This week in the world of self-publishing:
I can’t think of a better way to launch you into the week to come than with this piece, courtesy of Kylie Dunn for the HuffPost Books blog on June 29th. Here Dunn, author of Do Share Inspire and Write to Launch, recounts her experiences self-publishing and lists her top six lessons learned. And they’re good lessons! “You need a professional editor,” she says to start, because “You will experience a full range of doubts and fears when you put your creation into the world [and] having a trusted professional on your side helps.” Her other points range from “Done is better than good”–quoting Elizabeth Gilbert–to “It’s not a short game” to “It’s scary and exciting,” with one final admonition to “Make sure you have good support mechanisms around you to cater for the days you think you should give up.” Says Dunn, “This is also why you need a marketing and launch plan, so you aren’t making emotional decisions on the fly.” Solid advice from one self-publishing author to another, I think. To read the rest of Dunn’s excellent article, follow the link!
Whoever claims literature is somehow above or beyond the reach of politics hasn’t read the news in India lately, where self-publishing author Rana Ayyub has broken with the powers that be in order to expose systemic corruption. As chronicled by Arif Hussain for TwoCircles.net in this May 29th article, Ayyub’s story is one that places her firmly in the context of a Ghandi or a Rosa Parks:
A journalist in her twenties decides to go undercover to find the facts about the handling of 2002 Gujarat riots, a series of fake encounters and the murder of ex-home minister Haren Pandya. Over the eight months of subterfuge, she gains trust, breaks trust, comes hairbreadth close to getting caught, goes through phases of self-doubt and anxiety but in the end comes out with a lot of potentially explosive first hand accounts. So much so that her otherwise supportive editors develop cold feet about publishing it and pull the plug on the sting operation.
She then does the logical thing and tries to publish her account as a book. But no publisher worth its name would touch it, no TV news channel would talk about it and very few newspapers would talk to her. In the India of 21st century CE the reigning context of fear is so absolute and the risk of state reprisal so imminent that a mere act of publishing a book can ruin your business.
But of course, self-publishing offers a route free of “gatekeepers,” so Ayyub’s work found a natural home there. By self-publishing, Hussain notes, “Ayyub also shows a path to people who want to go it alone or just don’t want to toe the “mainstream line.” We’re all about that here at Self-Publishing Advisor! To read more of Hussain’s article on Ayyub’s revolutionary work, check out the original piece here.
“The array of [self-publishing] offerings is spurring some writers to leave their publishing houses,” writes Karen Angel for Bloomberg Businessweek in this May 26th article: “particularly midlist authors whose books receive scant marketing support.” It has long been true that these authors, the ones whose books are accepted for publication by the Big Five publishing houses but whose works aren’t deemed “blockbuster-worthy,” often suffer from poor marketing services and even poorer authorial support. But there are too many options on the horizon for authors to despair, Angel writes, including self-publishing websites like Pronoun, Reedsy, Leanpub, and Amazon Kindle Direct. More importantly, she uses the stories of authors themselves as a compass to navigate the complicated world of self-publishing–authors like Janice Graham (of NYT-bestselling Firebird fame) and erotica author Meredith Wild. She also recounts the story of Greg White, an author whose “last straw came when his publisher forgot to ship copies of his book to the launch party last October.” And so: self-publishing! “‘Five years ago,'” Angel quotes White as saying, “‘self-publishing was a scar. Now it’s a tattoo.'” That’s about as rousing an endorsement as we could ask for. To read the rest of Angel’s article, click here.
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.