Authorpreneurs: Self-publishing With Pride!

Writing your book is only the beginning!

There was a time where any writer who self-published a book was thought to do so only because he or she had written a book no publisher wanted to publish. The writer would turn to one of several “vanity” publishers and pay to have their book printed and assembled. He or she would have a few hundred books produced to pass out to family and friends while experiencing the satisfaction of feeding their (ego) by telling people they had written a book. Thus the word “vanity” was attached to such writers and the self-publishing industry as a whole. This term was applied even if the author sold his books/products. Traditional publishers drilled into the public psyche the idea that any material not published traditionally was trash.

There is no other business I can think of where a person that invests their time, talent, and money to launch an enterprise or create a product is degraded by having their efforts called a “vanity” project. If creating your own business/product is a vanity act that would mean Microsoft, Dell Computers, Wal-mart, CNN, and The Huffington Post are all vanity enterprises.

Historically “creative people” have always been known to have some self-esteem issues. The bulk of their time is used to improve their craft with the hopes that someone will tell them they are talented or worthwhile.This not only applies to writers but also actors, musicians, singers, dancers, and painters, all in search of approval or validation.

Game Changers Give Birth to the Authorpreneur

With the advent of companies such as Amazon's CreateSpace, Lulu publishing, AuthorHouse, iUniverse, and many others offering editing services, press releases/promotional tools and book cover designs which rival in quality with any traditional published book; the winds of change have arrived!

Lots of writers are ignoring the traditional publishing process without even sending so much as a single query letter to a publisher. These people not only see themselves as writers but also as entrepreneurs/Authorpreneurs.

An Autorpreneur is defined as an author who creates a written product, participates in creating their own brand, and actively promotes that brand through a variety of outlets.

Sally Collins an Authorpreneur recently wrote: “People think the end game of writing a book is getting published, but it's not. The end game is making money influencing, touching, and entertaining a vast audience with your story.”

A New Mindset Takes Hold

My point is self-publishing these days is no longer seen as a "last resort" or some "vanity" exercise. Many writers are looking at it as their first option. Having said that like anything in the market quality eventually rises to the top. Not all self-published or even traditionally published books are "Masterpieces" such as Snookie from the Jersey Shore, "A Shore Thing". Unfortunately books today are viewed as a success only in terms of how well they sell. It's magic when both a well-crafted book comes to light and the public embraces it. However there are many people who would be content selling a million ebooks for 99 cents such as John Locke did and earned $300k in 5 months. The goal is to get paid for your efforts no matter what your chosen field is.

Naturally not everyone is going to hit the ball out of the park but the playing field is starting to level more between those who self publish and those that are traditionally published. "50 Shades of Grey" began as a self-published book. The Daily Beast recently published an article titled How Fifty Shades of Grey Is Shaking Up the Business of the Romance Genre.

“E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey. In just six weeks, the trilogy of BDSM erotica has sold more than 10 million copies in the U.S. alone. James self-published the Grey books through a small Australian press before revised versions were put out by Vintage in March.”

Another writer by the name of Jessica Park recently wrote an article titled How Amazon Saved My Life. In it she goes over the advantages of self-publishing.

The following comes from an article the Associated Press ran on April 16, 2013.

Texas woman self-publishes, hits best-seller lists

"Colleen Hoover skyrockets to success as self-published books lead to publishing, film deals."

"I had no intentions of ever getting the book published. I was just writing it for fun," said Hoover, who uploaded "Slammed" a year ago in January. (2012)

Soon after self-publishing, people she didn't know were downloading the book — even after it was only available for a fee. Readers began posting reviews and buzz built on blogs.

Missing her characters, she self-published the sequel, "Point of Retreat," a month later. By June, both books hit Amazon's Kindle top 100 best-seller list. By July, both were on The New York Times best-seller list for e-books. Soon after, they were picked up by Atria Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint. By fall, she had sold the movie rights."

Having recently written my own book My Cat Won’t Bark! (A Relationship Epiphany), I am just now taking the plunge into the Authorpreneur arena. I plan to keep my fellow Hubpage writers posted regarding my journey as well as share with you any viable marketing tips and networking groups I discover along the way. Below are two options I have come across.

