Nathan Bransford, Author

Friday, December 20, 2013

Self-publishing was way easier than I thought it would be

It's been about a month and a half since I self-published How to Write a Novel: 47 Rules for Writing a Stupendously Awesome Novel That You Will Love Forever. Both the e-book and print editions are out, the reviews are coming in, and so far I've sold more than 1,500 copies. In the past month the rate of sale has picked up every week, which is really exciting to see.

Here's the most stupidly surprising thing I learned about self-publishing: It's really, really easy.

I say "stupidly surprising" because I feel like I should have realized this, and I'm obviously pretty behind the curve here considering how many people have embraced self-publishing and had a lot of success doing it.

But there's something about the publication process that seemed so daunting to me before I started. So many things to think about. So hard to get the word out. All those nuts and bolts that I've been glad for my publisher to handle.

At the end of the day, it just wasn't that hard. There are really only 6 things to worry about:

1. Writing the darn thing

This was by far the hardest part. When I started writing How to Write a Novel, I thought it was going to be a polished collection of blog posts. I had written so many posts over the years, surely I could just assemble it into book form?

I started stitching together blog posts... and it read like a collection of a blog posts. It didn't read like a book. There were a ton of holes. And it kind of sucked.

So I stated over. Short of the last chapter (10 Commandments for the Happy Writer), I extensively rewrote everything I originally sourced from the blog, and I added a lot of new material that's exclusively available in the book.

It was way harder and took a lot longer than I expected. I thought it was going to take a month. It took a year. Whoops.

2. Getting it edited

This is where things started getting easier. There are so many incredible freelance editors out there, and I'm fortunate to be friends with some of them. I hired my friend Christine Pride to do the initial round of edits. She helped immensely with the shape of the book, and it was her idea to turn the chapter titles into "rules."

For copyediting and final polish I turned to Bryan Russell, who agreed to a barter edit since I've edited some of his work in the past (though I now owe him immensely because he's a way better editor than me).

I am extremely happy with how everything turned out.

3. Cover design

For the cover I turned to my friend and influential graphic designer Mari Sheibley, who may be sliiiiightly better known, among other things, for being Foursquare's first designer and creating so many of those awesome badges that were a huge part of Foursquare's success.

I'm going to blog about how I went about the cover process separately. It was really fun.

4. Interior design

I thought about trying to learn how to design the interior, but this is a corner I decided to cut. I reached out to a few interior designers for quotes, and ended up going with D. Robert Pease, who happens to also be a blog reader, and he was incredibly fast, professional, and the end result looked terrific. He provided me with files in every format I needed.

Piece of cake.

5. Getting everything uploaded

I distributed directly via Kindle, B&N, Kobo, and used the e-distributor Smashwords for everything else. When the print cover was ready I distributed with CreateSpace. Easy easy easy.

How easy? I finished writing and editing the guide about a week before it was on sale.

6. Promotions

I plugged the guide through the blog, I was fortunate to have some really nice blurbs, and I've been experimenting with some social media ads.

I haven't really gone all out with promoting off of my blog as I would have liked, but the great thing is that it's never too late.

This is a bit of a simplification, obviously, and if you have any questions about the specifics of self-publishing process I relied heavily on Susan Kaye Quinn, The Creative Penn, and David Gaughran.

I still think there are many merits to traditional publication, but if you're holding back from self-publishing because it seems daunting, don't sweat it. It's really not that hard.

Self-publishing veterans, how did you find the process? Am I just late to the party?

How to Write a Novel: 47 Rules for Writing a Stupendously Awesome Novel That You Will Love Forever is on sale as an e-book for just $4.99 at:

Amazon Kindle
Apple iBooks
B&N Nook

and in print for $11.99 at:

Barnes & Noble


D. Robert Pease said...

Ha, yeah, you're just a little behind the times ;-) I'd love to see you self-pub a fiction series, and then tell us your experience compared to publishing Jacob Wonderbar traditionally. By the way, a fabulous book on self-publishing that I've been reading the past few days is Write. Publish. Repeat. (The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success)
by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant. The title (and subtitle) says it all.

abc said...

