These are just my thoughts. I’m by no means an expert in this area, so don’t think this is my attempt at pretending to be one. I do think, though, that I have some solid insight into this world after reading so many indie books and talking with and meeting so many authors, readers, reviewers, etc.
I truly believe that self-publishing has opened up some amazing opportunities for aspiring authors. People who might not have ever put their thoughts down on paper are now publishing full-length novels, appearing on the New York Times and USA Today Best Sellers’ Lists and ranking in Amazon’s Top 100. This is so incredibly remarkable. At the same time, it can be a little scary. There are books put out into the world that still need work. Is this the end of the world? Absolutely not. I do think, though, it’s important as a new author to focus on some important aspects prior to pushing “publish.”
I realize that for an author who has never sold a book, and might even be unemployed, self-employed, a stay at home mom or dad, whatever, doling out lots of dollars for a great cover, proper editing, a formatter, etc. can seem nearly impossible; however, I really believe, like all things, money has to be spent in order to be made. Now, I am not saying this is always the case. So please, do not take this as some hard and fast rule. Although, I will say, a book with lousy editing is just very unfortunate.
You can probably see where I’m going here. This is not a shameless plug for hiring me. I know there are lots of great editors out there, and many of them might be more affordable than me. The same goes with cover designers and formatters. What I do know is that it’s important to look into these things. Talk with other authors. Join groups. Contact bloggers and reviewers. Put yourself out there BEFORE you hit publish. Create relationships with these people. It will take you a long way. There are lots of benefits to self-publishing, but one of the biggest drawbacks is the sole self-promotion aspect. You don’t have the big houses behind you, pushing your work for you. YOU have to do it yourself. And like if you were going to a job interview, you’d want to put your best foot forward. You’d make sure your clothes were ironed, and you brushed your hair. That should be the same for your book. When so much of your time and life has been put into your writing, why not take that extra step and make sure that the outside grabs readers, the blurb is intriguing and well-written and it’s cleaned up on the inside?
My plan is to focus on one aspect of self-publishing a week, maybe ever other week. We’ll see how the scheduling all works out. But I’d like to offer tips, tricks, advice, and recommendations for people in the industry. I think that it can be some scary waters to navigate, but at the same time, the benefits most certainly outweigh the cons.