Are You An Authorpreneur?

Image

 

Consider me a self-publishing convert. I know, I know. In the past, I’ve been hard on self-published writers, opting for traditional methods toward publication. But not because I didn’t admire their dreams. Heck, I live by the creed:

WISH IT. DREAM IT. DO IT.

And I have nothing but respect for anyone who dreams up a new life for themselves and then chases that dream. My problem is when they don’t care enough about their “dream,” or their reader’s hard-earned dollar, to use spell-check.

But renowned indie-author, Pamela Fagan Hutchins, has shown me the “other” side of the self-pub world: the side that believes in QUALITY and will work hard to ensure nothing less. To prove this, Hutchins spent the summer holed-up in an RV with various members of her family, and embarked on a 60-Day/60-City book tour in support of her new e-book, Leaving Annalise

And today, I learned all about her unique adventure and the valuable lessons in e-publishing and e-marketing she learned on the road, courtesy of Houston Writer’s Guild, who organized the all-day workshop.

Out of respect to Hutchins, I won’t share her how-to’s on this blog, but I will tell you this: 

INDIE PUBLISHING = AUTHORPRENEURSHIP

If you are an Authorpreneur (and this includes you, Dreamers, who have sinister fantasies you secretly wish would earn you $95-million), then develop your “dreams” like you would any business — with research, funding, networking, and marketing — because publishing a successful e-book is a business. YOUR business. And hopefully, eventually, your career.

If you must, start with a business plan and a projected timeline. Don’t trust Mom to be honest (you could write, “Gobbledy-gook blop booger-eaters,” and she would love it). Instead, hire professional editors who will wrangle your manuscript into publishing shape. Also, locate a group of beta-readers who will find any last-minute spelling mistakes. 

Then, when you’re ready, there are several available options for getting your perfected, polished novel to the masses via Kindle, Nook, and iBooks.

But getting onto the shelves at Barnes & Noble… whew! That’s a whole other story.

Happy Writing!

Advertisements

Why Self-Publishing Can Be Crap

20130509-121704.jpg

A self-published author said to me, “My writing is crap. But people are willing to pay for my crap, so what do I care?”

EEK!!

You might wonder how the above-mentioned author sells her books if they are indeed, “Crap.” Well, the $2.99 price tag doesn’t hurt and she cranks out about 8 books a year. I know, I did a double-take, too.

But this is the type of mentality that frightens me about self-publishing. Finding a quality e-book is like shopping at Marshall’s or TJ Maxx, sifting through piles of crap to find the one Diane Von Furstenburg gem hiding in the rack. The search is exhausting, and oftentimes, futile. Plus, your money is wasted on the cheap items you dared buy because, hey, the price was great. Unfortunately, though, they sucked.

My rant boils down to this: Please don’t ruin self-publishing for the rest of us. If you are going to venture down this path, please, please, PLEASE, make sure your story is the most polished it can be. Most self-publishing ventures will edit your work, but still. Before you submit, hire your own editor to give your manuscript a once-over, then HIRE ANOTHER!! Join several critique groups, too.

And realize your success is QUALITY over quantity.

Of course, there are also many brilliant authors in the self-publishing world. You’re probably one of them. And if you are, THANK YOU. I appreciate your contribution toward making the self-publishing world a quality place. Someday…

My Picture Book, My Problem

Like millions of others, I wrote a picture book. Also like millions of others, it was about Christmas. The difference is, my picture book about Christmas has caught the attention of a handful of agents and editors. My roadblock, however, is that I have never been published before and they always say–“We do not publish Christmas books by new authors.”

Grrrr….

So what’s a new author to do? The manuscript has been praised by notable Scholastic editors who have asked to see more of my work, but… I do not have another perfectly polished picture book manuscript to send them. I am so divided between jotting down new pb’s and completing my YA novel by the end of 2012, that I am spread fairly thin.

Furthermore, while I understand the logic behind not publishing holiday books by new authors (marketing dollars and all), I can’t help but wish more publishing houses would take a chance.

So what’s an unpublished author to do? Actually consider self-publishing? Or place the PB on the shelf until my YA novel is complete and published, then try the Christmas PB again?

Has anyone else hit this roadblock? And if so, were you able to find a satisfying resolution?

My blog is new and will go unread for a good long while, but still… maybe someday someone will stumble upon my dilemma and have some thoughts to share. Even better, I may stumble upon a satisfying resolution someday and share my thoughts with another writer who is going through the same dilemma.

Either way, big hugs to you all. And happy writing!