And now for the news!
Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically interviews with or articles written by self-publishing authors and experts!
Ironically enough, we can’t access part one of this series, but we are absolutely in love with part two, in which author and Mount Observer assistant editor Michele Walsky details both personal experiences in self-publishing as well as various tips and tricks for getting ahead when self-publishing on a platform like Amazon. Walsky, who publishes under the pen-name Chele Pedersen Smith, is known for the romantic spy mystery, Behind Frenemy Lines, and a collection of mini-miracles, The Pearly Gates Phone Company. Putting it succinctly, Walsky writes that “Part one, ‘The Whirlwind of Writing and Promoting,/ appears in May’s print edition of The Mount Observer and covers the creative process of writing, unlocking writer’s block, editing and conjuring up promotional ideas. Part two will follow the technical side of publishing and contains links to the Amazon sites.” Part two poses some important questions and takes some significant steps towards answering them, too: what’s the deal with a book’s cover? How difficult is it, really, to generate an ebook from your manuscript? Should you print physical copies as well? How should you price those editions? And what role do royalties play in the larger picture? We’ve made attempts at answering these questions ourselves here on the blog, but it’s refreshing to find someone so articulate, like Walsky, who can sum it all up in a nice article. So if you find part two as useful as we did, you’ll be scrambling to track down that print edition of part one. If all else fails, you can simply follow Michele’s progress and stories by clicking the link (in-story) to access Walsky’s Amazon author page.
Megablockbuster-selling and iconic literary fiction author Richard Russo isn’t exactly the first name to leap to mind when we think about self-publishing, but this week he delivered an interesting interview via the web-based news platform Fosters.com. As you might expect, he and interviewer Deborah McDermott come off as rather harsh critics of the self-publishing process (describing it as something which puts “a writer’s life […] on the brink – a brink of self-publishing where craft often takes a back seat to swift scripts and swift economic returns, a brink where there is less room for the slowly-emerging novel that goes through a rewrite, and then another rewrite, and perhaps a rewrite again”). More interesting than their take is what emerges between the lines: a portrait of misunderstanding. It would seem that authors like Russo fundamentally do not understand what the self-publishing process entails, and the self-publishing industry’s heavy reliance upon editors, graphic designers, and other industry experts which the traditional publishing industry has been setting adrift during the economic downturn at increasing rates. There’s rather a lot of expertise available to the average self-publishing author, and if that author can’t afford to pay for certain services or wishes to retain creative control, that’s that author’s prerogative–and no one is forcing Russo and other authors like him to read anything he doesn’t want to read, or publish any differently than he always has. But perhaps we are, as Russo puts it, putting “righteous indignation” on the front foot. Whatever the case may be there, we’re proud of how far self-publishing has come–and that it perhaps poses a legitimate challenge to those systems and structures which have been gatekeeping excellent authors out of publishing until the rise of self-publishing set them free.
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.