Seek and ye shall find …

After I blogged about the possibility of venturing into self-pubbing, I went in search of a past article that featured a “to-do list,” for all self-published authors.

In the past 12 hours, I’ve destroyed my office in search of the electronic and hard copy of this article, gave my dog good reason to wonder why the hell he chose to live with me, and gave my neighbors proof that “The writer” next door really has a few screws loose.

But it doesn’t matter because I found it!

The article, 8 Things Readers Want from Self-Published Authors, which was posted in the May, 2011 issue of Writer’s Digest, offers a “to do” list for the discerning self-published author, who wants to be taken seriously. I thought this relevant topic was worth sharing and reading again.

The top three to-do’s:

Hire professionals for editing, proofreading, and design.
Put most of your cost toward editing. That means, aside from development or content editing, you must eliminate all proofreading errors and typos if you want to be taken seriously. Evelyn Lafont also recommends using beta readers to put out quality work.
Hire a conversion house for clean e-book formatting. (By the way, TheGreenStudy offered that bit of advice in our discussion about self-publishing. Way to go!)

You may want to take a look at The “Self-Pub Is Crap” Debate, which served as the catalyst for the to-do list.

This time around, I’m making a copy to hang on my wall and I’m storing one in Google docs just before I clean up the mess that is now my office.

Enjoy.

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I’m a writer: Is it okay to scream for joy now?

“It’s an exciting time to be a writer.”

This seemed to be the buzz phrase at the NJRW conference I attended last weekend. Every other workshop, particularly those that spoke about the expansion of E-pub, self-publishing and the juggling for position of traditional publishing, seemed to hold this sentence in high regard.

After, reading an article about authors no longer being at the mercy of publishers, I began thinking about my options, and started to see the truth in those few words.

While I’ve mentioned that I would love to be published by a traditional publisher, I’m starting to see the possibilities of venturing into other avenues of publication, which may lead me back to that traditional path.

At one point, traditional writer’s organizations, such as RWA, didn’t acknowledge self-published authors as “true” authors. In all fairness and appreciation, RWA is an organization whose mission is, “to advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy. RWA works to support the efforts of its members to earn a living, to make a full-time career out of writing romance—or a part-time one that generously supplements his/her main income.”

The organization didn’t believe that the author should “pay” for the publication of one’s book. I totally get and respect that.

However, as we all know, times are changing.

Authors are trying to broaden their readership, have control over their work and sell books where they can. Thank goodness, RWA was savvy enough to recognize that many of its members have gone the e-pub and self-publishing route, and support them. This is a good thing.

As I see it, I can remain a member of RWA and NJRW and be considered a “published” author, even if I self-pub. Granted, the author must make a certain amount in revenue from their self-publishing to be considered a true published author within RWA.

But even with that caveat, (which isn’t unreasonable) this new consideration gives an author the opportunity to get their books out, particularly when traditional publishing is slow to pick up and rejections are more than overwhelming.

If I decide to go the self-publishing route, I will follow two words of advice that often come with the, “it’s an exciting time to be a writer,” cheer—copy editor. I will secure the services of a copy editor who can go over my book with a fine tooth comb and offer suggestions that will make my book the best it can be.

I don’t want to publish crap. And I don’t want to try and sell it to anyone. IMHO, some of the books on the self-pub scene totally missed that important piece of advice.

Just tossing it out there on this Thursday afternoon.

Self-publishing and e-books: The new sheriff (and deputy) in town

For decades, self-publishing has been the dirty word that’s been swept under the tumbleweeds and kept locked in the back room of the saloon. And e-what?

But times …they are a changin’ and people—particularly progressive publishers—are taking notice. It’s good for some, not so good for others.

Between self-published authors and e-books, one can’t possibly look at the publishing industry the way it once was. From book covers to trailers to print-on-demand (POD), things on changing, and everyone wants in. Even traditional authors who are established are having their back titles published in e-book format. They see the potential.

One company enticing authors into seeing an even greater potential is PurpleBrainBanana, an online marketing company that develops high-end story graphics, to die-for- book trailers and marketing tactics worth remembering. The article touts, “how self publishers and authors notice a huge increase in online sales.”

With all the publicity, the battle lines for or against self-publishing and all facets of e-books are being drawn.

And while it’s dying down (somewhat), the recent shut down of LendInk, left a lot to ponder about the e-books, authors’ copyrights and contracts.

From the incident, it’s clear that traditionally published authors are trying to hold on to their royalties, and fight any form of–what they deemed to be–piracy, while those who believe in e-books and all it entails, are fighting for the right to read (and lend).

While the authors who shut it down disagree, supporters of LendInk, say the site has the capability to increase reader base and royalties, (particularly among Indie authors) and provides a way for the avid reader to continue reading. There was even rationalization about someone being allergic to the paperback books and e-books gave them the opportunity to read to their heart’s content.

Frankly, my head is bursting from the ever evolving self-publishing and e-book brouhaha. I’m a progressive traditionalist. I’d like to have my books published by a reputable publisher, earn royalties, distribute in mass market and dabble in e-book. (The techy in me, totally loves e-book!) I want it all and in this current climate, there’s too much from which to choose.

One thing is for certain, e-books and self-publishing are coming on strong, both barrels blazing and with reinforcements such as PurpleBrainBanana.com. I don’t think they’re leaving town any time soon.

I’m in a quandary, though. Perhaps, I need to visit the saloon, and finish reading my Google alerts—at least 100+ articles, so that I can make heads or tails of this growing debate.

What’s your take?