Showing posts with label self-publish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label self-publish. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Should You Self Publish or Not


Whether to self publish or vie for traditional publishing is a question brought to the forefront because of the direction publishing is moving today. Ultimately, the author must make the final decision.

With fewer traditional publishers, more books written, and fewer readers reading books, many traditional houses aren’t willing to work with unknown authors, or don’t have a following.

Authors need a platform with followers, a book marketing plan, and more laid upon the shoulders of authors, many authors feel that self-publishing is the way to get their book into the hands of readers.
If you self publish your book, how will traditional publishers look upon your book if you decide to vie for a traditional publishing house in the future is a question only the publishing house can answer.

Experiences from some writers is that self-published books are akin to what we call vanity press books, pay and they will publish anything as Amazon found out with blatant plagiarism of many titles that Amazon published, and then had had to remove when they finally found out what some so-called authors were doing just to make sales. Amazon’s reputation was hurt, and rightly so.

Why have reviewers been complaining about the quality of self-published books? The complaints range from editing to grammar, and poor quality.

Publishing houses once employed editors to clean up these problems for authors; this is no longer the case. Self-published book editing is now the purview of the author; and authors need professional editing. Don’t rely on software like spellcheckers and grammar checkers to find the errors because they will not find subtle errors. Grammar checkers will vary depending on the individual program.

A literary agent may cost writers thousands to have their book shopped to publishers. Many authors can’t afford these costs, and opt for self-publishing.

Ultimately, it is up to the individual author how to publish their baby. First, is to hire an editor that has no interest in the book other than making sure that they edit for typos, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, redundancies,  over use of words like “and”, “or”, and “but”. Editors will notice these because they have no stake in the book other than making it the best book for the reader.

If authors such as James Paterson, David Baldacci, or Orson Scott Card want to publish a book with a traditional house, most houses will take a chance, but they are probably not willing to take a chance on previously self-published authors, or unpublished writers. Authors need to find creative ways to convince publishing houses to take a chance. One creative way is to create a well-written, well-edited book. Don’t forget a well-crafted proposal.


Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, Reviewer, Marketer

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Before You Self-Publish: Part 2

If you read my previous post (see November 6th), you realize there are certain steps that need to be taken before you think about signing up with a self-publishing company. And, you know it will cost you money that you may not recoup. This is not to say, you will not, but you need to work diligently to ensure a return on your investment.

So, now we’ll look at steps 3 through 6 of Before You Publish…

3. Learn the craft of writing

Along with a critique group, it’s important to join one or two writing groups. This will be a tool to begin your networking and it will also be a learning experience. Just in the messages alone, you’ll pick up valuable tidbits of information. And, you can always ask questions.

Read and read and read. Read in the genre you are writing and read books on writing. This is where asking questions in your writing group will come in handy. Ask members for recommendations on books you should read to hone your craft.

If possible, take some writing classes or ecourses. There are some authors who occasionally offer free instruction.

Attend writing conferences. If you can’t afford one, there are a couple of great online ones. Check out the free Muse Online Writers Conference. It’s held each October and is a week long.

4. Research self-publishing companies

Whether you’re looking at print-on-demand, subsidy, or co-publishing companies, research a number of them before signing a contract. Along with finding out what services they offer and the cost, check into their reputation.

5. Learn about marketing

If you have a polished product to offer, and you should if you’ve taken your time, joined a critique and writing group, and worked toward learning the craft of writing, you will need to focus on the marketing element of writing.

You can join a couple of marketing groups, study blogs specializing in marketing, read marketing books, and so on. This is the ONGOING element of writing to sell. Unless you have the money to hire a publicist or marketer, you will need to roll up your sleeves and sell your book.

6. Don’t be in a rush

Take your time and the steps necessary to ensure your book has every opportunity for success. Don’t just jump in…it can be a very expensive splash!

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter/ rewriter. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move and author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

If you need help with your author platform, check out:

Build Your Author/Writer Platform
This 4-week class shows you Basic Website Optimization, Blogging Smart, Email Marketing, and Social Media Marketing

And, you can follow Karen at:

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Before You Self-Publish: Part 1

With today’s oversaturated and tight publishing market, it’s difficult to find even a small publisher for the manuscript you’ve slaved over. Many authors have taken the matter into their own hands and are going the self-publishing route.

But, have vision! This can be a worthwhile venture…if you first know a couple of things:

1. Self-publishing will cost you money

This is an absolute when venturing into the self-publishing world. How much money will depend on the company you choose and which of the various services they offer that you buy into. And, there will be many aside from printing your book: editing, cover design, copyright, distribution, press releases, promotion, and so on. Each of these additional services will cost you more money, although most of these companies do offer package deals. I know writers who have spent under a thousand dollars and others who have spent over five thousand dollars to publish their book.

In addition to this, selling books is a TOUGH business. Just because your book is in print or digitally available, it does not mean you will recoup your money, or make a profit.

It may sound a bit harsh, but I’ve seen writers spend money on self-publishing hoping it will bring a return on their investment - this is not always the case.

2. Join a critique group before actually publishing

You’ve decided you want your book published no matter what. Well, that’ fine, but before you start think about which company to use to self-publish, JOIN A CRITIQUE GROUP; it is essential. I do reviews, editing, and critiques, so I read a number of self-published books and manuscripts, and what is evident, is many authors are unaware that they need to have an edited, polished manuscript before they think of going the self-publishing path.

When choosing a critique group, be sure there are new and experienced (preferably published) writers as members, and it needs to focus on the genre you write in. In a critique group, you’ll quickly begin to see, through critiques of your work and that of the other members, how writing should be done. You’ll begin to spot grammatical and punctuation and storyline errors – you will begin to hone your craft. The group will help you polish your manuscript – you’ll be amazed at the difference.

At this point, it is advisable to have it edited as a final insurance. Often, the company you go with to self-publish will offer editing services. Just price it compared to hiring your own editor.

Part 2 will be here Saturday, November 13th, with steps 3 through 6 of "Before You Publish."

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter/ rewriter. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move and author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

If you need help with your author platform, check out:

Build Your Author/Writer Platform
This 4-week class shows you Basic Website Optimization, Blogging Smart, Email Marketing, and Social Media Marketing


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