Sunday, July 13, 2014
More on Writing and Self-Publishing
My mind is still wrapped around this issue of writing and publishing. Maybe this is because I’m on the verge of having my most recent published book in my hand. There’s always the self doubt, always the fear that others won’t like it or buy it. But there’s also the excitement, the feeling of great accomplishment, especially coming on top of becoming a “real” editor. (I keep using the word “real” because that’s how it sounds to me in my head, a part disbelief and part preconception of what I think others think.)
I’ve been writing for many years and I DO call myself a writer and a GOOD writer in spite of never having been “really” published. Again, “really” being my term because of the belief that truly being published means with a big name publisher. Which leads me to today’s topic: Self Publishing.
Computers are a wonderful boon to aspiring writers. Spell check and grammar correct are wonderful tools to help writers hone their skills. Plus, there are more opportunities to see your work in print. I did a book back in 2010 through lulu.com, then a picture book in 2011 through blurb.com. These were both fairly easy drag and drop programs, choices in size, cover design, etc. were made, then wha-la, I had a printed book.
Unfortunately, the cost to print the book didn’t allow me to make any money on the venture. I did take “My Life Isn’t Flowers” to a printer in Concord who was able to do the printing for less money and I’ve been able to sell quite a few. For the most part, I would have to buy a couple hundred copies to have on hand to be able to put a more affordable price on these books. Most people can’t afford to do that or have the space to store excess copies.
Now, there are print-on-demand places online. Amazon.com has their createspace.com which quite a few people are getting into. With print-on-demand, there isn’t a need to stockpile. Createspace offers the ability to type the manuscript on the computer, change it to a PDF file then upload the completed manuscript to their site. They also offer, for more fees, services to help you create a better book like editing and marketing. There are also other companies offering similar services.
Self-published - what exactly does that mean? First and foremost, you are able to say you are published. You have copies of your book to show people. The cover will look very professional. However, because of the self-publishing world, you have to pay extra for services and they are not cheap. This means that unless you pay for it, there is no editing. What you submit is what they print! So any mistakes are left in and heaven forbid you make a glaring spelling error on your cover. What kind of an impression will that leave on you as a writer?
I’ve heard that there are some bookstores that won’t carry self-published books. I don’t know if that is a fact. I still don’t have all the answers. Part of that is because I’m unwilling to sit for hours studying various avenues online. My mind goes mushy after awhile. Sometimes there’s too much information and I can’t take it in or make a decision and sometimes I think so much that I can’t think any more.
After hemming and hawing and fighting with some issues with createspace.com, I decided to go with AuthorHouse. It was not free, but I chose to go this route because I felt I could get it done quicker. We’ll see how it all turns out. Stay tuned. I’m excited and hope to get my book by the end of the week.