And his other books ain't bad either! Daughter and I are currently giggling our way through the last of The Jacob Wonderbar series during her nightly bedtime reading.

Roz Lee said...

LOL Yes, you are behind a bit. Welcome to the new age of publishing. *lifts champagne flute* Here's to your success.

Karen A. Chase said...

It's never too late to self-publish. There are many tricks out there to make it easier, but you're right. Overall, it's not that complicated. The best tip I received (sadly) after my book Bonjour 40 was out, was to publish the print edition through LighteningSource first, and then also through CreateSpace. Why? LighteningSource can help distribute to small bookstores that will otherwise refuse the Amazon-monster CreateSpace version (no returns on unsold books). But you have to do it in that order, with an ISBN used for the version at LighteningSource first, then used at CreateSpace for the same book.

Beyond that, I've had great luck. Two years after publication, I still sell about 150 books a month. In a traditional world, I would have been dropped a long time ago. The promotion takes time, dedication, and constant communication with readers in the right crowds. I also submitted to Indie Awards, and won seven. That added credibility to the professional writing, design and publishing I had done, so readers could tell they were buying quality.

Will I publish my next book on my own? I'm shooting to find representation with agents and a publisher, but there is a line in the sand down the road should that not happen where I will self-publish. Mostly because I know I can.

Richard Gibson said...

It was all pretty straightforward for me. The only challenge really was #6, marketing. You have a GREAT platform whereas mine is marginal to moderate, but I still sold (and continue to sell) pretty much what I expected, which is nothing like 1,500 in the first short period, but still I'm content.

Christina Wible said...

Yes, you're a bit late to the chase but sometimes one has to be convinced. LOL. I self-published my first novel in 2009 with CreateSpace. It was one of the easier things I've done in life. I think I accomplished it all in one evening! I self publish mainly for the control. I don't have an editor telling me that I HAVE to make changes to the book, merely suggesting changes so that I can choose to or choose not to. Thanks for the tip Karen. Next time I will use LightningSource first and then CreateSpace.

Andrea said...

I wasn't daunted by the self-publishing process - I was too naive to know better and too excited to get away from my publisher. No one outside of publishing knew anything about ebooks when I started, and there wasn't a lot of information on where to begin. I took things a step at a time and made a TON of mistakes. :-) Luckily, professional editing and a professional cover weren't in my list of mistakes - I took that end of things very seriously. (But I sure bit myself in the butt when it came to other aspects of self-publishing...)

It's exciting and very satisfying to see how much things have changed since I started out.

Bryan Russell said...

I think I still owe you...

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Hey, thanks for the shout-out! And welcome to the party! :)

daniel t. radke said...

I think self-publishing is easy, but making a living at it is difficult.

You need a lot of product. Like you're doing NaNo every month (and then some).

You need professional everything. Editing, proofreading, covers.

You need a great marketing strategy. And in a landscape that's constantly changing, that's a lot harder than it sounds.

And of course, most importantly, you need great stories.

And even then, unless you're some freak overnight success, you have to keep it up for years before you see a decent return.

It's all pretty daunting, but the fact that it's even available as a road to take makes this era one of the best for writers in history.

Self-publishing rocks.

Natasha Fondren said...

I hope you just forgot to mention that you overlapped services? Or that the designers pushed your project to the top for the promotional value of working with you?

Authors already think they can finish a book, and then have a cover designed and the interior designed and the eBook done and published in a few days. I'm not sure good work usually works that way. Most good cover artists have a queue much longer than a week.

Obviously the promotional value of your endorsement may have made them move you up above other projects, but it'd be cool if you made it clear that, for example, you started the cover art process while the book was being edited (or being finished), etc. Or that you contacted the designers well in advance and asked for them to put you on the calendar for this week. Or just made it clear that they pushed you to the top of the queue because of your friendship or the promotional value.

