Tag Archives: self-publishing

Challenges Faced by Self-Published Authors and How to Overcome Them

Challenges Faced by Self-Published Authors and How to Overcome Them

Self-publishing is one of the most viable options that a writer can take in order to have a book published. But unlike traditional publishing wherein the publishing needs of the writer are all taken care of by the publishing house, a self-published author has to handle everything. Which makes it a very difficult undertaking. In truth a self-published writer faces more challenges than a traditionally published one. But this does not mean you can’t succeed.

Lack of a Financial support

As much as you try to tell yourself that it’s okay not to have a publisher, this will still come out as a challenge. This is because having a publishing house gives you resources that will make the publishing process so much easier. There are so many aspects of having a book published that needs to be taken care of. First you will have to have your book edited, then you have to design a book cover and layout for it and lastly have it published by a publishing house. And all these things need a lot of capital to set up. Which is why having the backing of a publishing house is important if you want to succeed.

Solution: Having financial support to create your book is important but it is not a necessity. Even without backing you can still succeed if you know how to play it smart. If you want to have your book edited there are a multitude of freelance book editors that are happy to assist you at a reasonable price. Just remember that the more experienced the editor the better the quality of work. The same could be said for the book cover and design. As for the publishing process you have the print on demand option where your book will only be printed once it has been sold. With this option you don’t need to print out and stockpile your books in hopes of selling them. This would also eliminate needless waste of resources.

Multitasking

If you think about it self-publishing a book is the epitome of multitasking. This is because not only do you write an entire manuscript you also have to look for a means to publish your book. Not to mention the minor aspects of publishing a book. This situation can get stressful very fast and may lead the writer to stop midway due to the strain.

Solution: There is stress involved in every situation and it is a measure of your character on how you manage it. This also goes for self-published writers. Learn to handle your stress and stay positive. If the workload does seem too heavy for you, try to delegate some of your work to a professional.

Creating a fan base

This is one of the hardest things you will have to confront if you are a self-published writer. This is because your fan base is technically the lifeblood of your book campaign. And if you don’t have a fan base that means your chances of ever selling your books are exponentially low. This is why you have to create a fan base for your book as soon as possible. The faster you make a fan base the faster you sell your books.

Solution: Creating a fan base is all a matter of getting readers to notice your book. One way of doing this is by giving away free samples of your books. Free samples help your book circulate and gain attention. You can also send a sample of your book to fellow writers and book reviewers. You can use their reviews as a way to get attention for your book.

Advertising

It is difficult to advertise your work as a self-published writer because you lack the necessary funds to advertise your work using traditional advertising methods. Some examples of these methods are advertisements using popular forms of media such as television and newspapers. And having your book featured in these media forms will costs you a fortune.

Solution: You don’t really need to use traditional advertising methods to make an impression on readers. In this day and age there are a lot of methods that you can use to spread word of your book without spending a fortune. One method is using social media such as Facebook and making your very own blog site. You can also create a book trailer and load it through YouTube. With the technological advancements coming out every day advertising can be so much cheaper and effective.

How to Prepare Your Manuscript for Publication

How to Prepare Your Manuscript for Publication

What is a Manuscript?

When used in publishing terms a manuscript is the typewritten or handwritten draft of any literary work. It is understood to be an author’s written, typed, or word-processed copy of a work, as distinguished from the print of the same. Before the arrival of printing, all documents and books were manuscripts. Manuscripts are not defined by their contents, which may combine writing with mathematical calculations, maps, explanatory figures or illustrations. Manuscripts may be in book form, scrolls or in codex format. Illuminated manuscripts are enriched with pictures, border decorations, elaborately embossed initial letters or full-page illustrations. In short a manuscript is the prototype of a book before it is made into a book.

How do you make a Manuscript?

When you create a manuscript, there are many things to take into account. In truth when it comes to the book production process this is the most difficult because it takes a lot of time to come up with the main concept of the book. It takes a lot of hard work, soul searching and hours and hours of writing to make one. And it does not even count the additional hours of revision and double checking. It is understandable though, if you take into account of the fact that some books have at least 100,000 to 200,000 words. Which is why you’ll need as much help as you can when you start writing a manuscript. Here are some very useful tips.

