Self-Publishing – All You Need To Know
Posted by Mary on Thursday 12 September 2013
in the Blog Category.
I’m not stating anything new when I say that writing and completing a book is a huge undertaking. Yes, I’m sure you’ve all heard this a million times in author interviews. It takes dedication, daily practice and the ability to handle not only criticism but rejection from agents and publishers who refer to the dozens of manuscripts received daily as the sludge pile.
In my case I’d waited patiently for the definitive yes from one publisher who insisted they were interested yet dragged their heels for six months humming and hawing about what was for me, my lovingly crafted first oeuvre. Finally I begged them to release my manuscript back to me, and having regained control then decided to jump in at the deep end with self publishing.
Ah ha, self- publishing! If you think writing a novel is a biggie, let me tell you it is a slice of blackberry pie in comparison to entering into the business of publishing and promoting your own book. That aside, it has certain advantages for the author, who retains not only full rights but also creative control over their own work.
As I promote my book through social networks like Twitter and Facebook, I’m becoming more aware of the different resources available to self published authors. After running a recent kindle promotion involving different promotional sites, I’m still trying to separate the wheat form the chaff and figure out what areas worked best for me.
Several writers hoping to go the self publishing route have contacted me for advice and for that reason I’ve compiled a list of resources I found most helpful.
For aspiring writers
- Inkwell Writers – For new Irish writers wishing for a support network first stop is The Inkwell Writers group. Here you will find details of everything from writing courses to names of would be mentors. Run by Vanessa O’ Loughlin, it has everything a writer needs to get into their writing mojo and later move from pitch to publication.
- Writing.ie – Affiliated to Inkwell, they offer advice on everything from courses to self-publishing.
- The Irish Writers Centre – In Dublin.
- Design for writers – At Design for writers, Andrew Brown offers website/blog design and book cover design.
- Original Writing
Advice from Authors on Self Publishing
Post Publication is all about promotion. All writers whether self published or published by a traditional publisher need an on-line presence through social media. Top of the list is a personal website, followed by involvement on Twitter and Facebook. Connecting with other authors is invaluable as they offer tips, advice and support. It is such a great feeling to connect with like minded people and relationships develop as tweets become conversations needing skype time. The latest trend in Twitter parties can result in burning the midnight oil as we have a laugh with ‘Tweeps’ (folk who tweet) in L.A. and various other time zones.
Author support Sites
The coveted gold Awesome Indies Seal
These are four I have joined:
- Awesome Indies or AIA are a select group of authors ( small in numbers but growing). Books must come up to an acceptable standard before the author can join this group. Members may use the beautiful gold seal on their books to indicate their book has been approved and they are members of AIA. Though I have been given the seal I have not yet had it placed on my book cover.
- Authors Social Media Support Group – ASMSG are a fantastic group to join. Using the twitter hashtag #ASMSG guarantees friendly Twitter exchanges and support from other members of the group.
- The Independent Author Network is another fantastic forum to have your own author page on. Again, use of the Twitter hashtag in a tweet attracts support and re -tweeting from members of #IAN1
- The Independent Author Index is similar to the two above in offering support to authors. The hashtag #iaindex is used on twitter as a means of identification.
Some great promotional sites
These are vehicles to highlight kindle promotions and raise the profile of your book
- World Literary Café. WLC is one of the most popular sites to get acquainted with. More like a community for writers, they offer everything from editing services, to book cover design and finally vehicles for promoting your book. They also encourage authors to tweet each others books.
- Bookbub.com. Bookbub has over a million active subscribers and you can promote any ebook in any store (Amazon, Apple, Nook, etc). They are expensive to advertise with but authors claim to sell lots of books as a result.
- Indie Author News. Offer a variety of packages from showcasing to tweeting your book. Excellent value for paid promotions and very professional to deal with.
- Digital Book Today. Again offer a variety of packages from ‘Book of the day’ to tweeting your book on promotional days. They are often booked out months in advance.
- Author Marketing Club. There are tons of resources and lots of other authors to share your work with. There is a free and paid membership, but if you plan to just post your books it’s a great place to do just that.
- FreeEbooksDaily.net. This site posts both free and bargain kindle books on a daily basis. They have almost 10,000 facebook fans and over 16,000 active email subscribers
- Pixel of Ink – features daily publishing of free kindle books and special offers.