One week for the entire production process after someone finishes a book is too often expected by self-published authors, and it would be great if someone like you with a large readership put up a more realistic timeline.

Nathan Bransford said...


Well, the person who designed my cover is a friend but yes, I also got the ball rolling on that so it was ready to go before I was finished with the text. Is this really a point of confusion? Seems pretty clear that you have to work within the timelines of the people you are hiring and take that into account as you plan.

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Natasha Fondren said...

Oh yes, Nathan. I wish it weren't! People finish their book on Friday. Then contact designers and expect to have the book, cover and all, produced by the following Friday. Sometimes they're patient and think two or three weeks. (Possible if the designers aren't busy and we go fast, but still...)

I understand your reaction, lol, as it's also obvious to me, but for those who haven't ever been exposed to the book production process, they are extremely surprised (and often upset) by this. Perhaps 50% expect this? It honestly would be helpful to people to have a timeline on how to interweave the production process into the end of the editing/writing. The number one feedback I get is consternation at them not realizing this and a rebuke that all of that can't be done in a week. I'm often asked to write a post such as this. I haven't. And I don't have a blog big enough for it to have any impact.

I'm not exaggerating even a tiny bit.

Susie said...

Congrats on your achievement! As always, you are very inspiring!

(I'm totally trying to refrain from asking the next question that lots of authors hate... "So, What's next?" But I really want to know what you're working on now! :-) But if I ask in parentheses, it's okay, right?)

Martha Ramirez said...

Thank you for the reminder in this post, Nathan! Wishing you a ton of success! Your book sounds great!

Martha Ramirez said...

Thank you for this tip, Karen!! said...

I published my creative writing ebook in the UK early November and bought in all the professional services you mention. Yes, it was easier than I imagined and I've exceeded my sales target by a wide margin, but, as someone else mentioned, promotion is perhaps the biggest hurdle for new authors. Could you write a post on paid advertising sometime - what was cost effective for you and what wasn't...(We're not in competition by the way - I specifically say my book won't tell you how to write a novel!!it's the stage before. It's about getting ideas and writing, writing)

London Crockett said...

Great post, Nathan, but you have an established platform with a lot of engaged followers, have traditionally published, and have plenty of friends in the business. I have a friend who has successful platform that allows her to make a living self-publishing. I also have a friend who dove in to self-publishign without a platform or any notion about how to reach his audience. For him, sorting out who to hire, how much to pay, or even what he could/should do with online marketing is painful and full of potential pitfalls that research only partially averts.

It's easy to put a book out, but I think for the average starting author, much more difficult to publicize it. I'd even go as far as it is likely no harder to find a publisher than self meaningful copies of a book outside of the most e-bookified genres (e.g., if I wrote erotica, I'd be self-publishing; if I wrote military historical fiction, I'd be pushing out queries).

Laurie Boris said...

Easy. The hardest parts are writing and marketing.

Ernie J. Zelinski said...

I started self-publishing in 1989. My motto has always been, "Do it badly - but at least do it." This motto has served me well. The following quotation applies:

“It’s better to do a sub-par job working on the right project than a great job working on the wrong project.”
— Robert J. Ringer

Another principle that has helped me sell over 800,000 copies of my books worldwide is to challenge the "book experts" every chance I get.

I avoid Social Media for promoting books simply because there are many much more effective ways to promote a book. I have developed several ways that the "book experts" won't tell you simply because they are not creative enough to think of them.

These quotations are particularly true when it comes to being successful at self-publishing.

