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 www.writersandartists.co.uk 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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