All right, now that I have had my morning coffee, should have had it a couple of hours ago, but that annoying daylight savings thingie confused my brain and I woke up late, I am feeling confident enough to add on to my last angry post about traditional publishing and lit agents.
First, while traditional publishing still dominates the market, self-publishing is an option and it is less expensive than it used to be 20 years ago when you had to go to printers and pay exorbitant amounts of money to print your book. Self publishing allows you to do everything online, it is not intimidating , really, you download your document, design your own book cover if you wish. The “catch” to self publishing, however, is marketing which is separate. Unless you are great at marketing no one will know your book exists.
Case in point, I self published a book of poetry a couple of years ago, had a reading, sold a few books, it’s on Amazon, blah. First, I self edited the book. BIG MISTAKE! Get a professional editor who can see flaws. Second, I am lousy at marketing. Nowadays the internet is great, but you have to pound the pavements so to speak, you have to find clever ways to get yourself known. You might have to pay to be on the ‘net, do banners and blog ads, etc.
Marketing is definitely key in getting yourself noticed, but it is all consuming in both time and effort. So, I guess what I am saying is, “I’m lazy and non-creative in the marketing department which is why I chose traditional publishing because I need help with book design and marketing.”
Self publishing to me is an excellent way to if nothing else be able to hold your product in your hands. The first time my book draft was sent to me I beamed, it was the proudest day of my life. I think for those of you who want to make photo books documenting your family, or picture books of drawings your child makes, self publishing is inexpensive and perfect gifts for friends and family. It can also give your creative child great confidence seeing their drawings in book form. Self publishing is also cool for those of you who keep journals and want to see them in book form.
As for me, a creative writer as I call myself, I could self publish my mother’s picture book, but I want the best support for it I can get, therefore, I choose traditional publishing. When will that happen? When will I get a publisher to notice my mother’s 1950s celebrity photos and turn them into a classy coffee table book slash memoir then help me get it on the market? Still waiting, but hopeful along with probably millions of people out there hoping for the same thing, success.
Until then, I will simply…breathe.
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