Monday, 30 June 2014

Busting Self-Publishing Myths

The world of self-publishing is filled with many myths. Unfortunately, those myths often scare writers, artists and other creative folks from attempting to publish and profit from their work. Yes, it can be a scary world and there is lots of misinformation. If that misinformation has stopped you from publishing your work, then let me set your mind at ease with my very own session of myth busting.

Myth: Self-publishing is for people who give up.

Self-Publishing is hard work and not at all for those who give up. As your own boss, you will be in charge of your own decisions and make all the tough choices. However, the benefit is that you reap all the rewards, never have to compromise, and keep most of the royalties.

Myth: Self-publishing is expensive.

It can be expensive if you pay top dollar for the big three: editing, formatting and cover design. However, you can do much of this work for free or very cheaply if you do it yourself or make friends with people with these skills. With a little know-how, research, and gumption, you can do it yourself.

Myth: You need to be tech savvy to self-publish.

The tech and computer skills you will need can easily be learned. In order to format your work into an e-book, you will need to understand some very basic html. Or there are some inexpensive programs to use that do most of the hard work for you, like Scrivner. It costs $40 and in addition to being a great program to write a novel on, it can compile manuscripts into e-books for you. Try is for free 30 times before you have to pay for it. I am not a tech savvy person and the first time I formatted my full length novel, it took me about six hours. The second time it took two hours and now I can get it done in about an hour. You can do it too! 

Myth: You need to know graphic design to self-publish.

Although understanding graphic design would be helpful, you don't need to. I designed one book cover using the extremely user friendly site Photobucket. It took about twenty minutes and a royalty free image I purchased for $7. If that is still too scary, you could buy a pre-made cover for about $30 from Go On Write. Did you check out our post on Inkscape? Take a look and get some free ideas. There are cheap and easy options out there. Use them!

Myth: You need to have a diverse platform before you self-publish.

Having a platform that includes Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Google+ connections with a thriving website or blog will definitely help you on your self-publishing way. However, you can build this as you go. I know I did with my first novel. Yet each time I've published a work, it got easier. Build as you go.

There is no wrong way to self-publish, just lots of different pathways. So don't let the myths and misinformation stop you. Give it a try. You've got nothing to lose but some time and elbow grease.

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