Renee Writes

Posts in category Self Publishing

Guest Post: 5 Benefits of Self-Publishing You Should Know About by Kevin McNamara

Hi everyone! Today I have a guest poster, Kevin McNamara, here to talk about the benefits of self-publishing. So any writers out there who are trying to make that all-important decision between traditional and self publishing, maybe this article will help you!


benefits-of-self-publishing

Yes, traditional publishing houses are past their glory days. With today’s development of the Internet, a book author feels a much less need in a publishing house to get the reader’s’ attention. Like most things in the world, this tendency does have its drawbacks, but the pros by far outweigh the cons.

In this article, you’ll find top 5 reasons that make self-publishing a more attractive option to young and aspiring authors than traditional book publishing.

1. INSTANCY

In the traditional book-publishing scheme, a writer needs to wait to be discovered by an agent who will then find them a publisher. This process can be very long, tiresome, and nerve-wracking, or this day might never even come, doesn’t depend on whether you’re a good writer, or not.

If you decide to choose self-publishing, on the other hand, you can skip this stage and have your book published whenever you feel ready.

2. FULL CONTROL

Even famous and established authors often complain about the control imposed on them by their publishing houses. Now, this is arguably a drawback, since the person appointed by the publishing house does provide a fresher look at your work, assumingly being an expert at what he is doing. And yet, it does often take a lot of the fun and magic away from the writing process, making it more dull and routine.

When you are publishing your book yourself, you are in charge of everything: content, cover and interior design, marketing strategy, pricing, etc. But remember, you don’t have your publisher always watching your back and pointing to your every mistake, so be careful and think twice before you do anything.

3. INDIVIDUALITY

You can see how big handmade clothes and accessories, as well as organic, locally grown food, are today. As opposed to the stuff manufactured industrially, these things possess the unique warmness and coziness that make consumers feel as if these particular products were made especially for them – so make them feel special.

4. UNLIMITED TIME

Do you know what is common for Lewis Carroll’s ”Alice in Wonderland”, Leo Tolstoy’s ”Anna Karenina”, Friedrich Nietzsche’s ”The Antichrist”, and Mark Twain’s ”The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”? They all either went unnoticed initially, or were shattered by the critics, and therefore were commercial flops. Same goes for pretty much everything written by Franz Kafka or H. P. Lovecraft, or even J. R. R. Tolkien. History knows many examples when a book went unnoticed when it was first written but later on gained a massive following. Some books are like good wine – they need time to catch on.
A traditional bookstore usually lets any new book a life on a shelf from 30 to 60 days, whereas with self-publishing, you can avoid such limitations, and keep your book “on the shelf” pretty much forever.

5. FLEXIBILITY

You will receive feedback from your readers regarding the fate of a certain character. If you choose to please your audience and introduce the changes that they desire, you can do that instantly, without having to wait until your publisher re-issues your book (which they may even refuse to do).

Same goes with the pricing: demand increases, and you feel like your book should cost more than it currently does, it will take you a few clicks to set the price you want. Or drop it a bit, if you feel like it will help you to sell more copies.

That being said, it is up to you to decide whether you should find yourself a publishing house or have your book self-published. As a matter of fact, nothing can stop you from combining these two approaches. Just remember about all the perks of self-publishing.


kevin-mcnamara-headshotMy name is Kevin and I’m a content writer and blogger. I like sharing my thoughts with people through words.

Connect with Kevin on his blog, The Wtiting Kid,  Facebook and Twitter!

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Indie Authors Taking the Industry by Storm!

I just read an article, Maverick women writers are upending the book industry and selling millions in the process, that validated a lot of my feelings about where the publishing industry is headed, especially in regards to self-publishing. In fact, I was just speaking with my husband this morning about a lot of these things before I read the article. So it came at a really good time.

The first issue has to do with claims that it’s better to be traditionally published because they have more experience and know what readers want. Of course, I’ve never believed this, but I didn’t have evidence to back me up. The only evidence I’ve ever had was my own experiences and the experiences of other indie authors I know.

The subject of the article is a romance author, H.M. Ward, who suspected if she took her stories (which featured a “nice guy”) to a publisher, she’d be told, “Nice guys are boring”. I mean, I’m not a huge romance fan, but I do like to read them on occasion (especially if they’re fantasy, sci-fi or paranormal romances). And if you’ve ever read a romance, most of the time the male is the “bad boy” type who treats the female harshly to begin with (or maybe even all through the story). At the very least they have to appear “manly” or gruff. You know…a man’s man. Bottom line, you never see the nice guy in those stories.

If I had to wager a guess it’s because publishers have decided all women like the “bad boy” image, and it’s just a cliche that has stuck. Kudos to Ward for having the courage to step outside the box and publish her books to see how they’d be received. And well, it worked to her advantage.

Although we don’t really know for sure if her stories would have been accepted by the publisher, just from my own knowledge I’d pretty much guess she’s have landed in a slush pile somewhere. On her own, her books have become best sellers and she’s sold millions of copies of her books world wide since.

What have I decided to take from this?

Don’t believe anyone who tells you that they (or their industry leaders) know what readers want. The only way anyone could know what readers want is by asking them, and I have never seen any evidence that the publishing industry leaders have ever bothered polling the public to find out what they like.

If you have a story idea, and you’re not sure how it will be received, you have two choices. Visit forums and groups in your genre and poll the readers yourself to find out what the interest level is for that kind of story, or just write the book and see how it does. See for yourself what kind of feedback you get from it.

Another issue that I discussed with my husband was all about covers. Your book cover can make or break your book. So I’m constantly doing research and finding out what most attracts a reader to a cover. One thing I have learned is that the publishers don’t always know what readers want in this area either. Maybe they did at one time, but people change over time, and it seems the big publishers do not want to change with them.

In the article, they mention that the traditional smutty covers used in romance are actually not what the readers want. The covers are being toned down quite a bit by many indie authors and those books are getting a lot more attention than the smutty ones. So it’s very much the same with covers… don’t assume someone else knows what readers want simply because they claim to have more experience in the industry.

Something I know a lot of indie authors are doing now, and it seems to be working, is they are asking for a fans feedback on their covers before the book is even released. They will have at least four different concepts done and they will set up a poll to ask their readers which concept they like best. The one that gets the most votes becomes the cover for that book.

Not only does this find out what images the readers are most attracted to, but it helps your readers feel as though they are part of the process.

That’s another big difference between indie and traditionally published authors, as pointed out in the article. Traditionally published authors (for the most part…it’s not the same for all) are removed from their readership. They are essentially untouchable as far as the reader is concerned. Indie authors build a community around their readers. They interact with them on a daily basis and allow their readers to be part of their writing process instead of having to just wait around for that next book.

Maybe this is why indie authors are taking the industry by storm. Our readers want to feel like they’re part of our success.

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading the article. It’s got a lot of great information. Although it’s centered around the romance genre, the information is valuable to all self-published authors.

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Hyper Geek #11: Ready to Publish

 

HyperGeek11

 

Mackay Bell is a technology consultant, blogger and self-published author.  His debut novel, Eve’s Hungry, about a world war between Apple and Google, with a ninja sword fighting Steve Jobs, is available on Amazon. Read more of his comic and all about his self-publishing adventure on his blog, Electric Gutenberg.

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