Technology is bringing us closer and closer to independent creativity. On this site, you’ll notice a few links to the authors’ ebooks – some of which are free. Others come with a small price. In this day and age, self-publishing is more within grasp than a writer may think. Once upon a time, at the dawn of the printing press, most literary works were self published because they were written, manufactured, and distributed by the author. In a way, authors are slowly gravitating back to this freedom. Ebooks are a number one choice – there is no paper involved, no messy fees, and no heaping piles of unsold books taking up precious space in your closet. You can host an ebook on Amazon, Smashwords, and more.
There is also print-on-demand, for those who want to get a hard copy of your work. You just pay a flat distribution fee, which typically aren’t that high, and you make the choice regarding what type of ISBN to purchase. You can purchase your own, or go through sources like Createspace or Lulu, which also will provide you with print-on-demand services.
To get the best feedback regarding these services, investigate consumer reviews.
Self-publishing is not too unlike the music industry, where more and more artists are clinging to the label “indie.” They have broken away from the third party system of record companies, and began to collect the profits for themselves, handling their own marketing. Marketing nowadays is easier, and more efficient, than ever. Numerous forums and social networking sites can market your publications. You can use Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus (if you need an invite, please contact us), LinkedIn, Goodreads, and more. Forums are a little trickier, as you need to identify a forum that targets the type of audience you want to appeal to. If you write science fiction, then perhaps sffworld.com might suit you. That’s just one example.
Also it’s good to get reviews of your work, then post them everywhere. Earlier, I told you to investigate print-on-demand services by doing what? Reading consumer reviews, right? Yes. The same principal will be applied to your work. Readers want to know if what you provide is worth investing the time in. If you can manage strong, objective reviews – ones that highlight your talents and hard work, then chances are you’ve won more readers. Also, sometimes a terrible review can work in your favor. People will want to read your work just to see what the deal is. Just remember, never be soft-shelled. Bad reviews will happen.
If you seek a prolific site for ebook reviews, I suggest Kindle Nation Daily.
When you self-publish and you decide to sell a printed copy of your book, also remember to look at it from a business end. You will need to apply for a business license within your city and state, register an EIN with the federal government, and make sure to legally copyright your work. I suggest using legalzoom if you would like to be protected within two weeks of registering for the copyright. Also remember money. Open a simple checking account for royalty deposits only. Keep track of any business expenses you make (marketing, distribution, etc.) as these can be used for tax write-offs. As long as you keep proof of the transaction (receipts), you will avoid being audited for any write-offs.
In the end…this is not a difficult process, it simply takes some organization and planning. When it comes to creative freedom, a writing business is the way to go. If you have the talent, let it shine. It’s all in how you present yourself.
“This suit is not a rental; but this space is…”