- Indie Ebooks – are here to stay. These type books are easily processed and published online through Smashwords. The main thing is to have your work professional edited before publishing. You must redo your format in order to get through the meatgrinder process according to the Style book on Smashwords. They take care of marketing your book and send it out to the various marketing online streams including Amazon, online catalogs, Barnes & Noble, Nook, etc. All for free. You need to invest a small amount of money to hire a graphic designer to create an eye-catching book cover. For online publications, book covers are everything and what sells your book basically, along with an intriguing title. Ebooks that can show a significant fan base with strong reviews and sell above 5000 will catch the attention of main stream publishers, who may in turn come knocking at your door and offer you a contract for traditional style publishing. This can then increase marketability and demographics for future books.
- Self-Publishing – The stigma of vanity publishing is no longer applicable to the industry. Online ebooks are proving marketability both with traditional and self-published authors. They are less expensive to produce, which keeps the prices lower for the consumer. For example, Hugh Howey, author of the “Wool” series, became a NY Times Bestselling author almost overnight. He made over $600,000 within the first few months of publishing the novelette “Wool” on Amazon for only $2.99 each. The readers filled in reviews and sent fan mail asking for more of the story, which is a dystopian fiction Sci-fi saga now. Random House purchased the rights from Howey, for most likely a few million (??), and published “Wool” in hardcopy and paperback form as the “Wool Omnibus” series. Important to note, Howey was a traditionally published author before he wrote “Wool,” but could not get a contract for “Wool” until he self-published it in an ebook format and the book proved its saleability. This is a good lesson for all writers who desire to be published. A publisher must see your work can sell.
- Anybody can self publish today online. Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/ is a great place to start and test drive your work. You can publish with them for FREE and get free distribution to all online ebook venues. If you choose to self-publish in a paperback or hard copy format, you must be wise in choosing which company to use. It pays to shop around and get references and feedback from authors who have published with the company you are considering. You can pay a lot of your own money to get your book published, but that doesn't mean it will sell. Many self-publishing companies do offer marketing packages for a considerable fee. If you choose to self-publish, I suggest http://www.createspace.com, which is relatively inexpensive compared to many other. For Christian authors, http://www.westbowpress.com is the self-publishing division of Thomas Nelson, one of the leading Christian publishers. You must have a good marketing plan in place and the willingness to put yourself out there in order to sell your book. If you can prove your book is salable, and you are willing to put the effort into marketing, a traditional publisher will take note. In fact, this is exactly the kind of author most traditional publishers are looking for and desire.
- Self-publishing also works well for those who only desire to publish one or two books in their lifetime. If you only want to publish a simple children's book and can find nice photo's or produce your own illustrations, I would suggest Blurb http://www.blurb.com, which has a very user-friendly system and will promote your book on their website. Lulu http://www.lulu.com is another place many children's book authors are self-publishing today.
- Tenacity is the key to your success either way you choose to get published. This is not to discourage those of you who are still endeavoring for that traditional publishing contract. There are plenty small publishers who are looking to publish you as long as you are willing to do your part in marketing your book. You will receive the notoriety of obtaining a traditional contract for your work, which is an accomplishment in and of itself. However, don't expect to strike it rich like Hugh Howey by any stretch of the imagination. One of the main reasons many authors are self publishing is to help build the necessary platform needed in order to obtain a contract with a traditional publisher. Some assume that self publishing could hurt you if your book doesn't sell. To such naysayers I say, if you never try in the first place, how will you ever know? You just might hit gold like Hugh Howey did unintentionally. If nothing else, at least you are getting your work out to the general public, which is the goal in the first place. When creating an ebook and putting it on the Internet super highway, you never know where it could end up and who might read it.
- Faith based films are up and coming and considered to be the next wave of success in the industry. Filmmakers are looking for inspirational stories both fiction and nonfiction. These stories include all genres and religious affiliations: Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish, etc. Write your story and put it in an ebook format. You never know who could read it, be moved by it, and want to make it into a movie. How cool would that be?
July 26, 2016
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