Writing a Book – Each week I identify a different theme and provide you with content, some original and some from external sources, around that theme in two separate posts.
The first post represents my thoughts, experience, advice or questions on whatever the weekly theme is. Usually…later in the week, a second post will expand on the theme and/or summarize and provide links to several articles and videos from other sources, providing additional information on the weekly theme.
That generally wraps up the particular theme for the week. This theme has been a little different, however. This is the 4th post in a series on writing a book…and there is still more to come.
In Part 3 of “9 (Real) Tips for Writing a Book” we discussed traditional publishing. In Part 4, we will discuss self-publishing.
The good thing about self-publishing is that you are in total and complete control. The bad thing about self-publishing is that you are in total and complete control.
Self-publishing can be comparatively inexpensive, especially if you have the right network of friends and professionals that can provide guidance, assistance and services to you.
Join a Group
If you don’t have this kind of network, find one. Get involved. There is probably an authors’ group/club in your area. Contact it and start participating.
As with entering in to any networking group, go in with a mentality of giving not just taking. Everyone has something to give. In this case, it may be your time helping proofread the work of someone else. No one likes the group sponge, always soaking up the good stuff and never giving anything back. Don’t be the group sponge.
If you aren’t careful, the bill can begin to run fairly high when you have to hire everything out. A network of authors can help you navigate the costs much better than you can on your own. Aside from simply writing the book, other things you will need to consider that may cost you money include (but are not limited to):
- Editing for, syntax, flow and content
- Artwork and design for both the cover and the internal layout
- Properly crediting other/referenced work (critical)
- Software for producing everything from cover to illustrations to text
- A self-publishing service provider
- Where and how you will market and promote your book
- Don’t forget the commerce end of things! How will you collect payments in exchange for your book – this includes how your reader will receive their purchased copy
Perhaps most importantly, a group or club can help you stay focused and motivated. It can be very easy to just quit. You need support. Your group can give it.
Are You an Ameri-CAN or an Ameri-CAN’T?
I self-published a fictional novel a few years ago. It was written as a form of self-therapy following the suicide death of a friend. I really wrote it for me…not an audience. But I learned a little something from it. In general, I’m not a big do-it-yourselfer. If I can afford to pay someone to paint the house, I’m going to hire someone to paint the house.
The same is true in book publishing. It requires someone who is far more patient and who pays far more attention to detail than I care to. If you subscribe to the theory of “close enough”, self-publishing may not to be the right path for you.
But if you have no other choice, saddle-up and get ready for the ride.
Follow Authors Who Do This
A couple of friends of mine are authors who make a living self-publishing. Check out their websites for more tips, information and some good books.
In Part 5, we will discuss the hybrid model.