- It’s write now at www.itswritenow.com offers a great selection of free ebooks.
- Bargain ebook hunter offers the same as the two above.
- The Writers Kaboodle offers complimentary Interviews to published authors and writers on Twitter. They also offer paid Interviews on Twitter or Facebook to include a complimentary book review. However, once a month they do whimsical reviews of authors who participate in the #WritersKaboodle TweetChat. Supposedly great fun – I have yet to participate in it.
So there’s my index. Please leave a comment if you feel there are other important resources. It is of course impossible to include the entire ever expanding list, but your comments are welcome.
I’ve written a book called This Book Will Fail, available on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EO922ZY
Its about the fact that self-publishing is a brutal industry where the vast majority of authors never make a cent, good affordable editing is an oxymoron and building a name without spending a lot of money is nearly impossible for a new author just self-publishing . Self-publishing, however, can be rewarding provided you re-adjust your goals and be realistic about what you will achieve.
I did a 5-day KDP select giveaway, and gave away 600 copies, meaning more people had a copy of it than all my other books, combined! Ironic indeed.
I stumbled upon your post and I found it very detailed and informative. Kindle can also be helpful for those who are planning to self-publish. It comes with its own pros and cons too.
I just want to share this iOS app that will be released on November 2013 called Snippefy (snippefy.com). Through Snippefy, Kindle users can access their notes and highlights and integrate these with social media, Evernote, Dropbox and email.
This can become a big thing and I hope you will get a chance to check it out.
Thanks for visitng Noel. I don’t know why my last message to you auto deleted and I only noticed it missing today.
I agree with you that self-publishing is very competitive and we often start out with unrealistic expectations. I know several authors who have been published by traditional publishing houses and by the time an agent takes a percentage they are not making a huge killing either. In fact a number of first time authors are thinking about ditching their agent and publisher in favour of self publishing.
Your book is a good investment for a first time author. As you rightly say ‘Self-publishing, however, can be rewarding provided you re-adjust your goals and be realistic about what you will achieve’.
really informative, i’ll be bookmarking this,,,,, ’cause i feel like soon, i’ll be needing all the help i can get, thanks for your time and effort Mary!
You’ve provided some great information here that can act as a research launching pad for new authors hoping to find a method of marketing themselves.
A personal note about Bookbub. I investigated what they were offering a little while ago but I wasn’t happy with their process. They wanted me to mark the price of my first novel down to 99 cents which I felt was unreasonable for the price they wanted to charge me in the process. I am not a fan of the 99 cent price point generally as I think it does damage to your brand. People will question why it is priced so cheaply and thus question the quality of the work.
There are a growing number of good, quality independent publishers who offer a great collaborative environment in which to work. Everything from editing and proofing, cover design and marketing can be achieved as part of being signed to an indie publisher – without the initial cost burdens. But, authors must understand that they are just as much a part of the team and must be pro active in their marketing efforts.
Thanks for stopping by Dean.
Yes Bookbub are mega – they have a huge following and hence can make their own rules as they are continuously over subscribed to for promotions: – Some large publishing houses vie for ad. space with Indie authors.
Offering your book for 99c is a matter of preference and depends on how you view it.
Do you wish to get your book out there to a mass market in the hope of getting reviews? If so, bargain or freebie promotions are one way to start.
Consider this – one Irish Publishing house pays their authors 17c per book sold. Some of their authors then need to then pay their agents 20% of that ‘ginormous’ fee.
You will get a higher profit from Amazon when you sell your book at 99c.
The debate will undoubtedly continue …
Nice site by the way and your post on self-publishing very interesting indeed. Hope all is well and thanks for all the RT’s on Twitter.
Great to see you here David and thanks in return for your support on twitter. I’m presently recovering from an accident …visited my surgeon yesterday and he was pleased with my progress, so I can hang up my crutches for a few hours per day. It’s been an experience to say the least. The bonding with anyone who has ever been on crutches is quite something, with strangers telling me their stories. It’s quiet humbling to hear what some people heroically battle with a smile on their face.
I hope all is well with you 🙂
You’re welcome Shelley. Best of luck with your book.