Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Self-Publishing Is Entrepreneurship


Frustrated by people who call themselves authors, but drag the rest of us down when they produce shoddy products?  Upset when they provide fodder for the anti-self-publishing movement claiming we are all unprofessional? 
SO just what is the difference between being self-published  and a self-publisher? Everything.

Being a self-publisher means hiring professionals who can make your book as good as it can be. You are the author but you are also your own publisher. You hire a printing company like CreateSpace to produce your book.  Make no mistake. You are an entrepreneur. You create a product, you market it, you sell it.
What is entrepreneurship?  It is the pursuit of opportunity.  The opportunities to get our stories out there have become almost limitless.


Recently at the Curves fitness center in Lionville, Pennsylvania, I sold my books. Like any business person you need to make contact with your audience.  As the women finished their work-outs, they met with me, talked about memoir, shared their own stories.  I brought some light refreshments . . . fruit and vegetables to add to the celebration.

This week I joined a LinkedIn discussion titled: "Do you think you can self-publish without hiring a professional editor?" From the comments, it seemed there was some resistance to spending money on editing, as well as some hopeful thinking that a quality book can be produced without hiring professionals.
How do you stand out in a crowd of folks who believe that they can upload whatever and however (text for the book ends up on Kindle looking unprofessional) all to save a few dollars?

I have met people who wanted me to read their work which they were planning to self-publish, WITHOUT paying me a cent for my editing expertise. Seriously? A book is your legacy, it is your calling card as an artist.

Why would you just throw it out there in the marketplace? 

Yes, traditional publishers also have typos in their books. And so do magazines. Recently, I picked up a well-known memoir magazine - a literary journal. The last name of the great Canadian short story writer, Alice Munro, was misspelled. So nothing and no one is perfect. We live in an imperfect world, but as self-publishers we owe it to ourselves to hire people to help us create a beautiful book worthy of any bookshelf . . . mostly, though, worthy of our readers.


Hire -

  • An editor for content.

  • A copy editor and proofreader to catch typos, grammatical errors, etc. 

  • A design team for your cover and interior format.

  • If you don't know much about promotion or publicity, hire a publicist.

Here's a good article elaborating on functions editors perform: 

Like any business, there are untold hours required to be successful.  That is both the joy and the challenge of being a self-publisher.

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