"Book writing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Anyone who decides to write a book must expect to invest a lot of time and effort without any guarantee of success. Books do not write themselves and they do not sell themselves. Authors write and promote their books."
— Dan Poynter

"The vast majority of self-published books sell less than ten copies a year online and through traditional retail channels, and that probably disappoints a lot of self-publishers. But it shouldn't be a surprise. It's hard enough for traditionally published books to register meaningful sales, and they have huge built-in advantages."
— Jeff Herman, Literary Agent

"Write without pay until somebody offers pay. If nobody offers within three years, the candidate may look upon this circumstance with the most implicit confidence as the sign that sawing wood is what he was intended for."
— Mark Twain

"Even the most careful and expensive marketing plans cannot sell people a book they don’t want to read."
— Michael Korda

"No amount of money or marketing can overcome a book that doesn’t deliver. So your first challenge is to write a book that your networks assure you is as good as you want it to be. The content of your books will determine how you sell them to publishers and promote them to book buyers. Content precedes commerce."
— Rick Frishman

“People think that just because they’ve written something, there’s a market for it. It’s not true.”
— Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver

In short, to be a success at self-publishing, one must write a great book and know how to market it to the right readers so that it creates word-of-mouth advertising for many years to come.

Ernie J. Zelinski
International Best-Selling Author
"Helping Adventurous Souls Live Prosperous and Free"
Author of the Bestseller "How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free"
(Over 200,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
and the International Bestseller "The Joy of Not Working'
(Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

Adam Henig said...

Is it easy to publish your own book? In the digital age, yes! Is it easy to generate sales? Ahh, that's where I take issue.

With minimal effort, it's great that you're able to sell 1,500 copies of your new book in a short timeframe. However, you also have something that most indie writers don't-100k followers on Twitter, nearly 8k likes on Facebook, and lots and lots of blog readers. I'm envious that you have developed such a strong author platform. If you didn't have that, thought, I don't think your sales would be as strong. Thus, it's easy if everything is already in place.

Kate Avery Ellison said...

I'm so glad you're having a good experience so far! Self-publishing was easy for me...and to anyone who wants to say there's no money in it (which I still see people claiming from time to time) it took some patience on my end as I found my readership, but now I earn more than double my husband's computer programmer salary every year from my royalties, and I'm not even a self-publishing star or anything like that. Earning a living wage is absolutely possible with patience, commitment, and some measure of writing talent. I relish the ease and speed with which I can publish new works (not to mention the creative control).

Sophia said...

Let us know how buying the ad space works out, please. I've often wondered how effective it is. I've read that it isn't, but never talked to anyone who actually did it.

inklings Anon said...

Your sales are only going to increase the closer it gets to the spring semester. I already see professors using this in creative writing classes

Brian G said...

Congratulations on publishing your work!

Anuradha said...

Congrats on publishing this book!

Your no. 1 point remains the biggest - writing the darn thing. The options to publish are so many I feel if you believe in it it would find a buyer. But you have to write the darn thing first!

LTM said...

Susan Quinn and Jolene Perry. They pushed me in the pool in Sept. 2012 and then held my hand as I learned. to swim. Love those ladies!!!
Best to you~ <3

Ted Cross said...

I am daunted, but only because of some specifics I want in my book that I haven't heard anyone tell how to do. I want some paintings included, and I want a map (it is an epic fantasy). it would be nice if the map could be brought up by the reader at any point during the read without having to flip back to the beginning and lose your place. That's about all that's holding me up except for the final editing pass I'm doing now.

Julie Musil said...

I bought your book and loved it! Susan Quinn gave me the courage to finally take the leap and go for it. I paid for cover design and a professional edit. The rest I've learned to do myself. I'm having fun with it! It's such a proactive feeling.

Laura Pauling said...

Welcome and congrats! I think it's easier now with so much information out there. When I started, formatting was the hardest to learn but now that I have that process down, the whole thing is a little bit less intimidating. I found I liked the creativity and control of formatting my own ebooks but with a little extra capital it's not hard to pay for! :)

I would think the traditional process has a learning curve too with many of the same issues of marketing and figuring out time line and such.

A good book - or I should say a book that readers want - make marketing look easy. :)

Again, welcome. And I to would love to see you self publish a fiction series for older readers.

Belle said...

Nathan, you may be tardy to the party, but the party never ends!

Congrats on your first self-publishing venture and here's to more "raises coffee mug".

