Say the word ‘self-publishing’ in a room of writers and it’s a fair bet a lively skirmish will break out, if not an all-out war. Since I’m just giving technical help to a friend, I don’t have to make a decision on the pros, cons rights and wrongs, but Nathan Bransford’s post on questions to ask ourselves before we opt to self-publish was still timely and well worth a read.
I also took a trip over to Jane Smith’s Self-Publishing Review, a blog where she regularly tears to shreds the efforts of any soul willing to send in their brave new babies. Jane is so hard to please (and rightly so as she judges all books against the criteria of commercial publication) I was delighted to find not only a book that had won her approval but also an author who is a bit of an expert in the field of self-publishing.
What Art Edwards reminded me (hope he doesn’t mind a quick paraphrase) is that a lot of terms are confused these days. Self-publishing – through any medium – requires the author to take control of the whole publishing process. POD, while a hugely popular tool for getting books printed, is just that, a printing service. The author still has to do all the editing, make all the design decisions and find a way to market the finished product. In other words, chucking something up on Lulu may be easy, but there’s a lot more to do if you want to produce something that will sell.
Meanwhile I am just looking at the simplicity or otherwise of formatting and up loading a manuscript on Lulu, which, especially taking into account that many writers were brought up pre-PC and are only just getting to grips with formatting and file types, looks to me rather less fool-proof than many would have us believe. Anticipating a need for support, I have joined Absolute Write (interesting forums) and Completely Novel (an alternative to Lulu?)
With other writing on the back burner, I may be revisiting this and letting you all know how it goes.
Meanwhile writer friend Nina Milton is , I suppose, pre-publishing, by posting the first draft of her new novel here. Nina is already a published author and her first Sabbie novel has been accepted by an agent. Her new books have a strong sense of place, so if you like Somerset spookiness, get along there for a sneak preview.