If you’ve read the other parts in the series, you know that I turned down a traditional book offer in favor of self-publishing.
I’m not the only one. Others are singing the same song…and some are turning down a lot more than I did (think half a million dollars).
I linked to all kinds of resources throughout this series that explain why you should consider self-publishing. If you’re convinced and want to know how to write your own ebook, check out my How to Write an Ebook series.
Traditional vs. Self-Publishing
I like how Guy Kawasaki puts it in APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book (affiliate link):
The problem isn’t that traditional publishers are dumb or evil. There are plenty of smart and nice people in the industry – probably more than most industries because a love of reading motivated their career choice.
The problem is that traditional publishing grew up in a world with limits and logistics such as shelf space, access to printing presses, editing and production expertise, and shipping of physical books. In the old, constrained world, somebody had to select, print, and distribute what was worthy of royalty, shelf space, and killing trees. That somebody was an employee of a traditional publisher; he served as a filter, finisher, and arbiter of taste. Several thousand traditional publishers added this kind of value for hundreds of years.
Shelf space for ebooks, however, is infinite, and anyone who can use a word processor can write and publish a book. These changes don’t mean that books are better—no more than a democratic political system guarantees better leaders—but at least the system is more accessible.
Forget the Royalties—Just Give Your Book Away – Imagine my surprise when I published my last post and then opened my email to find this post by Michael Hyatt that was published almost at the exact same moment as mine. The gist of both? YOU are in charge of marketing. Don’t write your book and be done. Use the book as a catalyst for all sorts of other opportunities. Fortunately, the internet makes that possible.
On the Future of Books: A Discussion with Seth Godin – Also ironic, after I finished final edits on my last post, I found this in my reader as well.) If you’re interested in what leading thinkers think, this is a must-listen. It’s a discussion between Leo Babauata of ZenHabits fame, and Seth Godin, two of the most well-known bloggers alive.
Why Bloggers Should Self-Publish – This one was also published on the same day as my last post. The theme is the same around the internet and that is, traditional publishing affords you much less control. On ProBlogger.
7 Ways to Mine Blog Posts into Publishable Gold – Instead of creating entirely new content, take advantage of what you’ve already written.
How Authors Really Make Money: The Rebirth of Seth Godin and Death of Traditional Publishing – From another leader in current thinking, Tim Ferriss.
What the eBook Revolution Means and How Copywriters Can Prosper From It – The title speaks for itself.
The End of Book Publishing As We Know It – Michael Hyatt talks about what digital publishing means for the future.
Ebooks and Self-Publishing – A Dialog Between Authors Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath – Both authors. Barry Eisler is the one who turned down $500,000. It’s a long discussion (I only skimmed) but interesting nonetheless. Be forewarned that there’s some language. One quote I picked out: “For hundreds of years, writers couldn’t reach readers without publishers. We needed them. Now, suddenly, we don’t. But publishers don’t seem to be taking this Very Important Fact into account.”
Why E-Books are Hot and Getting Hotter – 10 factors that are driving ebook sales. Written in 2009, but still great insight.
My Perspective on Publishing, Christianity, Social Media, and Being a Dad: An Interview – Lots of discussion in this video with Michael Hyatt interview about the future of books and publishing.
Self-publishing a book: 25 things you need to know – Offers perspective on self-publishing a “real” book (as opposed to an ebook). This article was written in mid-2010, so if you want to go this route, I’d look for some more current information as well.
11 Tips to Avoid Self-Publishing Traps – And old article (2004) about self-publishing a “real” book, but still some practical tips for all self-publishers.
An Interview with Kevin Weiss About Self-Publishing – Michael Hyatt interviews Kevin Weiss who runs a company that I’ll describe as a mix between traditional publishing and self-publishing. Interesting discussion.
Ebooks and Money
Why Publishers Should Pay a 50-Percent Royalty on E-Books – Author John Soares shares his experience and gives reasons why a higher royalty rate on ebooks should be a given.
The rise of the 99-cent Kindle e-book – Thoughts on the current trends in ebook pricing. Warning: some language.
Published Authors Who Are Switching to Self-Publishing
Why (and How) I Decided to Self-Publish ‘Focus’ – Leo Babauta
Authors Who Have Sold Over 1 Million Ebooks
Amanda Hocking and the 99-Cent Kindle Millionaires – More thoughts from author Nathan Bransford.
Other Resources Quoted in This Series That Would Be Good to Read in Their Entirety
Advice for authors – Seth Godin
4 Reasons It’s Easier Than Ever to Be an Author – Michael Hyatt
So what now?
Here’s my simple advice.
First, start a blog and get writing there. You’ll need that platform and you can’t build it once your book is ready to go.
While you’re doing that, write your ebook. You can follow How to Write an Ebook, my own step-by-step tutorial which guides you through the process.
Other posts in this series:
Why I Turned Down a Book Deal, Part 1
Why I Turned Down a Book Deal, Part 2
Why I Turned Down a Book Deal, Part 3
Why I Turned Down a Book Deal, Part 4
Why I Turned Down a Book Deal, Part 5
Why I Turned Down a Book Deal, Part 6