My experiences publishing my books CICADA and FIREFLY have been fabulous. And, yes, it's not as daunting as it seems. Once you've done it, you've got everything you need in your belt to keep reproducing the experience. :-)

I'll just add this: now's the time to get to know some book bloggers! <3

~Belle Whittington

Jill Weatherholt said...

Thank you so much for this book. Yours is the first craft book that I've read from start to finish in two days. I felt as though we were one on one. I loved the sprinkles of humor as well.

Neil Larkins said...

I agree that an adult fiction series ("Jacob Wonderbar Grows Up"?)would be great. Also agree that the marketing aspect is the hardest part for us the uninitiated and inexperienced. I have yet to master it to even the least degree, but I also admit I have not had or taken the time to do it. The learning curve (for me) is daunting.
Neil Larkins, author of Mouse Hole and The Wonderfulist and Other Short Stories on Smashwords.

BECKY said...

Just over a month ago I self-published my first book, a memoir, using createspace and I can't praise them enough. (I've never seen such great customer service, too.) I'm kind of a control freak when it comes to MY work, so I love that I was able to do everything MY way...My title, my cover design, etc. So glad you've enjoyed success with yours!

Axel said...

There's so much to say about this post. I respect you, but two of your points in particular are quite misleading, and they cut to the heart of the myths and wishful thinking surrounding vanity press publishing. The first regards editing. You were an agent for years and honed our own editing skills, but the fact remains that the fdamental relationship between writer and editor is contaminated (or made wonderful!) by the new paradigm. Your editor works for you. You can disregard anything he says that you happen to disagree with. As a published writer, working (as I was lucky enough to do) for a house that actually assigns you an editor who works hard on your manuscript ... you're working for them. That's all the difference in the world. You can't just ignore their suggestions. You have to convince them, or do what they say -- or walk. I know that sounds tyrannical and unfair, but the fact is those tyrannical unfair editors are often right. I know mine was. I was forced to deal with her ideas, and my book was hugely improved as a result. The second issue involves promotions and sales generally. You fall into one of three categories of people who seem to be able to sell DIY books. The first are celebrities (you're not quite there yet, except with your blog fans!). The second are the writers who perfectly target some odd sub-genre ... someone who happened to write a teen vampire-meets-zombie romance (Where can he take her for dinner? And what will they drink with the main course?) -- just when people seemed to want that exact thing. That may be true of the Wunderbar books, I don't know. In any case, you fall squarely into category three: people with a platform. You built yours over years with your generous and informative blog; established novelists use Amazon to publish backlist titles that their publishers don't want (but their readers do). Some take that readership and move over to self-publishing, fan base in tow. And that's great. But unless you're one of those three types of writer you're going to be lost on the long trail. Almost half a million books were published DIY last year. How many were even noticed? fifty? I'm no mathematician but those odds are bad.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Axel - I know 50 authors who are making a living with self-publishing... and those are just my friends. Amazon reports that over 1000 indie authors are selling more than a 1000 copies a month... and that was in 2012. Your three categories sound logical, but they're not reflective of the reality I see every day. And I don't fit in them personally: I make a living with my works, I started with no platform (before growing one with my books), I'm not a celebrity, and my books aren't part of the latest "fad" - in fact, I write across several genres.

I'm glad for you that you are happy with your path to publication. Party on! But Nathan's finding the party is just as raging on the indie side... and so are a lot of other people. If there weren't a lot of people doing it successfully, you wouldn't see 25% of Amazon's bestsellers being indie books (or 20% of B&'s revenue coming from indie sales).

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Amazing. Not only did I learn a massive amount of info from your post, I also gained valuable advice from all your commenters. It felt like cheating almost. Definitely will be buying a copy of your book but of course confused as to what version.

David Gaughran said...

"However, you also have something that most indie writers don't-100k followers on Twitter, nearly 8k likes on Facebook, and lots and lots of blog readers. I'm envious that you have developed such a strong author platform. If you didn't have that, thought, I don't think your sales would be as strong. Thus, it's easy if everything is already in place."

A crucial point: Nathan built his platform through sweat. He didn't get it for free.

