Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: self-publish

Good Advice About Self-Publishing


Self-publishing has been called the “new Vanity”. It’s been hailed as the “killer of traditional publishing”. It has so many opinions swirling around it that folks either read too much about it or completely ignore its presence.

Finding solid advice on self-publishing can be a challenge.

Recently, I read a post on David Gaughran’s blog called, 7 Lessons In Self-Publishing I Learnt In The 7th Grade. It’s actually a guest post by author Mainak Dhar and I truly can’t do it justice by putting a few excepts here—it absolutely needs to be read in its entirety to glean all the wisdom :-)

But still, there will be a few readers who need a taste before they’ll go grab the whole meal.

I’ll list the titles of the seven lessons Dhar relates but, believe me, if all you do is read them and feel you’ve gotten enough advice, you’re cheating yourself

1. Embrace what makes you different.

2. First appearances do count.

3. Make the gatekeeper your friend.

4. Create and leverage a portfolio of work.

5. Keep practicing your craft.

6. Re-invest for future success.

7. Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

OK, now, please, go read the post; and, I’d love it if you come back and let me know which of the seven lessons was most important for you
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Bloggers Are Self-Publishers


blogging and self-publishing Technically, if you write something and give it to someone else, you’ve published.

Copyright registration is only necessary to protect either income or form of presentation.

So, many folks are published who don’t even think they are

Back in February, I wrote a post called, Blogging ~ Can It Really Fulfill The Writer’s Dictum: “Write Every Day!”?.

[ The post pointed out the Maverick Punctuation in its title :-) ]

Today, I read a post by Joel Friedlander called, What’s the Same about Self-Publishing and Blogging?.

So far, in this  post, I’ve brought together writing-every-day, blogging, and self-publishing.

Maybe I should stop and let you read those posts and ponder………?

Naw, it’s only fair to add a couple quotes from Joel’s post for the folks who never click-through on links:

“Publishing a book without intermediaries has a long and erratic tradition in the United States.”

Considering Traditional Publishing, he says: “The author is at the mercy of the contract she has signed, the scruples of the publisher she has signed with, and the vagaries of the marketplace, about which she may know nothing, since the entire structure and mechanism of publishing keeps writers isolated from both their readers and the ways that publishers actually work.”

On blogging: “The interactive nature of blogging, and then of other social media innovations, is changing many aspects of our life. But blogging itself has continued to grow and adapt to widely different contexts and means of delivering information, entertainment and opinion to interested readers.”

I’ve often featured posts by Joel here and, if you’re serious about publishing—books or blogs—you would do very well indeed to study Joel’s blog and absorb all you can

Are you self-published?

Do you want to be?

Do you blog?

Do you want to?

Did you know that a blog is the Hub of promotion for many self-published authors?
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Promotion ~ All Authors Must Deal With It


I can’t recommend the way I promote my books. Sure, I’ll tell you what I’m doing but it’s probably not for you.

I’m self-published and I’m a maverick. Luckily, there are other ways to promote :-)

I can’t assume all my readers are aware they can search for past posts with the “Subject Index Links” section in the left-panel. You’ll find “publish”, “self-publish”, and “promotion” there; and, clicking on them will give you the posts I’ve done on those topics.

I do, however, want to bring a couple links to past posts here:

Traditional vs Self-Publishing ~ Is The Promotion/Marketing Different?

Too Much Advice Can Be Dangerous

More Book Promotion Tips . . .

Joel Friedlander, cutting-edge writer on all things publishing (who I’ve linked-to here often), recently wrote the introductory articles for a new service at CreateSpace.

First, I must say that CreateSpace is one way to self-publish but I recommend FastPencil

Also, I hate the term “marketing”, mostly because far too many marketers don’t know much about the importance of real, human relationships in the realm of creating an author’s audience.

All that said, do check-out all the articles on CreateSpace’s Marketing Central.
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Why Do Authors Do What They Do?


Why do authors spend inordinate amounts of time alone, carefully creating stories that may or may not get published; and, even if self-published, may or may not sell well?

There are something like 2,000 books published in the world, Every Day

I found an article by Cory Doctorow, Why Should Anyone Care?, that should be read by any writer who’s uncertain they have what it takes to pour themselves into endeavors that have slim odds of paying off—even if the pay-off is only having a lot of folks read their books.

Here’s Cory’s description of the normal routine in a book’s life in a bookstore:

“…a publisher’s rep would come in and tell us breathlessly about the lead titles—how much promotion they were up for, how much the house believed in the title, how well the author had done before. We’d order a pile of hardcovers, generally a smaller pile than we’d been asked to take, and usually, they’d sell modestly well. Then we’d return the leftovers, and some months later, they’d resurface as remainders, with their dustjackets clipped or magic-markered lines drawn on their page-edges. Then they’d come in as paperbacks, hang around for a few months longer, and vanish. Sometimes, a copy or two would surface as used trade-ins, and sometimes a regular would ask us to order a copy, but within a short time, the book would no longer be in the publisher’s catalog in any form. It would be gone.”

But, what about the Internet?

“The advent of online stores like Amazon combined with efficiencies in short print runs has made it possible to keep modest sellers in the stream of commerce for something like perpetuity. But one thing hasn’t changed: most books—even those that are deservedly well-loved by publishers, readers, and booksellers—make hardly a ripple on release and fade away to nothing before you know it.”

Cory also addresses those who feel they have what it takes to market/promote their own books and I encourage you, whether you’re a writer or know a writer, to read the full article.

His closing thoughts are somewhere between “Chilling” and “Realistic”.

“Getting people to care about the products of your imagination is a profound and infinitely complex task that will absorb as much attention as you give it. Every book and every author brings a different proposition to the negotiation with readers, but there’s one thing they all have in common: unless someone takes charge of doing something, something clever and active and good and slightly improbable, no one will care about the book or the person who wrote it.”

Of course, with a person as experienced and well-known as Mr. Doctorow, the comments readers left are equally interesting

Are you a creative writer? Do you know one?

Why do authors pour so much of themselves into creations that may not be appreciated?

Why do so many take on the burden of promoting their own work?

I’m a self-published writer who’s doing my own promotion. Am I crazy?
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EDIT: Joel Friedlander also thought Cory’s article worthy of mention
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7 Reasons Self-Published Authors Know Best


I self-published Notes from An Alien because it’s such a niche novel and deserved to be in readers’ hands sooner rather than later. I didn’t have to go through a long, confusing soul/Internet searching to decide.

I didn’t really learn all the advantages of self-publishing till after my book was published and I was doing regular posts on this blog.

In my scanning of my Google Plus Stream, I clicked-through a link that Mick Rooney shared. The author was Mary Louisa Locke and the blog post was, Why Self-Published Authors Know Best.

There are still reasons to go with a traditional publisher but I doubt any of those will ever apply to me.

I feel traditional publishing houses will still exist in the future but in such a transformed shape that we’ll have to find a new way to classify them.

Go read Mary’s post and then, do please, come back and let me know what you think, ok?
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