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    « Turning Memories into Literature | Main | Lessons for Family Historians and Memoirists from the Smithsonian »
    Tuesday
    Apr172012

    Questions for a Self Publishing Author

    Self publishing requires a lot more decisions for authors than traditional publishing ever did.

    The first question is whether the book is intended for a commercial audience or a private publication for family and friends. The answer to this question can affect every aspect of the production of the book including editing, design, printing and distribution.

    Photo Courtesy of uitdragerji under Creative Commons

    Here are some questions to consider in deciding which type of self publishing is right for you and your book.

    • Who do you know who would definitely be interested in having the book?
    • How many of those folks would pay for it, as compared to family members you would be willing to purchase it for? If the number of people is small, a limited, private publication may be best for your book.
    • Do you know of groups or associations related to the subject that might buy the book? In bulk, or just a single copy? Would they recommend it to their members?
    • Do you have the time and interest to pursue selling the book to strangers? Are you comfortable with marketing? The marketing packages offered by some of the larger one-stop author services companies like Author House, Publish America, or Outskirts Press really don’t provide an effective marketing approach. To market your book you will need to arrange public appearances, seek reviews both in print and online, and develop an author platform online including a blog, Facebook Page, Twitter account, etc.
    • If you were to sell the book, would you want to sell it personally (such as bringing a box of books to an event or reunion), or make it available online (or both)? Note that getting your book listed on Amazon doesn’t guarantee that potential buyers will find it. The marketing efforts above will be necessary to get your book noticed.

    There are a number of options open to you, depending on these answers, so give it some thought, perhaps do some investigating.

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    Reader Comments (2)

    Wow! That a great list of questions. I would love to read some comments about it. Book publishing has changed a great deal in the last decade, and most people believe that change has been for the better. Self-publishing has empowered authors in new and exciting ways, while still leaving the door to more traditional publishing methods wide open for those who prefer to pursue them.

    May 30, 2012 at 12:41AM | Unregistered CommenterKindle How To Publish

    Thanks! We'll come back to this subject in a future post. For now it's enough to suggest that self publishing has created a whole new set of issues that authors need to think about if they want their book to be successful.

    May 30, 2012 at 4:34PM | Registered CommenterNan Barnes

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