I'm reminded of an exchange between Louis CK and a reporter for the New York Times...

NYT: Does it matter that what you’ve achieved, with your online special and your tour can’t be replicated by other performers who don’t have the visibility or fan base that you do?

LCK: Why do you think those people don’t have the same resources that I have, the same visibility or relationship? What’s different between me and them?

NYT: You have the platform. You have the level of recognition.

LCK: So why do I have the platform and the recognition?

NYT: At this point you’ve put in the time.

LCK: There you go. There’s no way around that. There’s people that say: “It’s not fair. You have all that stuff.” I wasn’t born with it. It was a horrible process to get to this. It took me my whole life. If you’re new at this — and by “new at it,” I mean 15 years in, or even 20 — you’re just starting to get traction. Young musicians believe they should be able to throw a band together and be famous, and anything that’s in their way is unfair and evil. What are you, in your 20s, you picked up a guitar? Give it a minute.

Margaret Yang said...

Welcome to the indie party! Here's your party hat, and my, it looks dashing on you.

Thanks for helping to spread the word about the ease of self-publication. I wish everyone knew how easy it was--and fun, too.

Leigh Ann said...

Welcome on board, Nathan! (And, yes, it is ridiculously easy. So glad I found that out.

Mira said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mira said...


Great article, Nathan! So helpful to let people know the 'real' truth about self-publishing. Really appreciate it.

As for being behind the curve, I don't think so! I actually think you're a forerunner in some ways, and anyway, the self-publishing movement is extremely young.

So glad you ventured into these waters, and that your experience has been positive - I appreciate that you wrote this book - that you brought your expertise on writing to folks!

Patrice Fitzgerald said...

Nathan: Welcome to the self-publishing celebration! The champagne is right over there, and this party is just getting started. I jumped in on Independence Day 2011 (get it... Indie on Independence Day?) and I wish I'd jumped sooner.

I've sold 15,000 copies of the five ebooks in my Karma sci-fi series since April. It IS easy if you have the money to hire expertise or have learned how to do it yourself over time.

I'm thrilled to see that you're in on the secrets of success in self-publishing, which I describe this way:

1. Write a good book.
2. Attach a professional-looking cover.
3. Make sure it has whistle-clean editing.
4. Format it so that the formatting is invisible.

But none of this will help unless you have written the good book first.

What I love is the challenge and fun of picking my own subject, crossing genres, choosing the title, designing the cover, making it whatever length I want, publishing as frequently as I want to, selecting and regulating the price, and... I almost forgot to mention... THE MONEY!

Your book is selling for $4.99 on Kindle, and you get 70% of $4.99 X 1,500 copies sold (assuming most are ebooks), so you're looking at over $5,000 already. Of course you spent some of that on editors, cover artists, and formatting. But you are on your way to significant profits after you pay off those one-time costs.

I edit myself, pay about $60 for formatting, and $350 for my fanciest covers. After that it's all profit. Forever. I'm not yet able to do this for a living, but I'm about halfway there. I've already made the equivalent of about seven typical advances from traditional publishing houses, and everything after this is gravy.

Nathan, I give you a lot of respect for jumping in and trying this. You've always been on the edge... ahem! I mean the cutting edge. I also realize that you have a remarkable number of followers, which most self-publishers don't have.

Good luck and thank you for all the years of blogging... keep telling the truth about how accessible and fun self-publishing is. And how many of us actually sell LOTS of books and make significant money.

R.T. Edwins said...

The actual process of going from having a manuscript to a printable/downloadable book isn't that difficult, if you are willing to spend several hours playing with formatting to meet the various distributer's requirements. Getting my book on iBooks, for example, was much more difficult than Amazon or Barnes & Noble because I had to get through their proprietary roadblocks, but all in all it was quite simple.

