Song of the Day: Fly From the Inside by Shinedown
There is a great deal of excitement buzzing around lately about e-publishing. Authors across genres are casting a favorable eye toward this now viable form of publishing. More and more authors who have been making good money with traditional publishers are jumping ship in favor of more control and ultimately more income.
Add to that, many respectable authors are advocating digital books, hollering at you to pay attention to the shifting tides of the industry. Chief among them is Joe Konrath. If you haven’t already, check out his take on e-publishing. He puts it all in perspective in a series of eye-opening blogs. Other authors at the bullhorn are Dean Wesley Smith, Barry Eisler, and even Bob Mayer.
There is no doubt e-books are the wave of the future. With Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Createspace, and Smashwords, it’s easier than ever to break into publishing.
The fever from reading blogs, writing communities, and pioneering friends is infectious. Many of us are weighing the idea of wading in the e-pub pool. I say – Great!
But, are you ready?
Don’t swim within 30 minutes of eating. In other words, just because you’ve finished a book doesn’t mean you are ready to smack that baby on Amazon. Hold up. Take a hard look at your work. Have you polished your masterpiece to the best of your abilities? Have you had a million eyes plus two look at your story? Not just friends and family, but people you trust will give their critical and constructive feedback.
Wear the appropriate swimming attire. Make sure you are marketable. By that I mean know who your audience is. Will you appeal to that market? How will you stand out among other authors in your market? You must also either hire someone to design an eye-catching book cover or learn to create your own. Either way, the key is to capture the attention of the reader as well as mimic the essence of the story. Build a web presence. In this digital arena, it is a must to have a website and/or a blog. Readers need to be able to find you, learn more about you, and connect with you. That’s one way to build a fan base. You can’t expect people to find you in an ocean of other storytellers without some kind of name recognition.
Put on your floaties. You’ll need staying power. Digital publishing moves faster than traditional publishing. Readers want instant gratification. If they like your book, they are going to want more. Will you be able to give it to them? Be prepared to offer readers more such as a blurb or excerpt from an upcoming release, even if you are still in the writing stage. Think outside the box!
Slather on the sunscreen. Because once you are out there, you will be subjected to the harsh reality not everyone will like your book.
And don’t pee in the water. Always be gracious when interacting with reviewers, readers, industry professional, and other authors. This is common sense.
Dip your toes in first. Do your research. Make sure e-publishing is right for you. It’s not just about making a book available for online purchase. You can’t expect the currents to guide you. You still need to man the oars, check wind directions, scrape off barnacles, and navigate. You are responsible for promoting yourself and your career. Participate in blogs, submit to review sites, scratch a few backs, and NETWORK.
Wait for the right wave. If you are unsure you are ready to cannonball into e-publishing then be patient. Remember, there will always be readers. But often, we only have one chance to impress.
Me? I’ve got my snorkel and fins and will be joining the tides of e-publishing soon. Stay tuned. I’ll be blogging all about my journey.