6 Opposing Truths About Self Publishing

Want the real truth about being an indie author?

1. It's easy.

No. It's not. If you want to self-publish because you think it's easier than traditionally publishing, you're wrong--if you do it right.

You have to write a compelling story. You have to get it edited. You have to get it proofread by a competent professional or very skilled amateur. You have to have a great book cover and marketing copy known as a book blurb. You have to format the file for ebook publication and/or print publication. You have to market and promote it. You have to stay on top of sales so you know what's selling and why.

Yes, traditional publishing is hard too with the biggest hurdle just being allowed in to "play the game." Once past the gatekeepers, it's easier because all those publishing professional tasks are done for you. BUT, promotion of your book still falls to you unless you got a fat six-figure contract.

2. It's hard.

It can be, as stated above, but it's also within your power to learn the different aspects of successfully publishing and marketing your book.

Every ebook seller has guidelines for formatting the book file. Royalty free images abound on various microstock photography sites. Cover artists are everywhere -- just ask a friend who indie publishes. I even have lists of artists on my Indie Resources page here on the blog as well as lists of people you can contractor for various publishing tasks.

3. You'll make a ton of money.

Sure. That must be true. Look at all the books on Amazon: Sell Books by the Truckload, Ways to Sell More Books on Kindle, Ways to Sell $5000 on Amazon, How to Make Full Time Income on Amazon, etc.

Maybe the answer to making a ton of money is to write one of those books.

Many factors contribute to making a lot of money. Unless you are an author with a huge following, that probably won't happen to you right away.

4. You won't make any significant money.

That depends on what you call significant. I've been an indie author, publishing my backlist and original fiction and nonfiction, since 2011. In these 4 years I've made more money than in the previous 18 years being published by a traditional publisher.

Your income depends on sales, and sales depends on many factors. I hit the ebook scene at the right time. Yes, it's harder now, but not impossible.

Being an indie author opens doors. I have audio books of all my full-length romance novels available, and they sell well. That's a profit center I would never have had access to if I were still being traditionally published. Those kinds of sub-rights sales are for big-name authors.

5. Competition is fierce so you're doomed.

It seems there are twice as many ebooks being published now as in 2011. If that deters you, then maybe this isn't for you. There are probably easier ways to make a living. However, competition has always been fierce for an author. Publishing houses have only so many slots open for new books. Agents take only so many clients.

6. Competition is fierce, but try anyway.

You've heard the expression, "This isn't a competition." Well, I've got news for you. Everything in life is a competition. But that doesn't mean you have to be miserable because of it. You compete by running your race your way. Your finish line may not be the same as mine or anyone else's. What's important is crossing your finish line to win what you identify as success.

Takeaway Truth

Book rank and sales are just one part of success. If you are doing something you love, having fun, and feeling proud of the book you produce, that's also success. And who's to say it's not the better part?

1 comment:

  1. Interesting! I don't think I'm going there (see #2 and add laziness to the equation), but I'm full of admiration for those of you who have and have made a success story of it.