This edition of Writer’s Digest (the March / April 2009 edition) has an amazing selection of articles on self-publishing – and actually does an amazing job of covering, literally, just about everything you actually need to know to get started self publishing your book. In the interest of full disclosure, as most of you know I own a self publishing company called Dog Ear Publishing, Dog Ear is represented well in one of the articles on resources for self publishers.
The articles take a very straight forward approach to defining what authors need to know before choosing to self publish their book – no punches are pulled in any way, but conversely very little negative prejudice shows in ANY of the articles. I couldn’t actually find ANY myself, but a few other readers I surveyed felt that some of the writing was ‘too honest’ about the chances of self published works ending up in the traditional market… I tend to believe that reality is uncomfortable for many folks – especially when it’s fairly applied to their dreams and wishes – so I was pretty comfortable that everything I read was pretty much just grounded in the realities of our market.
Jane Friedman – publisher and editorial director of Writer’s Digest – opens the discussion with an article titled “Straight Expectations.” This is a quick intro to the 5 key items authors should consider… not that any one of the items would dissuade a potential author from self publishing, but each is a critical item for review.
Contributor Andrea Hurst – president of Andrea Hurst Literary Management – is next with “The Stark Reality of Self-Publishing: An Agent’s Perspective” – and tough medicine that authors looking to self publish their book need to take in large doses. Even though self-publishing seems to be a logical first step in getting your book into a traditional house, the chances of success don’t really seem to be much better than if you’d just sent a query letter and sample chapter – and with good reason. The self-published books that fail to find an audience do so not because they are self-published, but because of some other mitigating factor (such as quality of writing; lack of marketing by the author – yes, even as a traditionally published author you’ll be asked to help out to a large degree; or often times – just no market for the book on a broader basis…). Even with all the ‘medicine’ Ms. Hurst’s piece is an amazing perspective from one of the significant gatekeepers of the traditional publishing world.
Joe Wikert – you’ll know him from my comments on his blog Publishing 2020 – he’s one of the gurus I read on a daily basis because his take on technology in our industry is amazing. His article The Changing Landscape of Self-Publishing highlights this in great detail – and highlights how little so many of us really understand about what is going on ‘out there’ – our industry (if you can even call it ‘our industry’ any more…) looks nothing like what any of us expected even a single year ago – let alone 10 or 15 years ago.
More articles follow – even one that discusses Brunonia Barry – along with commentary by readers on self publishing… it’s an amazing issue (can’t tell that I enjoyed it?) – so go out and get your copy today!
Filed under: book marketing, Joe Wikert, self publishing, Self Publishing Company Comparisons | Tagged: book market, book marketing, book publishing, Dog Ear Publishing, Jane Friedman, Joe Wikert, self, self publishing, Writer's Digest | 1 Comment »