Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Self-Publishing, Yes and No

by Joel Friedlander

When writers think about their publishing careers today, should they include self-publishing as a viable option?

Yes

Don’t you find that a little bit incredible?

Yes

So now all the authors have realized they can make a lot more money self-publishing once they’ve got an audience?

No

Only some of them get it, and others still don’t think anything has changed?

Yes

But published authors are getting rights to their backlist, pushing out e-book versions and selling books, right?

Yes

And publishers have figured out that readers are now their constituents, not other businesses?

No

Well, publishers provide essential services to authors.

Yes

Author services.

Yes

But that would make the authors the customers, in a sense, since they hold all the rights to their own creations, without which publishers would have no product.

No

Well, it must be that publishing your own books, whether it’s print on demand or e-books or both, is now being accepted as just another part of the publishing landscape.

Yes

And that in itself means that many more people will consider independent publishing, simply due to all those other people doing it.

Yes

And so now writers can get all their old files out of the folders buried deep on their hard drives and start raking in the Kindle Kash?

No

Oh, wait, this is social-media driven, this surge of support for indie authors?

Yes

And that means you have to have followers, fans, raving readers?

Yes

And so how you interact with people online really has an impact on your reputation, your cred, your brand?

Yes

Which means that the biggest group of social-media aware people on the planet—bloggers—must be making a huge impact on the indie publishing movement.

No

But don’t all those bloggers realize that their archive is simply the first draft of their next book?

No

You mean that there’s a mindset problem with bloggers and other online content creators, where they just don’t think of themselves as authors?

Yes

So indie publishing is still making converts from the legion of the agent-seekers?

Yes

Probably lots of authors have started to catch onto the fact that since they sell online, they are now internet marketers?

No

But nonfiction authors especially ought to realize that the search bar is their ticket to a nonstop flow of information seekers?

Yes

So it only stands to reason that those subject matter experts who publish books are also learning the ins and outs of content marketing?

No

You mean that authors have a long way to go in making the transition to online marketing, the way it’s going to be from now on?

Yes

And that the authors who really work social media now, who know how to deliver the books their readers are looking for, the ones who climb up the Kindle charts with every release, they are the ones we should be learning from?

Yes

So in a way, self-publishing makes it easier to get in the game.

Yes

Makes our stake in the outcome much more lucrative.

Yes

And we can get ahead of the curve by learning how to create and market our content?

Yes

And that as writers, content creators ourselves, we actually have an advantage at this?

Yes

So the classic needs of book marketing—great content, solid production, smart targeting—haven’t really changed at all.

No

But there must be lots of new ways to learn how this all fits together, to get a big picture?

No

You mean you can learn one thing here, another thing there, but nothing that puts it all together?

Yes

That’s a shame.

Yes
Joel Friedlander is a self-published author and book designer who blogs about book design, self-publishing and the indie publishing life at TheBookDesigner.com. He's also the proprietor of Marin Bookworks, where he helps publishers and authors who decide to publish get to market on time and on budget with books that are both properly constructed and beautiful to read.
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2 comments:

James Ross (author) said...

This article hits the nail on the head.

Yes.

Gerry Wendel said...

There's lots of great self-published material out there, however, not all of those folks are internet marketers and their content may not be heard. Suggestion: Hire someone who can coach you and provide the tools you need for promoting.