Why You SHOULD Take the Dive….But Remember Your Floaties!

There is a lot of discussions regarding going with self-publishing or trying to get your book published the Traditional way-via a Literary Agent/Publishing House.  This conversation/discussion/disagreement has been going for a good while now.My only problem with these disagreements is the fact that some still think indie authors are sub par, which is completely not true. Sure, there is still some...but then there are some bad writers that get past the almighty gatekeepers and get a book deal the traditional way. Just saying. The door swings both ways.

I am not posting a blog to continue the quarrel. I am merely posting what I think are some darn good reasons you should give it a try. At least stick your toes in the water and get the temperature. But I also want to remind you to put on your " literary floaties", so you don't sink to the bottom. 🙂 There are great ways to get yourself published/seen/heard aside from the traditional channels.

  1. BLOG! Post excerpts or shorts that are in your genre and are a good example of your work.People will respond to them if they enjoy them. It is a great way to get feedback from your target market.
  2. eBooks- With the dawn of eBooks it is now cheaper than ever to get your ass on Amazon, and a number of other sites. 
  3. Printing On Demand- Also a very cheap way to get yourself published. When you find a good POD publisher, the books will have great quality, sometimes better than your average mass market paperback. You can usually purchase your own books at a decent discount from them as well. 
  4. More Variety! Believe it or not, you would be doing people a service. I will be the first to admit I love me some supernatural thrillers and sexy vampires...but as things get popular they FLOOD the bookstores with them. Why? Because that is what is HOT right now, that is what is selling. If you've got a different story to tell, then maybe the reason it is getting rejected is because it isn't in a necessarily popular genre currently....but that DOES NOT mean there isn't an audience for it!
  5. Goals! If your goal was to get a traditional publishing contract...this isn't for you. If you have said "I want to see my book published"  this is.If you want to see your book published, and cost is no longer stopping you... then do it. Allow yourself to achieve that goal! Don't be afraid to stretch your arms out...and possibly do a belly flop into the pool.
  6. No longer the redheaded stepchild! (I love you redheads...I didn't mean it!) Things are quickly changing and traditional publishing is no longer the definitive way to get a book published and be able to call yourself an author. It used to be taboo...like getting your boyfriend of two week's name on your butt cheek. But it isn't anymore. I know quite a few amazing authors that are indie. These folks are helping to shape and change the view of indie authors and more and more readers are picking up their books.

Reasons you should remember your floaties. Now before you go running and dive head first into the pool, there are some things you always check. Make sure there is water in there... nobody standing where you are about to jump, and well...can you swim?

What I mean to say is, while this is an opportune time, there are things you should be sure to do in order to be prepared for that headlong dive into the deep end.

  1. Make sure to edit! Edit! Revise! Edit! Get someone else to give it a good edit to ensure there isn't something you missed/major holes or issues. Books with typos, large plot issues, poor description may turn people off from a book that might have a potentially great story.
  2. Be Visual: Create a cover for your book. If you aren't too good at it, ask someone, or hire someone to do it for you. You may be spending a little, but even online, a snappy cover will catch someone's attention quicker than an ugly one.
  3. Accept criticism: If someone takes the time to reach out to you and give you some honest feedback to your book, or shorts that you post on your blog, read it with an open mind. I have gotten some great critiques on my own works that have definitely helped. 
  4. Don't cry if sales are low: This doesn't mean you are no good. Many authors sales come as they build up a backlist of books. Keep at it! The more you write, the more you will improve. Also, be sure your are building a platform...(pst...that blog of yours would come in handy here!)
  5. You can't please everyone. Nuff said... if someone happens to post a mean review of your book don't mope over it if you have 20 other great 4 and 5 star reviews. Some people LOVE to complain and many of those types of reviews are purely opinions of that reader. Not every story is for everyone. I have had books that I stopped reading simply because I was NOT enjoying them...they were making my head hurt from errors/inconsistencies, but I didn't go and blast them on the interwebs.  

I think that about does it...does any one else have any literary floaties to add ?

6 Responses

  1. stinginthetail

    i am thinking about self-publishing at the moment, (and it can be a great idea) but writers should be advised, most publishers will not then take on the book you self-published, especially if, as some writers do, they put the whole thing online for people to read free, thinking this display of their erudition and talent will get them a publisher/agent.

    This can be especially problematic if you're writing a series, and can't sell the first book, because that was up as a free taste on your website. I don't mean 'don't self-publish', you state some good reasons above to go for it – people should just make sure they're aware of options.

  2. Rayvenne Black

    Definitely a good point. I was aiming more with those writers that don't necessarily want the traditional publishing at all. Like me personally, I plan on self publishing for my first book and the next two after that. Hopefully even more after that.

    But yes, definitely good literary floaty to note. 🙂 Thanks !

  3. Dmytry

    Really great post.

    It is so true that self publishing is becoming an option that many great writers are considering and thus it should be given the respect it deserves.

    Self Publishing: definitely something to consider.

  4. Andrew Mocete

    Indie authors should also work within their means. If all you can afford is a well written, well edited ebook, then do just that. As you build your platform you can put more money into increasing that growth.

    And be aware of what's going on in all forms of entertainment. At the end of this month The Walking Dead will premier on AMC. It's follows a group of survivors of a zombie apocalypse and is based off an enormously popular comic, so the buzz is high. Is it a coincidence that Amanda Hocking is releasing a zombie themed book this month? I doubt it.

  5. Rayvenne Black

    Andrew, great advice to add. Definitely a well edited ebook is much better for a writer's career than poorly edited paperbacks. For my first book I am printing out a certain amount of paperbacks to do a little release party locally, as well as to supply to a local indie book store. But as you said, I know even with editing costs that this will be within my means. Maybe not so much with the next couple books.

    However, since I am using POD, any paperbacks someone else orders online will be no cost to me up front.

    Following entertainment trends is a very good idea. Many authors are releasing some great paranormal stuff on or around Halloween. Not a bad idea. I might have to check out Amanda's book. Zombies hold a special place in my heart.

    May I present exhibit A: http://tinyurl.com/2cxfvrq

  6. Rayvenne Black

    That IS my car…and on the bumper another sticker says "Zombie Hunter". I'm seriously thinking of getting white vinyl 3's to put on the driver and passenger side door.

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