In a conversation the other day, I mentioned I was self-published. Suddenly instead of discussing the launch of my second book, my friends wanted to know all about my self-publishing experience. Self-publishing is the topic of the day: Is it hard to self-publish? Are self-published books inferior? Are only press-published books worth reading? Can I be a real author?
Wikipedia defines self-publishing as “the publication of any book or other media by the author of the work, without the involvement of an established third-party publisher.” With print-on-demand (POD) and e-book technology, self-publishing is within every writer’s grasp. The quality of your writing and the scope of your sales, however, depend entirely upon you.
I don’t pretend to be an expert on self-publishing, but in my opinion, expert advice may be of limited help. If I hadn’t jumped off the cliff into the abyss of the self-publishing unknown, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m not rich, so if you’re looking for a “get rich from writing” scheme, you’ll have to find another blog, but I am happy. I am writing. I am selling. The road ahead is filled with promise. What more can I ask?
My conversation got me thinking about what I’ve learned in the past 2 years since I began my self-publishing journey. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
- There is life after rejection slips.
- Nothing is as gratifying as holding your published book in your hands.
- Everyone needs an editor, both for copy and content.
- Before you publish, proof proof proof.
- Love your work before you ask someone else to love it.
- Formatting is vital; space between paragraphs or random blank pages look sloppy.
- Self-publishing can be done on a small budget; self-publicity may be another matter.
- CreateSpace POD copies are cheap; give them to everyone who cares.
- Covers matter, as do preface, dedication, copyright page, etc. Make them great, too.
- Never stop writing. The rest is fluff.
My books are published in both e-book form through Amazon and print form through CreateSpace, an Amazon company. I have no experience with other companies, though there are several. They range in cost. Amazon is free. Good luck, have fun.