How to Succeed as an Author
Brett Arends reports:
"Would you like to publish your own book?...Whatever your reasons, it’s a dream or a fantasy of a lot of people. And here’s some good news. These days it’s incredibly easy. Thanks to companies such as Lulu and Amazon’s Createspace, and ebook readers like the Kindle and the Kobo and the Nook, it is simple and straightforward to publish your own book, professionally and credibly...And a surprising number of people are making a living at it. Dan Dillon, director of product marketing at online publishing company Lulu.com, says a growing number of independent authors are selling well...Happily, self-publishing is not just for those who want to write about women who want to be tied up and whipped by billionaires...In a nutshell: It is incredibly easy. I am no techie (I write with a fountain pen), but even I found it very simple to format and upload my manuscript, design the cover, publish both an electronic and a paper-based book, and put it up for sale on platforms such as Amazon. During the course of it I learned a lot about what to do, and what not to do...The good news is, anyone can do this...No, you don’t need to go through a traditional publisher...Traditional publishers say they will 'market' your book, but that hasn’t been my experience. Instead I’ve had to do the marketing myself. Traditional publishers generally devote most of their marketing muscle to the big-name authors who need it the least...Traditional publishers will pay you an advance, but it’s generally a small amount. And the economics aren’t great...Once upon a time, traditional publishers were essential because they basically controlled access to the bookshops. But in case you hadn’t noticed, there aren’t that many bookshops left. People shop online...I don’t mean to dismiss mainstream publishers completely. I’m sure there are good ones out there. There are good editors, who work with new authors and help them build careers. There are publishers who merit their existence...Back in the day, a new author had to bang on a lot of doors just to find an agent willing to look at them – and then the agent had to bang on a lot of doors in the hope of finding a publisher willing to look at the manuscript. Most of the manuscripts from unknown authors were relegated to what the publishers called 'the slush pile,' where they sat, unread...Thanks to companies such as Lulu and Amazon’s Createspace, and ebook readers like the Kindle and the Kobo and the Nook, it is simple and straightforward to publish your own book, professionally and credibly."
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