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Self-Publishing: Side Effects

Self-Publishing: Side Effects

Are you an author? Are you looking for more exposure for your work?

We all know self-publishing used to be the last resort for writers, but, as of late, due to the success of a few self-published authors, many writers see it as another means of getting their work out there.

It’s a GIANT STEP for authors but a SMALL STEP for readers.

The biggest challenge is not whether we choose to go down the self publishing route or stick to traditional publishing; it’s how to convince readers to buy books by self-published authors. It can be done. We’ve seen it happen.

What do you think of when you hear the word traditional publishing?

Wide distribution
Bookstore potential
High writer credibility
Media exposure
Well-edited literature

Basically, what you get more often than not is satisfaction because you get a vast amount of aid from the publishers.

What do you think of when you hear the word self publishing?

Limited distribution
Challenging sales
Rejection from most reviewers
Responsible for marketing and promotion
Printing costs (if you’re not just distributing ebooks)

You see where I’m going. Writing the book is challenging enough, but, when you have full responsibility of the entire publication process, it becomes difficult to distinguish which task is the most crucial.

We’ll call the lists above Side Effects. These are just the side effects from the writer’s POV. We still have the reader’s POV to analyse. Clear your schedule for the day.

It’s not the mentality of self published authors that one needs to change. They have already decided to go down that route, so they’re ready to take on the challenge. We need to change the mentality of the readers. A self published author’s book will not gain exposure if readers don’t know about it.

We know what readers think when a traditional publisher releases a new book: it must be brilliant. Okay, maybe we don’t all think that, but we naturally assume the quality (writing skills) will be good.

What do readers think when they hear the word self publishing?

Poor editing
Poor covers
Poor storytelling

This is not good. The immediate reaction is that self published books won’t live up to books by traditional publishers. It’s no secret that self publishing is changing the book publishing industry, but it still has more negative than positive connotations.

Traditional publishing is doing its thing.

It’s time for self publishing to do its thing and change the mentality of the readers.

Change the side effects.

We don’t expect poor quality from traditional published books. Why should we expect it from self published books? It’s up to self published authors to step up the mark.

So, where do we start?

It all starts with the manuscript. Writing the story is one part. Turning it into something publishable is another part.

So, what do you think? Is it time for self published authors to raise the bar?

Al Stone