Have the perfect idea for a novel that has yet to be written? Think you have what it takes to be the next J.K. Rowling? Lucky for you, self-publishers provide the outlet for you to publish your work from home! It’s cheap and easy, but before you put that pen to paper—or finger to key—take a look at possible perks and pitfalls of the self-publishing industry.
The Internet is a great place to start almost any task—there are many online self-publishers, such as Lulu.com and Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, that provide an outlet for uploading your work. These outlets broadcast globally giving you access to a huge audience. eBooks generally sell for $0.99-$5.99 and are more successful in niche markets. The process to upload is basically the following: Decide the size of your book and format your Word document to that size, turn that document into a PDF, create a cover look in Photoshop and save it as a PDF and then upload these PDFs to the self-publisher of your choice and wait for the book proof to be returned.
With such an open market, authors are faced with a lot of competition. The process is fairly easy which allows for anyone, and everyone, to publish their ideas. That popularity leads to the lack-lustre feel that the majority of self-published books have. With that being said, quality of writing doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. Brilliant novels get lost in the sea of mediocrity. Only a small fraction of self-published writers find stardom, but don’t get defeated, 50 Shades of Grey was initially a self-published series!
The overall goal of self-published is to find success and create a place for yourself and your work in the market. In order to so, a great amount of effort must be put forth, whether it is in the creative development process or in advertising. Take the time to research your genre, discuss with experts to determine pricing, book covers and publishing outlets. Be realistic—with such a small success rate, it is important to manage the amount of money and time used. Don’t quit your day job just yet!