Deciding to self-publish is an option that many modern writers choose to get their workout in the world. Gone are the days when self-publishing was an expensive process that involved a variety of professionals or vanity presses. Also, gone are the days of getting your book accepted by a publisher in order to get distribution and build a readership. Alongside social media, many authors have been building their own readership through self-publishing. In this post, I wanted to talk about my own self-publishing journey and what it actually takes to put your book in your hands.
Self-publishing industry exposed
If you spend any time in self-publishing, you’ll realize that there are many people who are selling various courses on how to do it. You’ll also see various book promotional services promising to get your book in front of people. The effectiveness of these services and courses is very dependent on a variety of factors.
However, some of the biggest problems will come from far more legitimate places. One of the reasons I do not do Amazon exclusive titles, is because Amazon regularly changes the rules on authors. In recent memory, payouts have decreased and with Kindle Unlimited they are paying people by how many pages they read. This means that authors are encouraged to write things that pull people in early and keep them reading so that authors can get paid. As one recent article put it, “the author is dead, long live the content service provider.”
The competition is quite high. Even popular sites like Joanna Penn will have you believing that the path to self-publishing mastery is easy and straight-forward. That’s not quite right, to be honest. Self-publishing is just as complicated as traditional publishing, just in different ways. It took me a while to understand both system, and I had to try and fail at both before I found a way to actually get my books in front of people.
People make it sound effortless. Successful people won’t tell you about the amount of money they spend on advertising to get ahold of that success. I was in a writing group at one time and one woman, who wrote professionally, confessed that she spent $1,500 a month on advertising with Amazon to keep her books top ranked. I took this bit of information and hung onto it and kept…