Whether you’re about to dip your toe into the self-publishing waters, or are an experienced writer, you’ll probably know that there are no quick fixes when it comes to self-publishing, or anything else in life that’s worthwhile, if we’re honest.
You won’t find a ‘silver bullet’ solution here, but you will find some sound advice on how to succeed as a self-published author.
Here are some of the cold, hard truths about self-publishing.
Think you know what it means to self-publish? Do you have a preconception in your mind about the ‘standard’ of a self published book or book cover, the ‘quality’ of the writing, or the credibility of the author?
In this day and age, lots of the things you already think you know about self-publishing are actually unwarranted.
Many people have a gut reaction when they hear about self-publishing. They think it’s somehow traditional publishing’s ‘poor relation’. That it’s what you do if you can’t get an agent, or your work isn’t good enough to entice a traditional publisher into backing you.
One thing we frequently discuss with aspiring authors is whether it’s possible to build a reputation, and a successful writing career, with just one book.
The simple answer is, no. To be recognised as an author, you really need to have the weight of several books in your repertoire, but really the discussion is about whether you can launch a writing career with just one book under your belt.
There are arguments for both sides. Let’s be honest, it’s a struggle to get your first book out into the world. Not just the mammoth effort of actually writing the words, but the huge learning curve to navigate editing, formatting, cover design options and self publishing platforms. Not to mention the post-publication marketing efforts to actually produce any sales.
For the purposes of this blogpost, I am drawing a distinction between these two terms.
Let’s look at the dictionary definitions:
Writer noun noun: writer; plural noun: writers
a person who has written something
Author noun noun: author; plural noun: authors
someone who writes books as a profession
There you have it. The crucial difference between the two.
Now, not every writer wants to become a professional, and this is fine. Some writers are publishing academic papers, or a family history only intended for a select group of people.
But if you’re a writer who dreams of calling it your career in a few years, there are certain steps you need to take. You need to build a bridge to get from being someone who writes, to being someone who writes as a profession.
Here are nine suggestions to help you make that leap.