Believe in yourself!

Amazon KDP Select Program

Meetup.com

More by this Author


Comments 31 comments

Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 4 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

Oh wow! I am soooo glad I found this hub, dashingscorpio!

I have just edited my book for the nth time and am about to have one last read through before putting it on Kindle.

I decided that time is passing and I cannot wait for all the long-winded palaver that goes with trying to send it to agents and publishers only for them to (more than likely) reject it. After all if so many of them rejected JK Rowling they hardly inspire confidence, do they?

So thank you for being a breath of fresh air ... I will be watching your progress with interest.


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

Angie Jardine, Thanks for stopping by and posting your comment. Congratulations on writing your book! Wishing you all the best!


SJmorningsun25 4 years ago

Love this! You're so right, that self-publishing is no longer the last resort. In fact, the ease of it now makes me wonder why for so many decades we've depended on know-it-all publishing CEOs to tell us what's "good" literature and what's not. As if they were omniscient or something! I self-published a novel last year, and though it hasn't been any commercial success, I've certainly enjoyed knowing I have a published book. Thanks for this great Hub. Voted up, useful, awesome, and sharing!


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

SJmorningsun25, Thanks so much for wonderful comment! I thought you might be intersted in taking a look at this Chicagoland Book & Author Marketing Network group on meetup.com. They are actually based in Downers Grove which may be a distance from you. However I suspect there are other similar groups in your area. Congratulations on publishing your book (your way)! http://www.meetup.com/Author-Author/


tyliz19 profile image

tyliz19 4 years ago

Very cool article. I have written a book, half of its sequel and am working on 2 stand-alone titles at the moment and I never know what publishers are true and which are scams. I will definitely have to look into self-publishing more. Thanks so much for putting this up. and Congrats on your book!


ohmygod profile image

ohmygod 4 years ago from New Jersey, USA

very nice hub. informative and inspiring. congrats on 'taking the plunge into the Authorpreneur arena'. and all the best with your book.


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

tyliz19, Thanks for your comment and congratulations on writing your books! You sound like a very prolific writer!

ohmygod, Thank you for stopping by to post your comment. Us writers have to stick together and encourage one another. :-)


dndswordsmith profile image

dndswordsmith 4 years ago from Philadelphia County PA

Absolutely marvelous, thank you for sharing. I will be keeping up with your progress. I am having my book proofread and will be self publishing it. I like the new term I've learned from your hub, "Authorpreneur." I will be using it.. I will be supporting your efforts and I'm sure it will be a great read. Keep on writing!!


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

dndswordsmith, Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your comment. Congratulations on writing your book! Welcome to the world of "Authorpeneurship"! :-)


Practical Paws profile image

Practical Paws 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Your insights are useful for all the wanna-be authorpreneuters that lurk around hub pages -- myself included. Definitely keep us posted on all your sucesses, both large and small.


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

Practical Paws, Thanks for your comment. I plan to write a follow up every six months depending on what transpires.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 4 years ago from London, UK

Very interesting read - First time I have seen the word "Authorpreneur." It was inspiring to read about other Authors and I wish you success with your new book. I like the front cover - very attractive/Colourful.

Congrats!


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

Lady_E, Thanks for stopping by and leaving your well wishes! They say everyone has at least one book in them! LOL!


Mr Love Doctor profile image

Mr Love Doctor 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

I'm afraid you have neglected to mention one important reason why self-published books have traditionally gotten a bad rap: they usually look awful. The fonts are crap Times New Roman, the formatting is all wrong, there is no frontispiece or professional table of contents, the covers are poor quality, made with fuzzy images at far too low a resolution - all hallmarks of someone not taking their time or researching how a good book looks. The same holds true now with Kindle books, and the annoying part is that if you bother to learn a little XML, you can make your Kindle book look as nice as anything published by a major print house.

