Do you know about those rare books that are valuable because they had limited production runs? I wrote a book like that. It was called Modern Self-Publishing. I don’t think copies will sell for much in the collectibles market, but if you have a copy, it’s rare. Modern self-publishing is so dynamic that modern self-publishing can’t keep up with it. Write, publish, distribute, and it’s already out-of-date. That’s why this weekend’s session will be as varied and dynamic as ever.
Modern Self-Publishing has become so common that there’s less of a reason to make the distinction since I first used it in 2002. It represents two ways to publish: print-on-demand, and e-books.
Print-on-demand is such a common way to print a book that it’s hard to distinguish from traditional printing.The new technologies were adopted by writers and scoffed at by traditional publishers, until the traditional publishers saw the profitable business model they’d initially overlooked. The ability to print one copy of a book, rather than having to commit to printing thousands, drops the cost of publication to effectively zero. The cost of each book is higher, but the financial risk is much lower – and publishing is a financially risky business.
E-books were a natural consequence of word processing, desktop publishing, and print-on-demand. Word processors are sophisticated enough to directly feed into various publication processes. Someone realized that, rather than just printing and selling the printed book, they could also sell the file and do so at a much lower cost. When they were introduced there were few standards, poor copyright control, and uncertain distribution networks. Now, e-books are so ubiquitous that they’ve standardizing on prices, file formats, and delivery mechanisms.
I published my first book in 2002 as a print-on-demand title and in various e-book formats. Since then, I’ve written five more, and produced another five. I began teaching about the process so frequently that I compiled my notes into a book. Unfortunately, the industry is changing so quickly that my edits couldn’t keep up with reality. I took that book out of print.
Modern self-publishing is a great enabler for writers. A writer can directly connect with readers without having to negotiate with agents, editors, and marketing. Fewer filters means truer voices.
While being a great enabler, modern self-publishing also requires a modern writer to be aware of some traditional tasks like editing, cover design, marketing text, pricing, and of course writing. There are more tasks than in traditional publishing, but there are fewer people standing in the way with big NO stamps.
We’ll go over the:
- basic process
- parts of the book
- potential income
- publisher selection
- ancillary benefits.
Key to the process is the self-awareness that most writers possess. What are your goals, skills, talents, resources, and constraints? Understand those aspects of your self, and better understand how to customize the process for you and your project.
Getting your words to your readers has never been easier. Not easy, but at least easier.