you further identify your brand.

4) Open One Amazon Associate Account-Becoming an Amazon associate through Amazon.com provides an excellent way for you to share other recommended reads on Amazon that relate to your book on your niche website. Create a resource page listing all of your works and works of other Kindle authors your website users may find helpful.

5) Self Publish on Kindle-Kindle’s program accepts Word, ePub, Plain Text, Adobe PDF, Zipped HTML and Mobipocket manuscripts. While other outlets offer POD–Publishing On Demand services for a fee, publishing on Kindle is absolutely free. It’s also quite easy.

6) Sign up for KDP Select-Amazon’s popular program, Amazon Prime allows members to receive special perks. Members can borrow books through Kindle’s Lending Library. Entering your Kindle works in the program helps create word-of-mouth which typically produces more sales.

7) Promote, Promote, Promote-Readers can’t buy books they don’t know exist. Promotion equals sales. There are plenty of online opportunities to market your works including blogging, article marketing and social marketing.

8) Rinse & Repeat-Once you write your manuscript and successfully market, simply repeat the process. Announce upcoming books on your website and keep growing your brand. It doesn’t typically happen overnight, but steady marketing and persistence will significantly help promote your works.

Remember, promote your works. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that simply publishing on Kindle will equal instant sales. For more self-publishing and writing tips, check out http://paidwritehq.com Rose Smith is author of The Smart Freelance Writer: Earn $50,000 a Year Working in Your Pajamas. She has sold almost 100,000 self-published books. Check out http://paidwritehq.com for more information on getting paid online gigs.

Author: Rose N. Smith
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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So Ya Wanna Self-Publish That Book That’s Been Hiding in Your Head?

Have I got news for you! Most of it good. Some not so good. But let’s start with the good news. In today’s high-tech world there are two popular ways to give birth to that novel or how-to book you’ve been writing in your mind for all those years: One is called self-publishing – aka print-on-demand or POD – where you end up with printed books in hand. The other is to create an eBook, which means you’ll be selling access to an electronic file rather than to printed books.

Either way, it’s amazing how much more there is to self-publishing a book than just writing it and paying to have your book “published,” meaning made available to the public. Obviously, your book is something the entire world has been waiting for, right? Too bad no one knew that. Or cared. Sadly, no one ever will, unless you’re willing – and have both the funds and the skills – to promote your book yourself.

There is no sure-fire formula, no magic route to becoming a successful author. It takes time, money and effort. And, after all is said and done – unless you’ve written the next Harry Potter sequel or Hunger Games trilogy – it’s highly unlikely your book will ever end up “on book store shelves.” Sorry, but that’s a fact of life.

Book stores today – dwindling in number as they are – do not buy printed books in the sense that you and I buy shoes or groceries. If they like a particular book – and their reasons for that will vary – they request a very limited supply of printed volumes on consignment. That means that at the end of some pre-agreed period of time any unsold copies of your book will be returned, usually at your expense, to you the self-publisher.

Fortunately, there are no such “returns” with eBooks because the aggregator of your eBook – the primary distributor you select – has only an electronic file of your book, not hundreds of thousands of printed copies.

As a self-publisher, promoting your book is almost always your responsibility… and your expense. With an eBook, the aggregator makes your electronic file available to the Amazons, B&Ns and other eBook sellers of the world, but rarely does anyone in that chain fully promote an eBook. And with a self-published POD book, promoting and selling your printed book through websites, social media, news releases, media kits, book signings and the like is…? You guessed it, your responsibility and your expense.

The good news, as I explained earlier, is that self-publishing – either in a printed version or as an eBook – gives you a feeling of relief, something like what a female elephant must feel after giving birth following almost two years of being pregnant. You’ve been carrying your book around in your mind for years, and self-publishing in either form will allow you to give birth to that seed of an idea that’s been growing there almost forever. The bad news? Either way will take some time, effort and money on your part. But either way it’s definitely doable. And it’s wonderfully enjoyable!

© 2012 Philip A. Grisolia, CBC

An accredited Certified Business Communicator (CBC), Phil Grisolia specializes in creating results-oriented marketing programs that generate additional revenue for his clients, money they can take to the bank. An award-winning copywriter and respected marketing professor, Phil is the author of 30 Money-Making Marketing Secrets No One Ever Told You which is available from Amazon. He is also a syndicated business columnist and an executive business coach. Discover for yourself the broad range of services Phil provides for his worldwide clients by visiting http://PhilGrisolia.com.

Author: Phil Grisolia
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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