For some, self-publishing is the last resort after an entourage of failed attempts at securing an agent or publisher.
For others, the idea of self-publishing completely removes the stress associated with approaching agents, and it is the option that they would take as their first choice to get their work published.
More and more, new writers are taking the route to self-publish their work, as the emergence of new media platforms increases at an alarming rate, providing a wider range of options to make their writing available in a few simple clicks.
One particular site which allows writers to publish their work in hard copy is lulu.com, where packages are available for you to completely design your book from scratch. The cover, book size, number of pages, font etcetera is all completely up to you and you can publish your book for free. You can then choose the cover price yourself, and either purchase a batch lot of your publication for you to distribute, or give people the details so that they can go directly onto the site and buy your new soon-to-be bestseller.
Whilst Lulu makes it incredibly easy for you to suddenly have a complete hardcopy of your book available in print, there are obviously some potholes which need careful navigation. Firstly, the concern of advertising and marketing is down to you. Unless you are simply satisfied with your mum and your granny buying copies, once you have created your book, the entire buzz needs to be generated by you; something which is no easy task without a little knowledge of how the marketing and advertising industry works, which unfortunately is something that most new writers simply do not have.
We all know that you should never judge a book by its cover, but let’s face it, when you are an unknown writer, that is exactly what your potential book buyers will be looking at, and so your front cover needs to be pretty much the bee’s knees, for any new readers to trust the decision to make investment in your title. However do not despair, for all is not lost and there are other much quicker and easier ways to see your book potentially hit the big time.
With the explosion of i-pads, Kindles and tablets, Amazon have come up with a unique way of getting your title onto a hand-held screen near you. Ok, so it’s not the top shelf in Waterstones, but it’s certainly a start.
By logging onto Amazon, it only takes a few clicks to locate the link for Kindle Direct Publishing, where, in a matter of seconds, your manuscript can become a global ebook. With the option to select your preferred royalty percentage, the cover price of the book is up to you, and your book can appear on the Kindle store within a day.
This is widely becoming a fast and furious method of getting yourself noticed. As you may be aware, the author of the Fifty Shades trilogy began with uploading her book as a Kindle ebook, and after a sudden surge of popularity, E.L. James found herself with a publishing contract.
Whilst the blossoming romance of new media and technology is giving birth to lots of new writers who are paving their way in the self-published world, for me personally, it seems that there is a certain missing piece of the puzzle which remains lost through this method of publishing.
Whether it is something that you openly or secretly desire, the one piece of post that as writers we all want to see waiting in our post box, is that acceptance letter from an agent or publisher saying that rare and golden three letter word: yes.