Publishing Dreams - The Old Version
It used to be - if you wanted to get your book published, you'd have to dream big and wish hard. Hope you'd land an agent and the agent would find you a publisher. (Then everyone would buy your book, your life would change, and you'd be rich and famous.)
What were the odds of that happening?
An often quoted statistic back then - your odds of getting a first novel published were 80,000 to 1. (The odds of becoming rich and famous were too high to calculate.)
I never believed it. But now when I see how many novels are published each year, it's entirely possible it was true. For every 80,000 authors who queried an agent or publisher, ONE would get published.
Things had to change.
Publishing Dreams - The New Version
Now all it takes is a finished book (a good one) and some knowledge about how to create a print on demand paperback and an eBook. A lot to learn, but not impossible. The options for authors keep increasing almost daily. You can:
Some people, well-meaning I'm sure, will tell you the only way to go if you choose the indie route is to do it all yourself.
I don't agree. After several years and a dozen books, I think asking authors to write, edit, design, format, convert, publish, and market their own books is asking too much. Some can do it alone. Most can't.
Anne R. Allen has a wonderful blog post about not listening to all that good advice - When You Step in Dogma, Scrape it off Your Shoe: Writers, Ignore Dogmatic Marketing Advice!
She says it better than I can, so please read her column. While it's about ignoring dogmatic marketing advice, the same could be said for publishing advice. There is no "only one right way."
As long as I'm quoting people who've said things better. I want to mention an interview with Henry Baum by Chris Jane on Jane Friedman's blog. Baum is the founder of the hybrid publishing service,Kwill. He also takes issue with the "only one right way to go" kind of thinking.
"It seems awfully weird to me that there should be such gate-keeping about the right way to self-publish. The whole point of self-publishing is that it gives people freedom to take the road they want."
Freedom to choose. That's what indie publishing is all about.
I'm always looking for different publishing models and new ways writers can publish independently without spending a fortune, giving away all their royalties, and still stay sane.
Which is why I'm impressed with Reedsy.
It's a site where authors can find editors, designers, marketers, and publishers. If you're already familiar with Bibliocrunch - then you know what a time-saver this kind of site can be when you're looking for already-vetted professionals to help you put together your book.
Each offers different benefits, but what drew me to Reedsy is their new Book Editor.
I'll let them explain it in their own words. "It's a free and powerful writing tool that lets you write and export a professionally typeset book." You can read more about it on their blog.
Having spent several days trying to learn Scrivener, having bought but not yet used one of Joel Friedlander's Book Design Templates, the idea of having a free and easy tool that takes care of formatting and conversion and lets you work with collaborators got my attention. They had me at free and easy.
And if you can't figure out how to do it yourself, they have links to professionals who can help.
I'm not looking to replace our terrific interior designer, but I do know that on our last book, Letting Go: An Anthology of Attempts, it would have been so much better to have had a way to work with M. E. Hughes, the book's editor, while we were getting the manuscript ready to submit to the designer.
And I know a lot of cash-strapped authors who can't always afford a designer who might find this tool useful for producing a print-ready project.
You can learn more here:
(A note: I've joined both Bibliocrunch and Reedsy. I even have an affiliate link with Reedsy, To be fair, that came after I checked them out and thought their concept was pretty brilliant. But. I have not used their services so I can't say much about pricing for professional services. If you use this link, you get a $20 credit. But that's not why I'm mentioning it - I was delighted to learn about the site so I wanted to pass it on.)
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