Self-Publishing, A Trick or Treat

I’ll end the month this week with the pros and cons of self-publishing, so you can decide if self-publishing is a trick or a treat. Be sure to check out the previous posts about spooky self-publishing statistics, why authors are scared to self-publish, and how to scare away readers.

Pros

  • Freedom of expression — You have complete control over the content of your book. You don’t have to edit your manuscript to meet the opinions of a traditional publisher.
  • You control how your book looks – Everything from the cover to the interior formatting is in your hands. With traditional publishers, authors usually have no say in these decisions.
  • You set your own price — It can be as low or high as you would like, depending on your target audience and goals. Again, this decision is usually not given to the author when working with traditional publishers.
  • You receive 100% of your royalties — There’s no middleman stealing your profits.

Cons

  • No one critiques your manuscript — How can you be sure your story is “worth reading”? You can hire professional editors to review your book, test your manuscript on a group of readers, or ask trusted friends, family, and colleagues for feedback.
  • You don’t have to edit your manuscript — A messy manuscript turns into a poorly-written book that very few people (if any) will want to read. You can choose to hire an editor to prevent this from happening.
  • You control your book’s design — This is great if you’re a designer but not so great if you have limited graphic skills. Again, you may want to hire a professional to help you.

While self-publishing isn’t for everyone, it is a great option for many writers. Only you can decide what is best for you. Talk to other writers. Learn about the industry. Research publishers. Educate yourself, and then trust your decision.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

How to Scare Away Readers

Happy October, everyone! In honor of this month, I’ll be sharing Halloween-themed posts each week. Be sure to check out the previous posts about spooky self-publishing statistics and why authors are scared to self-publish. This week, I’ll talk about things that will scare away readers and how to avoid these mistakes.

1) Typos and poor grammar

While even books published by big name traditional publishers occasionally have mistakes, readers expect books to be near flawless. If your manuscript is full of typos and grammar mistakes, readers will not take you or your book seriously, no matter how great your story. It is difficult to review your own manuscript, so I always recommend hiring a professional copyeditor.

2) A poorly developed story

Sometimes authors get rushed to meet a deadline or lose track of the direction of their book. If elements such as plot, characters, setting, organization, and voice aren’t properly developed, your book will leave readers disappointed. Since you are attached to your story and know in your mind how it is supposed to read, it is always best to have someone else review your story. Consider hiring a developmental editor or ask trustworthy friends, family, and colleagues to provide feedback.

3) A generic cover

Despite the cliché “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” readers decide whether or not to purchase a book based on the cover. Rather than using stock photos or artwork, I highly recommend spending extra for a personalized book cover that is professional and that captures the essence of your book.

I’d love to know, what scared you away from a book?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Why Authors Are Scared to Self-Publish

Happy October, everyone! In honor of this month, I’ll be sharing Halloween-themed posts each week. Be sure to check out last week’s post about spooky self-publishing statistics. This week, I’ll talk about the haunting thoughts that keep some authors from self-publishing and share why you shouldn’t be scared of this publishing option.

1) The fear of not being taken seriously.

There was a time when self-publishing authors weren’t taken seriously. People referred to self-publishing as vanity publishing, but today, self-publishing is changing the publishing industry. Self-published authors have the opportunity to gain the same credibility and success as traditionally published authors. Many of them earn spots on prestigious lists such as NY Times Bestsellers lists, earn a lucrative income, and win various rewards and other recognitions. If you are willing to make your book professional, you can be taken seriously as a self-published author.

2) The fear of failure.

Some people associate self-publishing with low book sales and income. This is not accurate. It is important to remember that everyone has a different definition of success. Many self-publishing authors don’t publish with the goal of fame and fortune. They might create a book to share with family, or they may simply want to see their story in print and never worry about actually selling it. For these authors, yes, sales and revenue may be low, but there are also countless other self-published authors who strive to be profitable and who successfully do so. The key to self-publishing success is defining your goals and creating a marketing and promotion plan that will help you achieve those goals.

3) The fear of the process.

Self-publishing can seem a little overwhelming. You will be responsible for making a variety of decisions, including cover design, editing, promotion, and pricing. While control is what brings many people to self-publishing, it can feel a little overwhelming to some. Don’t let the process scare you. A good self-publishing company will have a wonderful team to guide you through the process and help you make the best decisions for your project. While you are in control, you are not alone.

I’d love to know, why are you scared of self-publishing?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.