Publishing Strategies: Self Publishing (featuring YWSer Alteran!)
When thinking about publishing your book, there are a lot of questions and concerns that come to mind. Especially when looking at the traditional publishing industry, a lot of authors might not like the idea of sacrificing control over the project they have spent so much of their time and energy creating and nurturing. There are a lot of ways that authors are still involved in traditional publishing, and are a necessary part of the process, but sometimes the presence of a major company isn’t a comforting one. In some cases, as well, traditional publishing outlets just don’t seem to be interested in the work you have to offer.
For many authors in these situations, self publishing becomes the answer. In self publishing, the author typically retains full control of their work and the process of putting it out into the world. Of course this also means the author is typically the only one working on every part of putting it out into the world. It can be a lot of work, but a lot of writers are ready to take on the challenge.
One such author is Adam Singletary, known on YWS as Alteran, who so generously agreed to take some time to share some of his experience in self publishing his novel Elder’s Secret as well as advice for other writers thinking about trying their hand at self publishing.
Q: How long has it been since you released Elder’s Secret?
A: This month makes a year since I first published Elder’s Secret on Kindle.
Q: Have you felt successful in your endeavors thus far? Or is it too soon to really tell?
A: I do feel successful, but it is still really early. I’m not able to support myself yet, but the fact that my book is out and available for people to read is a huge success in my opinion.
Q: There are a lot of reasons for authors to choose the self-pub route; what went into your decision to go this way with Elder’s Secret?
A: When I was weighing the options for self publishing the biggest reason I went this path was because I would have full control. I use Amazon and one of it’s other assets to print and distribute Elder’s Secret, but as far as promotions and all other aspects I have total control. It’s not an easy path, but the feeling I get when I have a successful day is amazing because I can say I did that. Not my publisher or publicist, but me.
Q: How much research did you do before deciding to go ahead with self-publishing?
A: A ton of research. Self-publishing is very involved and it’s important shop around based on author’s need and what they want to accomplish. There are a lot of options available for self publishing and each one offers different services. I ended up with amazon because of how user friendly the process was. The draw back is my book is only available on Kindle in its electronic format.
Q: When preparing your book for publication, how much editing did you put in yourself? Did you use many beta readers? Did you pay to have it professionally edited?
A: I did a lot of editing myself over the course of a year. Then I had some friends help me by reading it as well since as the author I found to difficult to catch everything. I didn’t pay for it to be professionally edited, but I do think that is a fantastic option and there are a number of websites that have editors looking for work. I think I will seek out having a professional editor for book two though.
Q: Since a lot of self-pub authors are on their own in terms of marketing, what have you done to promote your book and yourself as an author?
A: I have done anything I can thing of. I’ve put up posters in my car windows to promote the book. I’ve used youtube, facebook, twitter, and any other social site I could get attention on. Kindle offers a few promotional tools that I’ve taken advantage of and it’s helped a bit. The challenge isn’t just getting my book into peoples hands, it’s getting them to read it. This proves most difficult considering the great number of works out on Kindle right now.
Q: After starting this experience, do you think you’ll go the self-pub route again in the future?
A: I would take this route again. I would still like to be able to someday have the traditional publishing experience, but I’ve had a lot of fun working on my project and getting it off the ground.
Q: What advice would you give to other writers interested in self-publishing their work?
A: Do your research and be diligent. No matter what anyone says the greatest promotion for a writer is word of mouth. Self-publishing is not an overnight success situation. The work involved is long and difficult at times and you will spend many restless nights not sleeping while you work on promotions, writing more books, and trying to balance a life. For anyone who takes on self publishing, diligence and research are your two best friends.
What are your thoughts, dear reader, on self publishing? Is it an avenue you would be interested in pursuing for your own work? Is it something you’re actively working at right now? Share your thoughts, experiences, or advice in the comments!