Self-Publishing 101

I like to thank Sara Rothman for allowing me to upload her presentation over self-publishing. I attended her panel at Anime Matsuri 2017 and found her presentation very informative and decided to share that information with everyone. Sarah Rothman has written An Otaku Abroad: The Affordable Japanese experience for Anime and Manga fans. For more information, you can visit her website here. She has a book, Suicidal Samurai, coming out in May that, if anyone is interested in, can pre-order here.

In this post, I’ll be going over some of the main points discussed in the presentation. I will also upload the entire document on my blog. You can find it here.

So, to begin with:

Self-publishing is basically where an author publishes their own book, independently, without the involvement of a third-party publisher and at their own expense. The author has a lot of control but have to do all the work themselves like marketing, PR, format, price etc. There’s also outsourcing where the author can have someone else do, for example, the marketing part of the process.

There are advantages and disadvantages to self-publishing.

Advantages:

  • Easy to do
  • Control
  • Outsourcing
  • No Gatekeepers

Disadvantages:

  • Personal costs
  • Negative stigma
  • Lots of competition
  • Dealing with bookstores

There are more advantages and disadvantages and those can be found on the presentation.

Next,

Where to start?

It’s helpful to know why you’re writing. Money? Status? Bragging rights? For fun? I think, in essence, each motivation will help with the process and how much time and effort you’re willing to put into a story.

It’s also important to write A LOT. You can publish a book if you haven’t finished it. You may have heard it plenty of times but write every day. Even if what you wrote today can’t be used at all, at least you’re staying in the habit and practice. I honestly believe that practice makes perfect.

  Editing

It’s nice to read through a story multiple times. Read it once for grammar, another for story, etc. If you try to find all the problems at once, I feel that will get complicated so focus on one thing at a time. It’s also helpful to read it out loud or use audio reading software. Another tip, have another set of eyes. I find it helpful when I have someone else read my story because they might catch something I didn’t. And remember, it’s your book so you make the decision on what to delete or keep.

(A few)  Self-Publishing Websites:

  • Amazon.com
  • Lulu.com
  • Ingram Spark
  • Smashwords (ebook only)

A bit more information:

Choose your cover design carefully. People to judge books by their covers.

The pricing for ebooks and printed books will vary. There’s also distribution costs to take into account.

The business of self0publishing is always changing.

Niche books tend to well.

Marketing is touch and requires effort. Social media and freebies help.

Build your email list.

Always keep writing. The more books you have out there, the higher the chance there is of one book hitting it big. Also, the more books you have publish, the more money you can have coming in.

Lastly,

Slow and steady. Self-publishing, and writing in general isn’t something to get rich off straight away. It takes time and effort. Don’t be discouraged. If something isn’t working then change it until it does.

Thanks for reading. Like I mentioned before, this is just a basic summary of the presentation. You can have the full document here.

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