Promoting a book, however, is a completely different beast. There is a lot of time, research, and experimentation involved in finding the best way to market a book; not to mention money to afford ad space. Sure I've read several stories of authors just throwing their book up on amazon and then somehow getting a couple thousand downloads with no promotion, but this is a rarity. There are MILLIONS of other indie authors out there, all trying to sling their books, and what you have to do, is set yourself apart from them. You have to be creative and patient in order to find the right marketing/promotion strategy; not to mention you have to be on the lookout for companies who promise promotion for a hefty price tag, only to deliver sub-par work.

I actually wrote a post about this for any who are interested.

CL Frey said...

Is this really a point of confusion? Seems pretty clear that you have to work within the timelines of the people you are hiring and take that into account as you plan.

Oh yeah, speaking as a graphic designer, many first-time self-publishers have no idea how long it takes to design a cover or how long a designer's turnaround time might be. It's a pretty common newbie mistake to assume it takes a lot less time than it does. Of course, it's all very project-dependent - a non-fiction book with a straightforward text cover is usually more efficient to design than a fiction cover with photo/illustration etc.

Tim said...

Among the 6 things, no. 1 is the hardest. You'll never do the rest unless you're done with number 1. Self-publishing seems hard, it is really hard but just like any other thing to do, if you really want to level up; work hard.

Peter Dudley said...

Little late, yeah, since you'd been talking about the self publishing craze for years as an outside observer. :-) Welcome to 2011, dude. And good luck against the Spartans. Pac12 solidarity, right?

Kristen Steele said...

You're right, self-publishing itself is quite easy! The hardest part is what happens before and after- writing a quality book and then marketing and promotion. Along with self-publishing also comes self-marketing, which can be tough if you aren't experienced.

middle grade ninja said...

What a swell post and fabulous comments. I'm so glad I found my way here and Mr. Bransford: Sir, you just sold a book:)

I indie published my first book in October and I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner. I'm looking forward to doing it at least twice more this year. I haven't found the process to be a complete breeze, but I spent way less time hiring an editor and a cover designer and formatting the book than I spent writing endless queries and waiting on the edge of my seat for first agents and then editors who really loved the book, but couldn't publish it because blah, blah, blah. I've been writing for publication for almost two decades and now I have readers I could've had years ago if I'd been pursuing them instead of gatekeepers. There has never been a better time to be a writer.

Charles BSmith said...

Congrats on your book. I have to say this post has made me interested in reading it too. You're comments have also been really good too. I don't remember which person commenting said this, however they really touched on an important point. That is the importance of the author platform. For us Indie authors, it is essential. Please keep up the good work. I am getting ready to self publish another book soon. I will referring to this website.

erica and christy said...

Thanks, Nathan. So glad you're finding success as a hybrid author and sharing your journey with us. Susan K Quinn is an invaluable resource, and I've had her site up on my laptop for two weeks straight as I consider going indie too. She and her blogging friends put up informative and supportive posts about self-publishing that have motivated me to research more, and to possibly give it a try. So, thanks to you and all who self-publish for sharing with the rest of us! Christy

Anonymous said...

Nathan, thanks a ton for your tips. What do you think of ? It is NOT a self publishing platform but I find their promise very interesting for someone like me trying to get started in a professional writing career

SueH said...

As someone who has considered all avenues of publishing, I appreciate the information you've provided and the comments it has generated. If there are any women's fiction writers out there who are still looking for agent contact, here's an opportunity from Writer's Digest:

dookie101 said...

I put my book out last year, through a publisher, but this is the first year I've got it out on my own (long story) and I've got to say: promoting it trough my blog is the weirdest potential issue here. My publisher never did much of that, and the promotions I did were doing them. How do I do this on my own page? Where are the adoring crowds? I was promised thronging masses on a level with the gathering outside of Brian's window, in Monty Python's Life of Brian.

What I've seen is, mostly, the blog equivalent of passers by in the middle of Times Square on the morning of January 1st, watching the noisy remnants of NYE forming drunken human pyramids on top of one of those water fountain floor things.

As in: there's not too many. And I'm DELIGHTFUL.

Lincoln said...

It sounds like you delegated the hardest parts, which is cool. If you have the money, that's the way to go.

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