The simple truth of the matter is that if you take care with your formatting, you can make a book inside look just as good as a traditionally-published one. With nothing more than Word or Publisher. (Don't use Open Office because the " " marks look like they do here on HubPages, and that's not professional.) With the cover, either learn a graphic-arts program like Illustrator or GIMP or have a friend who knows help you. If you experiment with fonts and make sure to save it to a high-quality format with at least 300 pixels per inch, if you are ANAL about making sure it looks professional, no one will be able to tell the difference. I have published two books myself using CreateSpace (under my real name), and people who pick up my books are shocked to learn they are self published. Between the two of them, I've sold about 700 copies, mostly to schools.

In my case, I was lucky to have a professional graphic artist show me the ropes using Adobe Illustrator. He took a lot of care with me, crafting a truly amazing book in long sessions at his house. But he taught me well. Recently a friend asked me to help her format her book after she saw mine.

If you want an example of what I'm talking about, look up my book "Burnt Sienna" right here on HubPages. The cover I designed myself, using the free program GIMP.


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

Mr. Love Doctor, Thanks for posting your comment. Your statement, "The simple truth of the matter is that if you take care with your formatting, you can make a book inside look just as good as a traditionally-published one." That pretty much says it all. Quality is left up to the individual.


nanderson500 profile image

nanderson500 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

Self publishing has definitely come a long way. Nice job, voted up.


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

nanderson500, Thanks for stopping and the vote up!

Opportunities are all around us!


honeybee2u profile image

honeybee2u 4 years ago from PNG

Thank you very much DashingScorpio for sharing your experience through this useful hub and to all those who commented here. This hub has been of help. Regards, Honeybee.


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

You're welcome honeybee2u, Thanks for your comment. By the way I participated in the Kindle Select free promotion last week. This is where authors set up to 5 days allowing Kindle owners to download their book for free. The theory is it helps (unknown) authors get more exposure and creates word of mouth advertising to future buyers. During the first 4 days I had (12,400) people download my book! My 5th day is scheduled for next week. Marketing and promotion are the keys to having a successful book versus one only family and friends read. Best of luck!


healthylife2 profile image

healthylife2 3 years ago from Connecticut, USA

I really enjoyed your article and appreciated that you said self publishing can be a first option and is not considered a failure. When I write a book(one day) I will probably put it on amazon and see what happens. I was surprised to hear Fifty Shades started that way. I hope you share your progress and hope your next book gets discovered by a big publisher. Voted up!


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 3 years ago Author

healthylife2, Thanks for your wonderful comment and the vote up too! I do plan to write a follow up article detailing some of the things I've learned about getting publicity, reviews, and target marketing. Another avenue for self-publishers who write "How to..." books is they have the ability to create workshops/seminars and webinars around their topic.


Ebonny profile image

Ebonny 3 years ago from UK

I too am one who has never contemplated publishing a book in the traditional way and will be looking into publishinging a short e-book. Meantime, thank you for this great article and I look forward to your updates. Voted up etc.


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 3 years ago Author

Ebonny, Thanks for your comment and the vote up!

Make sure to let the HP Community know when your book becomes available. Best of luck!


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 3 years ago from Long Island, NY

Really good info with great references to those other resources. I never thought there is a name for what I do... Authorpreneur, I should put that on my business card now that I wrote two books as well as my online waiting. :) I found your hub very useful and voted up.


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 3 years ago Author

Glenn, You are indeed an Authorpreneur! :-)

Thanks for your comment and the vote up! Best of luck!


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Authorpreneurs: Self-publishing With Pride great hub and I wish you all the best on your journey to publishing a helpful and useful hub indeed.


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 3 years ago Author

DDE , Thanks for your comment and well wishes!

I plan to periodically write updates.


Ann810 profile image

Ann810 2 months ago from Sunny Cali

Hi, your book title has a clever and catchy title. If an individual likes writing, they definitely should take a hit at publishing at least one book. Thanks


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 2 months ago Author

Ann810, Thanks for stopping by to read my hub and post a comment.

I agree with you that if someone likes writing they should give self-publishing a try. It's been said that everyone has at least one book in them. :)


louise-barraco profile image

louise-barraco 2 months ago from Ontario

This is great I have written a few books but haven't gotten them published yet this hub will help me get there eventually thanks


dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 2 months ago Author

louise-barraco, Thanks for taking the time to read my hub and post your comment. Best wishes with your books!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working