  1. Make a writing schedule that you can keep, as it was stated before the writing process takes a very long time. So you should really make plans on what time you start on your manuscript and how much time you plan to give to this schedule. It can be anytime, just as long as you can regularly keep up with the schedule.
  2. Make your workspace as comfortable as possible, it can be a café, your room or even a cabin in the woods. All that really matters is that you are comfortable.
  3. Leave the formatting and corrections for later. When you make your manuscript, especially for the first time your full attention should be on the content.
  4. Make an outline for your manuscript. Think of it as the blueprints for your book, and like any blueprint your outline must be well thought out. Don’t rush the process.
  5. Read books for inspiration. This does not mean that you get their ideas for yourself. Just use their ideas to fuel your own creative drive.
  6. Ask advice from fellow authors. It pays to ask help from fellow writers because they are some of the only people that can relate to how difficult it is to create a manuscript.
  7. Have family critique your work. It is kind of difficult to have someone go through your work and point out the inconsistencies, but if you want to be a good writer you will have to toughen up and take the criticism. So it’s best that you have family and friends check your work because you know that their criticism is not malicious but is meant to make your work better.
  8. Make a deadline for yourself. This is not meant to pressure you or give you any anxiety. It is meant to give you a feeling of responsibility for your own work.
  9. Double check your work before you send your manuscript to any publishers.
  10. Have your work checked by a professional copyeditor. Although it is good to have trust in your abilities it is still a good idea to have your book checked by a professional. It just adds to the quality of your work.

How many words should a manuscript have?

When it comes to how many words a manuscript should have, there really is no set word count. It all really depends on the genre and whether it is your first time to write a novel or you are already a veteran writer. If you are writing an adult novel 70,000 to 80,000 words are quite acceptable, but 100,000 words seem a bit too much for an adult novel. For Science fiction books 100,000 to 150,000 words are perfect, not too short that it would lack detail and not too long to make it tedious. For middle grade books 20,000 to 25,000 words is the best amount. When it comes to Young adult novels 55 to 69 thousand words are quite acceptable. For picture books 500 to 600 words are good enough. For westerns 50,000 to 80,000 words are good. As for memoirs 80 to 89 thousand is perfect. These word counts are usually the format followed by a number of writers and is thus taken as a norm.

Why are manuscripts refused by publishers?

There are a lot of reasons why manuscripts are refused by publishers. Here are some examples.

  1. The manuscript follows recent trends too closely. Although it is understandable that some authors want their books to be relevant. But sometimes following trends tend to make your book too common and in the end lose its uniqueness.
  2. The manuscript has too many errors. Although it is quite acceptable that there are some grammar mistakes on your manuscript, too many mistakes may deter the publishing house from accepting your work.
  3. The characters are too boring. When your characters have no personality and are as bland as stale bread there really is no reason for a publishing house to take it up.
  4. The plotline is predictable. It is very unlikely that your work is selected if your plots are too linear and the twist can be seen a mile away.
  5. It is too preachy. Although it is a good idea to have a moral in the story, being too preachy in your manuscript could make your book boring and unattractive to prospective publishers.
  6. It is too repetitive. The story may be moving too slowly and tends to repeat itself.
  7. The story may seem too orchestrated. One of the things that a publisher usually looks for in a story is authenticity. If the story does not seem feasible in real life, there is little chance of it getting published.
  8. The words used may seem pretentious.
  9. The story has no cohesion. The storyline is all over the place and the events and characters do not seem to mix well with one another.
  10. It is just plain boring. Although there are no glaring errors, the story in itself is just to plain, it does not seem to pop and can’t get the reader’s attention.

Where should you submit your manuscript?

In submitting a manuscript, there are two options. You can send your work to a traditional publishing house. A traditional publishing house has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that you need not pay a thing for the production and promotion of your book. The disadvantage is that you will give up a majority of creative and monitory rights to the company. The other option is that you can send your work to self-publishing houses. When you self-publish, the advantage is that you will have overall freedom for your book. The disadvantage is that you will have to pay for the production and promotion of your book.

How Much Does It Really Cost to Self-Publish a Book?

How Much Does It Really Cost to Self-Publish a Book?

All over the world there are a multitude of writers who have created a number of manuscripts and have dreamed of having them published.

But sadly, due to the uncertainty of getting accepted through traditional publishing their dreams have gone unfulfilled.

