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Self publishing options

I’ve been a “self” published author for over a year now, and the progress of my book is not what I had expected. Using a vanity publisher, my book took less than six months to become a reality after I sent it willingly away, trusting the chosen company to provide the best service for a pricey fee. I had grandeur dreams of becoming a bestselling author within a very short time, with minimal effort on my part, however I haven’t yet been able to quit my day job to travel the world promoting my book. In fact, I’ve only sold less than a dozen books, a far cry from what I believed was going to be my way to retirement. So, as I struggle through the ins and outs of the marketing world, tweeting and blogging everyday, while holding down a full time job as a kindergarten teacher, I wonder if my publishing choice was a big, fat mistake.

At the time, I believed using this particular publishing company was my only option. I researched other ways to become published, however they involved time and effort that I didn’t have. Finding an agent, writing query letters, spending countless hours online searching for anyone who could point me in the right direction, was all too daunting for me. I wanted the process to be quick and easy. I decided to choose the option I felt was best for me at the time, vanity publishing. Of course I didn’t realize at the time that the company I had signed with was a vanity publisher. I was so new to the world of writing and publishing that I naively believed this company would turn my book into the next best seller. I couldn’t have known at the time how wrong I would be.

As I write this, I am still hopeful of becoming a bestselling author one day, but I realize now that it’s not an overnight accomplishment. It takes a lot of work to promote your book. Whether you choose to self publish through a vanity publisher, or search for an agent to submit your book to reputable companies, or go the route of ebook publishing, the marketing work doesn’t fall directly into the lap of the company.  Getting the word out about your book lies with you, the author. A misconception that I wish someone had told me about.

So, when you’re ready to hand your precious words over to a publisher, be wary. Research all your options. Talk to other published authors. Find what’s best for you and your book. You may never be completely satisfied with your final choice, but you will feel a sense of utter amazement when you see the finished product of your creation. And that’s what makes the journey from writer to published author worth it!

This post is contributed as Guest post by Angela Edstrom

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1 Comment

  1. vicki lee zell (VLZ)

    I hear you. Vanity Press Publishing is a high cost process with little to show effort. If you are an upcoming author, learn all of what you can about self publishing, it’s the new highway to an avenue unexplored, yet bumper to bumper with aspiring new writers who are hoping to break big in the publishing world. My advice to anyone who is thinking they will get rich quick with writing; be sensible, forget practical, and expect no rewards for long hours of hard work. If you truly love what you do, keep doing it regardless of how success plays out. Yes, luck is a part of just about all we do in life, but unfortunately there is also those who free ride because of WHO they know. The best bit of advice for anyone who is trying to make it as an author/writer/storyteller whatever you feel comfortable in calling yourself, and that is, never pay to have your story told. Self publishing has made the way for you to explore a new path. Think seriously when self publishing, and keep in mind, you are doing what you love to do. Never expect a reward. Achieving a following of readers will be your greatest obstacle to overcome for any and all writers. Love what you write. Write what you love. Stay true to who you are as a writer. Be ready to be disappointed. Be ready to be lonely. Be ready to be successful. Be ready to be well-known. Be ready.

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