The Merits of Self-Publishing
Do You Have What it Takes?
It can be both an exciting and frustrating time when you have something to share and want to get your thoughts noticed. Perhaps you're a writer who has never been in print before. Or maybe you write some online content and want to become a novelist. Either way, you have some work ahead of you if you want to have a successful future.
For writing articles, you can write for several websites, e-zines, and in-print publications easily enough. All it takes are persuasive query letters for well-written content and developing relationships with editorial staff. Sign up for newsletters (maybe even volunteer to write for some of them), and write on just about anything on this site and others out there who need both a constant stream of content as well as traffic via interested online readers.
But when it comes to writing books, book publishers tend to be picky - they have a set of guidelines to follow, plus they always have tons of manuscripts come through their hands each day. They have to weed out the mediocre from the valuable, sometimes without even giving the ones with good potential a fair chance. That's why you have to keep at it, submitting to various publishers, changing your focus if necessary, and be persistent. Of course, it's easier said than done. While you're waiting, though, you might want to consider another option that can serve two purposes - to get you in print and show publishers that you are a serious writer.
Why not publish your manuscript into a book yourself? There are several from which to choose (all you have to do is type "best self-publishing sites" on a search engine to find them). My favorite pick is http://lulu.com, because the only fees I pay are for purchasing a copy of my book (at a discounted rate) plus shipping.
And while not all self-publishers are alike (or worth it), you need to consider your budget, what kind of book you want to publish, and how long it will be. Once you've done that, you can turn yourself into a published author with the click of a mouse!
The benefits of self-publishing are many, including:
- You can skip the middle man editor and publish your book on your own terms.
- Self-publishing is easy to do.
- You are in charge of your own advertising campaign.
- You can make a paperback, hardback, or even an e-book.
- Your book's fame can draw the attention of traditional publishing houses, which may lead to their interest in your work.
- Your self-published book will add to your list of accomplishments.
- You will earn money!
While the benefits are many to having the control of publishing your work on your terms, it you might also prove your downfall if you are not good at marketing yourself. If the self-publisher you choose has the option for a marketing package for promotion, it's worth spending the extra cash so that you can spend your time writing the next big project.
The Rich and Famous
If you're still not fully convinced that self-publishing is the way to go, consider this: famous authors such as Stephen King, John Grisham, Walt Whitman, and Virginia Wolfe are all popular authors who relied on self-publishing for some of their books, gaining the attention of traditional publishing houses and building their fan-base.