This is the fourth installment in my series on the secrets I learned by watching and talking to successful self-published authors. The first three secrets are knowing your audience, really believing in your work and setting a deadline when you want to hold the first copy of your book. The fourth secret is clearly establishing a goal and then understanding your publishing options. For certain, the opportunities for authors have expanded dramatically over the past few years. Not that long ago, if an author wanted to publish, the only option was traditional publishing. With that model, you must find an agent and hope a publisher wants to acquire the rights to your manusript. In most cases, the wait was long and the answer was always, “no”. More recently, authors can choose DIY publishing, which requires the author to upload a manuscript and in many cases do the design. The DIY technology turns the uploaded manuscript and cover into a finished printable PDF. Lulu.com is an example of this option. The advantage of this model is speed to market and retaining your rights and control. However, in most cases distibution is limited and finding any personal support is difficult. The third option is called assisted or supported self publishing. Like DIY publishing, assisted self publishing allows an author to retain rights and get to market quickly, but this model also provides personal support throughout the process and pre-publication, publishing, marketing and distribution services. Both of these options guarantee your book will get in the hands of readers. Traditional does not
So which publishing option should you choose? That depends on your goal. If you are not concerned about broad distribution and you are technologically savvy, then DIY can work for you. If you want some guidance through the process and want a full array of services, then assisted self publishing is best for you. If you are willing to wait, and don’t mind giving up your rights, then traditional publishing is best.
I don’t want to oversimplify this decision, but these are the basic ideas you should consider as you take your publishing journey. If you would like a more complete consideration of your goals and best options, register for my webinar, Six tips on how to get published” on the Author Learning Center (www.authorlearningcenter.com), Tuesday, October 11 at 2:30 pm (EST)