December 2, 2013

Self Publishing - 1

Dear M,

There are mainly two reasons why people look towards self-publishing. The first and possibly the more common one is that they have tried getting their work published through traditional publishers but could not catch any publisher's or agent's eye. The wish to see their book in print, with their name on it, and the desire to line it up against the books of famous authors, is too strong to ignore. Self publishing beckons.

The second reason is the awareness that self-publishing offers more control over the books. For those who like to do things (or get things done) on their own - from formatting to cover design, from promoting to selling, from visiting bookshops to calling up distributors and vendors, and even going from door to door to tell people about the book - this could be the best option.

Self-publishing is not a new concept, it has been around for a while, but was perhaps not as popular or affordable as it is now. There are several instances across history of self-published books catching the eye of giant publishers, and authors getting whisked away into the land of stardom. I read somewhere that a famous poet (I forget who) had to self-publish his books first before his work got noticed.

The strength of self-publishing is also its weakness. Promoting a self-published book is not for everyone. An occasional, casual announcement about your new book is not going to bring in the crowd. A few loyal friends and relatives may chip in to buy the book, and some may even recommend it to a few of their friends. Their duty ends there. The author has to continue to scream his throat hoarse. Scream until the world gets tired of his screaming.

If the book is really good, it will begin to catch people's attention - even people who have no relation to you. They will notice your book in a bookshop - that's where the cover design and the title come in - and pick it up. A certain percentage of people will put up a review or recommend it to their friends. The fire begins to spread.


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  1. Yes, I have heard about this for some time now - yet not been able to bring myself to do it, thinking who will read it? But may be in time to come, I will.

    1. There will always be readers, that will not be a problem!
      Good luck.

  2. Only those who cam market themselves should opt for this.

    1. Indeed. I have elaborated a little more on the next post, that will be posted today evening. Please read and share your thoughts.