With the digital revolution, more and more authors are taking the unbeaten path to success in the volatile field. No longer are they dependent on a renowned publishing house which may publish their work after a long and tedious selection and editing process. With Amazon direct publishing and Kindle self publishing, they can do all of this by themselves. But this isn’t a piece of cake. Authors who choose to publish their books themselves face several challenges, and ones that can make them leave the field completely. Here are a few common problems, and how they can be solved.
Self Publishing: If Not Done Well, You Will Probably Quit Writing –
One of the major challenges of self publishing is that you take on the responsibility of a publisher in addition to your responsibility as a writer. So editing, designing, creating layouts, etc has to be done over and above perfecting your own writing. Now, as a writer, you may or may not have the time, skills, interest or knowledge to work in all of these creative spheres. And spending your cognitive resources on them might even take away from your focus on your writing, which of course is the crux of the project.
Instead of stressing out, what you can do is make use of your time management skills. Making timetables that allow you to devote a fair amount of time to everything helps. Staying organized about to-do-lists, taking frequent short breaks and having a good sleep and eating schedules is also great. Moreover, you can use trustworthy beta readers to help with the editing, take short courses on design and use software programs to help market research. Basically, you can use technology and relationships to your advantage.
Another serious challenge of self-publishing is the stigma associated with it and the label that comes with it. Many readers view self-publishers as substandard authors rejected by most big publishing companies and hence don’t invest in these books. With esteemed publishers that people trust and are loyal to, creating a fan base is easy. With self-publishing, not so much.
What you can do about this is increase your visibility and make your books as professional as possible. For this, you need interactions. First of all, you need to be an extensive reader and a vigilant observer to note how good books are made. What cover designs appeal to you and how? How are ISBN numbers printed? What kinds of font are most accessible? Paying attention to these details will help you emulate this and make your books look professional. In addition, using free samples, or creating Amazon author’s pages, or a Goodreads account, or even an Insta account helps increase visibility.
Financing, Marketing and Advertising
You may have chosen to self-publish due to lack of funds. But it’s not as rosy as that. Self-publishing requires both a lot of time and effort as well as money. This is because, usual printing presses and other equipment may not be available to you, as it is to known publishers who have been in the business for a while. Additionally, marketing and advertising can become a hassle when you lack a PR team to do it for you.
In case you don’t have any financial knowledge, it might be best to consult a trustworthy family or friend regarding it. It may even be a good idea to invest a good part of your funds in the financing process. If that is absolutely impossible, reading a few self help books or signing up for a quick Coursera or EDX course may help. As for marketing and advertising, it is essential to know your book first. The genre and mood decides your target audience, and your target audience decides your marketing techniques. Social media might work best for younger generations, while traditional print media might work for older generations. In either case, a thorough market research is essential. You must know trends, realistic prices, bestsellers, etc. Plus, you need to create social media accounts, blog websites, networks on LinkedIn etc.