This is where self-publishing comes in.

Through self-publishing you can have your book published without going through the hassle of going to a traditional publishing house and waiting to be selected.

The main question though is how much does it really cost to self-publish a book?

Is it cheap?

Is it expensive?

This answers the main question, how much does it cost to get self-published?

Before we delve into the more technical aspects of self-publishing though and its costs, it is best to give a summary on self-publishing and what potential authors should expect.

The difference between self-publishing and traditional self-publishing is the fact that self-publishing is all in all funded by the author, from cover design to overall publishing all the costs is shouldered by the author, while in traditional publishing the costs is shouldered by the publishing house.

Thus if you choose to self-publish you should expect that you will have to spend money to sell your book.

Let’s break down the costs of the self-publishing process, and we’ll share some secrets to bring those costs down if you’re budget-conscious.

Just remember though that the main intent when you self-publish a book is that it should be of good quality and marketable.

The process usually involves the following:

  • Development editing
  • Copy-editing
  • Cover design
  • Formatting For Print And Digital Conversion
  • Getting An ISBN
  • Distribution
  • Getting Your Book Printed
  • Getting Reviews Pre-Publication
  • Marketing & PR

Development editing

This process usually begins after you have already finished making your manuscript.

Having a developmental editor is necessary because an editor’s main job is to evaluate and critique your manuscript, suggest and provide revisions, and make sure it is good enough for publishing.

The costs of having a developmental editor look at your work depends on the amount of experience the editor has and the amount of hours worked on the manuscript.

The costs could range from $2,520 to $18,200 depending on the quality of work and yet again experience of the editor.

Copy-editing

After having your work looked at by the developmental editor you should have a copy-editor have a look at your work and see if it needs any further corrections, such as spelling mistakes and adjustment for grammar, punctuation and consistency.

The costs could range from $840 to $7000 depending on the amount of work done and the experience of the editor.

Cover Design

This is a very important part of the process because readers predominantly choose books by their covers.

True if a book has good reviews readers may also buy it.

But as a neophyte writer you should pay special attention to the quality of your book design and make sure that it catches the attentions of the reader.

It is imperative that you make the book cover pop.

There are various ways you can have your book cover made.

One way is doing it yourself if you have the skills and using your own images or buying the license of a specific image. You can also buy premade cover designs for as low as $50.

If you hire someone to make a custom cover design, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $3,500

Formatting For Print And Digital Conversion

This part of the process really depends on your tech-savviness.

If you have the tech skills you can use programs like Sigil, Calibre or Pages. If you prefer to hire an expert, you can find someone to do the print-on-demand conversions for as little as $150 or as much as $2,500 to convert from Word or InDesign.

Getting an ISBN

ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a must when it comes to self-publishing. This is because should you wish to have the book published under your name the ISBN is a prerequisite. You can purchase them for $100 each $250 for ten.

Distribution

This technically for free, because you can get your book distributed to various retailers.

Getting Your Book Printed

Nowadays there are various ways to self-publish a book.

With the rise of self-publishing houses all over the world the options are limitless.

But the best way for you to save is by going with print on demand companies wherein the books get printed only when someone buys them.

That way you don’t have to stock them and risk them getting ruined by rats, termites or the elements. And due to the fact that you don’t need to get them printed outright there are no fees to pay upfront.

Getting Reviews Pre-Publication

When it comes to getting reviews for your books, the best way to get them reviewed is by going to professional reviewers.

You can go to sites like Kirkus, BlueInk and Publishers Weekly. These sites sell review packages.

You can also go to a multitude of bloggers that can help critique your work.

The usual cost of a review differs from one site to the other. Kirkus usually costs around $425, BlueInk Reviews usually costs around $396 and Publishers Weekly costs $149.

Marketing and PR

Marketing and PR is crucial when it comes to selling your book, because the better you conduct your marketing and PR the more widespread your selling range is.

The best way is to hire someone to market for you and set up blog tours. This could cost you around $10 to $40 an hour. Should you get a professional marketer it may cost you around $40 to $65 an hour.

It is recommended that you have someone market for at least 10 hours and on the high end around 40 hours. You can also do some marketing in your spare time.

The thing to remember when you self-publish a book is that the success and failure of your book is up to you. It all really depends on how much effort and resources you are willing to invest on the success of your book.