Guest Author - Nicole Pickens
One of the most challenging tasks any writer faces in their career is that of publishing. It is why writers write. They want to share their thoughts and imaginations with others.
The traditional paths of publishing have changed to focus more on profit than on content or art. Profitability in the literary market has invited an overwhelming class of writers who are writing strictly for profit. They hope for wealth and glamour in bookstores, internet, movies, and television. These writers have scarred not only the public with fabrications and sensationalism, but an industry forced to lick its wounds and shield its wallet.
Everyone is searching for the next best seller. Copywriters, editors, and literary agents swim endlessly through submissions only to buckle under battle fatigue. If your work survives the campaign you graduate to the next levels of legalities and tense negotiations, all of which can take an enormous amount of time.
Self-publishing on the other hand is an investment. It is a very large investment. There are many facets to the business end of publishing to understand and consider. The three most important factors are overall appearance, marketing, and distribution.
The overall appearance means the inside and outside of the book. This can be a major challenge for the typical writer because they love to write but are helpless in editing especially their own work. Many writers are not visual artists and don’t care to be, yet the book’s cover must somehow sing to the passing buyer so that shopper will buy it.
Marketing is an absolute necessity in self-publishing. No one will buy anything if they are not aware of its presence and availability in the market. Books are no different. Even in traditional publishing companies, marketing can demand multiple helpings. All marketing is not created equal and not all marketers are worth the money they charge. You must do extra research in this area, because you will be charged handsomely for activities you could have done yourself for free.
Distribution is how your literary creation gets moved around and where it gets to stay so it may be purchased. There is a cost to having your book picked up from a warehouse and driven to your favorite bookstore, or shipped out to you. Even if you chose to use an electronic medium only (ebooks), there is a cost to having network access and storage for those cyber-shoppers, as well as fees for merchant services and employees.
You must thoroughly research the self-publishing companies on the market. Take into consideration the cost factor of using them. This is a cost you must pay for up front. Some of them are unethical and could be very costly and damaging to your reputation. Remember, they all want to make money before you do, and that means . . . now.