I’ve heard enough criticism of Indie Authors and self-published books to last a lifetime and for the most part, I agree with them. I believe a lot of self-published books are low in quality. I think the editing and proofreading of some of these books suck, and I think some of the book cover designs are far from eye-catching. But I also believe we are overlooking one major detail:
Many books that are published by big Publishing Companies have some of these same problems, but no one is going to talk about that because after all, who wants to stand against St. Martin’s Griffin? No one will talk about these poorly written, and sometimes poorly edited books published by some of the most famous Publishing Companies. It is because these books have the reputation of professionalism. They are backed by publishing houses with teams of support systems that Indie Authors simply do not have. Is this an excuse? Of course not. But what I would like to suggest to Indie Authors is this: JUST WRITE.
Produce a professional product and keep producing. Your content may suck at first but you will never please everyone so just write. Write and invest in the professional quality material. Identify the readers who like what you write and engage them. Self-Publishing is a slow game. So don’t go into get rich or die trying. I would even suggest you have another career on the side for bills sake and livelihood because it will be awhile before you start making real money from your book sells. This will not only assist you in life outside of writing, but it will help you to invest in your own writing. You should never solely depend on your writing career financially starting out because everybody knows writers do not make much money. Traditional Publishing or Self-Publishing, we are not ballers so don’t set yourself up for disappointment by raising the stakes too high. Ambition is great, but this is a slow process in which Indie Authors need continual improvement by producing plenty of books.
It is at this point that you will need to identify your writing goals. What is it you want from self-publishing a book? Is it to make the New York Times Bestsellers list? Is it to entertain your circle of friends only? Why are you self-publishing a book? This is a question only you can answer and depend on what that answer is you will have to take it from there. Your motivation, however, will have to be deeper than making money. I’m not talking about finding god and all that extra stuff. This ain’t church. I’m talking about your personal inspiration because whatever that inspiration is it will have to be the driving force behind your will to keep going. There will be frustration after frustration in an industry to which, despite failure, you must continue to produce. It’s exciting initially because you’ve published a book, which is a huge accomplishment, Yay!! Go You! But what now?
You set it up in your mind that the money will start pouring in and it doesn’t happen. That’s because it doesn’t work like that. Not even for writers who traditionally publish. As I’ve stated, a lot of Self-Published books suck for various reasons but don’t let the industry fool you:
Traditionally published books do too.
You think these books are automatic bestsellers? You think they’re striking gold? Nope. That’s the illusion but I’m here to tell you: writers don’t make money. At least not at first. Not Self-Published writers or Traditionally Published writers and you can take that to the bank and cash it.
So what do I propose? Do you throw in the towel? Do you do away with that manuscript? Do you stop here? No. You pass go, collect $200 and use it to keep writing. Whether your aspiration is to publish traditionally or Self-Publish, just write. But dedicate yourself to it. Here are a few tips to help get you started:
– Good Editing / Proofreading
– Nice Book Cover Design (FYI: Most major publishing houses buy multiple stock images from places like Getty images and combine them using Photoshop. Wanna know the secret to that nice book cover? I just told you).
– Easy to Follow Structure
– Jaw dropping opening scene
Keep it simple, keep it professional, and keep it coming. Don’t worry too much about the formalities and all that extra stuff these so called professionals keep telling you because your story probably does suck to them, but that don’t mean it’s not a masterpiece to someone else.
Just keep Writing.