And now for the news!
This week in the world of self-publishing:
Let’s Kickstart the new year with a piece on funding books with, well…Kickstarter. Funding is always the number one concern when thinking about publishing a book in general, but especially when self-publishing. Dylan Goldby used crowdfunding to help publish a book of his photography and says, “For me, crowdfunding made the most sense because I wanted to leverage my existing contacts, spread the word organically, and use the final product to raise more money without having to pay back any loans, etc.” Further, he says he enjoyed the rewards program built into crowdfunding which allowed him to send copies of his book to those who supported him, which also acted as a networking and marketing tool.
As far as using Kickstarter goes, Goldby has realistic and insightful advice for authors thinking about utilizing this crowdfunding platform. First off, he is explicit in stating that this is a time consuming process, so if you have a more efficient way to raise the money, by all means take advantage of it. The next piece of advice he offers: be prepared. Have your idea fully flushed out, study campaigns that have failed and succeeded and find out why. Part of Goldby’s preparation was creating a folder of Facebook and Instagram posts, emails asking for support, blog posts, videos, etc. Picking core hashtags relevant to your project is another great way to amplify your online presence.
Since you’re already in the self-publishing world, I’ll just keep beating a dead horse and say that marketing is a crucial piece to using Kickstarter–you need to self-promote like it was your job! Keeping up on your social media and networking presence is a fundamental piece to a successful Kickstarter campaign. To find out more about how Goldby experienced such success via this route, read the article above!
If you keep up on Huffington Post, you may have seen the article last week titled: Self-Publishing: An Insult To The Written Word, in which author Laurie Gough makes claims such as, “I’d rather share a cabin on a Disney cruise with Donald Trump than self-publish,” and “From what I’ve seen of it, self-publishing is an insult to the written word, the craft of writing, and the tradition of literature.”
Of course statements like these make me cringe, however something that makes me cringe even more is the sensationalism and mob culture of the online world which reacted to Laurie’s article with personal death threats, trashed ratings and the like. We unfortunately live in a world where technology allows us to fire vitriol at perfect strangers without ever seeing the repercussions or painful reactions of those we spew it at. Can you imagine threatening someone’s life you disagreed with if you were sitting next to them on public transportation? Of course not, because it is not only socially unacceptable, it is an absolutely insane and outrageous thing to do.
Gough has since apologized for the article (which has not stopped the hate-mail of course), where she recants her naive claims and admits on her Facebook page, “I’ve only read a handful of self-published books so was basing my article on that. I guess I was in a bad mood when I wrote it and I SO wish I’d never written it.”
Admittedly, Laurie’s article was offensive, brusque and clearly out of touch with the self-publishing world. Comparing self-publishing to screaming into a microphone and calling yourself a musician or saying that “the only similarity between published and self-published books is they each have words on pages inside a cover. The similarities end there,” are highly unfair assessments of the industry and have been proven wrong by numerous successful self-published authors.
So my question is why, when we know people are obviously wrong and expressing intolerant views, do we act so wrongly and intolerant right back at them? Intolerance shouldn’t breed more intolerance; if you fundamentally disagree with the tenants of someone’s argument, either ignore it and go on with your day, or add something productive to the conversation that will help persuade them via rational argumentation, rather than by fear of their safety or well-being. Screaming your opinion the loudest won’t make people listen to you, it will only make them want to plug their ears.
People will disagree with you, they will shoot you down, and they will tell you that you have no talent. Traditional publishing companies have done that to us for years, but we don’t go burn down their headquarters or troll their CEOs–we move on and we take the high road. I sincerely hope self-published authors let up on Gough, and I am sincerely happy to see her public and quite genuine-seeming apology.
As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.
ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.