Thursday, February 10, 2011

To Self-Publish or Not To Self-Publish

Disclaimer: I, Kevin Lyle Dillon, am certainly not an expert on the publishing industry, Traditional or Indie. These are simply my observacions! (I think that's Spanish!) Also, I should let you know that I am a big advocate of Indie/Self-publishing.

And, here we go.....

Like Shakespeare wrote "To Self-pub or not to Self-pub?" Or, something like that.

Now, when most people read that self-publishing is "on the rise", they may just claim the authors who already had a platform or somewhat of a fan base, are the ones succeeding. I don't think that is true at all. Also, many think I'm alluding to the popular notion that the Do-it-yourself method is taking over traditional publishing:
For those unaware, traditional publishing is the process of querying an agent, then said agent (hopefully) takes you on, and in turn, they sell your work to a publishing house. It's like Entourage but real life and probably not nearly as fun. Preferably, that publishing house is one of the larger ones due to their ability to reach a larger reader base. Such prominent ones include Random House, Harper Collins, Alfred K. Knopf.
Moving on, it's evident with the advent of such companies like CreateSpace, Lulu, and Lightning Source (just to name a few) that there are several outlets for those who want to skip the query-agent-publishing house-process, and go straight for self publishing.  Despite the raging popularity of self-publishing companies, there is a stigma attached, which AT TIMES may be well grounded.

Don't get me wrong. Self-publishing is wonderful. I plan to self-publish my first novel (when finished), and I've read just about every success story thus far from those who self-published (i.e. JA Konrath, Amanda Hocking, and much more) It gives new writers, as well as old ones a new chance to get their work out to the masses rather quickly. In return, the author is given the chance to make more money via higher percentage royalties, and without dealing with the Big Traditional Publishing Houses. (If you sign with one of the big boys in N.Y., you have to wait at least six months for your book to hit the shelves.)

But let's face it: not everyone's novel is worth reading. So, the question is how do you distinguish yourself? I'll be honest I used to believe that the only way to sell books if you're self-published author is promote the heck out of yourself. NOW, while that my be true, I overlooked the most essential part: WRITE A GODDAMN GOOD BOOK! Yeah, with your promoting you may sell a good amount of copies, but eventually word will get out, like it usually does, that you're not too great. And, despite what the purists may say, you need to have a great, amazing, earth shattering cover. Ok, maybe little too much? But you should ensure your cover is fantastic. When those avid book fanatics on Amazon are shopping, there more likely to at least click on your book if the cover jumps out to them.

To sum my first post: Self-Publishing: Woo-hoo! On the rise! Too many people doing? Maybe. Will the quality outweigh the quantity? I surely hope so. Well, I hoped you enjoyed this! And I thank you!

And for those annoying skeptics, please just take a look at this.

-K.L. Dillon

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