Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Self-publishing 101

Some guy just randomly promoted his first book on the Amazon romance threads, even though it isn't a romance. When I went to look it up, I saw that it was only available in a CreateSpace paperback edition-- no Kindle edition. Therefore I couldn't check the quality of the writing, and would have had to pay $14 to find out if the author could write. Unsurprisingly, I chose not to do that.

Note to all indies: Put out a reasonably priced Kindle edition. I don't care if you've always dreamed of seeing your book in print, or if you think this whole silly e-publishing thing is just a fad, or you just know your work is so awesome it's worth fourteen dollars, or whatever. An electronic version is absolutely necessary. It 1. enables readers to sample your writing and find out if you can actually write (which, despite your assurances, is not a given, believe me) and 2. enables you to provide a reasonably-priced edition that will encourage readers to take a chance on you.

Trust me on this: No one is going to pony up fourteen bucks on an unknown writer whose work they haven't sampled. No one.


  1. I've noticed this trend with self-publishers that never visit the Kindle boards--especially ones that exclusively follow the advice on the AW forums.

    And when their CS-only book doesn't sell well or at all, they appear to become one of the most vocal opponents of self-publishing. Well, maybe I should say that they are more than willing to post their negative experiences with self-publishing.

  2. I haven't seen it much lately. I mostly just felt bad for the guy (though his two drive-by spams of an Amazon board that hates spam marked him pretty clearly as terminally clueless). It seems like you'd have to be pretty far out of touch with current publishing trends to not realize that the key to success in indie pubbing is an electronic edition. But I suppose there are still writers who are really stuck on print...