An Introduction to Self-Publishing

Self-publishing revolutionised the literary world. It opened up the world of publishing so that anyone capable of putting pen to paper can release a book at the click of a button. The need to subject your work to the scrutiny of big publishers was eliminated.

This creates a wealth of opportunity for aspiring writers, offering an alternative to submitting to agents and publishers. Self-publishing essentially cuts out the middle man and brings writers to the doorstep of a book release.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when first confronted with the central hub of self-publishing: Amazon Kindle. The first thing to come to mind when thinking about self-publishing, in the first few seconds, you’re confronted with a volume of books that your brain won’t be able to comprehend. For readers, finding the right book quickly becomes a page out of a Where’s Wally book.

As a writer, it may seem even more confronting to enter this world. One day you’ll be reading over your work on your computer, and in 24 hours it can be accessible to millions of readers worldwide. So many writers can only dream to have their book available to such a vast amount of people, yet here it is, no longer exclusive to those chosen by publishers.

With that said, how do you, as a writer, navigate this wilderness? How will readers sift through the masses and come to a grinding halt at the sight of your book? For readers, it’s like finding the needle in the haystack, and your book is the needle.

I published my first book in 2015, following my discovery of the ability to self-publish. With no confidence that I’d be picked up by a publisher, Amazon came to my aid. I published one evening and went to bed with hopes and dreams of becoming an overnight success.

The next morning, coffee in hand, I logged on to find that my sales line graph had flat lined. It was disheartening, but not as much so as when I watched as days and weeks passed and my sales graph was quickly going nowhere.

I had invested minimal time into marketing. I had edited the book myself and even designed my own cover. I didn’t so much cut out the publisher as I did the whole publishing team. My newly born career was yet to take flight and I had no idea how to inject life into it.

We’re talking about an industry with no upfront costs, no prerequisites, and seemingly no catch. Sound too good to be true? Or an opportunity that would be silly to pass up?

Join me here at the SCWC for monthly discussions about my experiences with self-publishing, some of the best and worst things about the industry, and some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned.

Written by Steven Wain.

Written by SCWC

Posted on July 31, 2019