New Year is for some an excuse to celebrate hard but for others, myself included, it is a time to reflect on where one is and where one wants to be. Writing that book you have been thinking about for years might be one of those things you want to do but feel is impossible.
Well I am writing this piece to inform you that writing and publishing a book is possible these days, for free. If you have access to a computer or a pad of paper writing the book is obviously free. Publishing a book, however, is not obviously free. Let me show you how I have managed to publish 4 books, available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle ... for free!
Self-Publishing vs Publishing
There are basically 2 ways to publish a book. Through a Traditional Publisher or to publish yourself through a self-publishing method of which there are a few.
Both have pros and cons but personally I favour the self-publishing route but it is only fair to look at both methods.
Traditional - Pros
Traditional Publishing has some enticing Pros. Your book will be on display in some major bookstores. There will be some editing guidance. There may be some marketing of your book. And there is the advance, of course,
Traditional - Cons
There are also Cons though. Each Publisher only commits to a small number of new publications each year. In the tens not the hundreds. New authors are rare. The chances of success for an unknown author are slimmer than slim. The editing and/or redrafting of your book may not be to your liking. There will be deadlines to meet. Not a bad thing to have a deadline but if you have a fulltime job and family or other commitments, your time might be limited. The Marketing will probably be minimal and you will have to do quite a bit of work yourself to show the world your book.
Publishers print books in the thousands to place in bookshops. They may or may not sell. I personally am a little concerned about the potential waste and environmental effect.
Finally, if your book does get bought by a Publisher it is typically 18 months until publication.
Self-Publishing Cons are that you only have yourself to write, edit, proofread, create the book cover and Market the book.
It was this final Con that began to put me off approaching any other Publishers. If I had to market my book whether I use Traditional Publishers or Self-Publishers the success of my book is basically down to me with either method.
However, there are some amazing Pros of Self-Publishing. Most centre on freedom.
There are no deadlines to meet. Well that is not the greatest freedom for a writer. Writers should set targets and deadlines in order to get the book out and get onto the next one.
Many years ago I would happily spend a few hours in a bookshop to find my next book to read. This is not how I buy my books anymore. I am not alone. Amazon is the global bookstore these days. Book formats are hardback, paperback and digital. The latter is the most popular in America these days. It is important that your book is in digital format at least but paperback is also important. Both are easy and free with some Self-Publishers.
I can charge whatever I want. A Publisher typically pays royalties of 18 pence a book after the advance value in royalties has been sold. Through Self-Publishing my royalties range between 50 pence and one pound per book.
With a Print on Demand Self-Publisher there is zero waste. The book is only printed when someone buys it.
It is wise to work out specifics of your genre and listen to feedback about your book, however Self-Publishing allows me to write whatever I want to write. I can choose whatever subject I like. Whatever characters; whatever world; whatever writing style; whatever story; whatever beginning and end I want.
Personally, this is the thing I like the most. It is not just that I can write whatever I want but that anyone can. And they do. Self-Publishing has brought a host of terrible and wonderful writers into print. I love reading, which is why I write. I certainly love any medium that encourages freedom of expression and talent.
So if you want to write a book, follow my blogs for some tips and encouragement.
Get that book of yours written and published in the New Year.
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I have a few books available to buy on Amazon and I wrote, published and put them there without paying any money. There are ten times more books on my computer, in my head and in my dreams at various stages of developement.
Publishing, Self-publishing, Editing, Marketing, Writing a book