Are you an e-author or are you for real?

Since I got a Kindle for my birthday, I’ve been exploring self-published e-books, a part of the publishing industry that had escaped me up until then.

In the past if you wanted to self-publish you had to pay a fair bit of money to a printer and that didn’t get you marketing or publicity – it was down to you to get the book out there, in a crowded bookshop market.  Now it’s free to self-publish as an e-book, and you can get taken on by the online retailers very easily, often with good royalty deals.

So if you can self-publish – should you?  The answer  – as always – is yes and no.  An e-book from an unknown author works best if it answers a practical need.  If you’ve written a novel, you are always going to reach more readers if you are published by a publishing house.  Even the queen of self publishing – Amanda Hocking – has moved to a traditional publisher.

And what other pitfalls are there?  Well you may find you’ve published a book that just isn’t ready to be out there yet.  Almost all writing needs editing and a fresh pair of eyes.  A writer without an editor can be adrift on a poorly designed boat (if you’ll forgive the metaphor).  Nicola Perry over at makes this very point in her blog post on the subject.

But what if you still want to e-publish, you’ve not got anywhere with the traditional route, and you just want to be out there?  I would urge you to consider getting edited, make sure that your public’s first impression of you is as positive as it can be, and never think a first draft is going to be a finished piece of work.

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June 21, 2011

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