Category Archives: Self-publishing

Self-publishing Pros and Cons – Introductory Post

The idea of self-publishing for an aspiring writer is a very seductive one. The appeal is that you can miss out the difficult process of getting an agent and editor interested in your work before unleashing it on the reading public. Instead readers can be marketed to directly by you as an author as soon as you have produced a piece of work that you’re happy with. The act of creating your own book is fairly straight-forward, the most difficult part is probably creating an appealing cover.

The immediacy of self-publishing is very appealing, as is the ability to circumvent the traditional demands of commercial publishers. In a busier, more competitive, marketplace publishers are more careful about what titles they sign up. In the old days an editor used to sign books that they hoped would sell, nowadays they want to publish books that they are (almost) certain will sell. This means that anything that doesn’t fit the mood of the current trends may be overlooked, as will anything that may require a bit more work for the publishing house – help with editing etc. many aspiring writers will therefore get rejected, and self-publishing can be a good outlet for them if they lack the persistence for the traditional route, but I also think that many are also going straight to self-publishing without bothering to submit elsewhere. When you hear stories of million of sales of ebooks for self-published authors the appeal can be hard to ignore.

But is self-publishing really the best option for an aspiring writer? In a series of blog posts I will be exploring the pros and cons of self-publishing in more depth.

Currently I have dabbled with self-publishing, using it to publish short stories that I have found difficult to place elsewhere. I generally feel most of my stories are too mass-market for many publications, so it felt ok to do this. However, for the novel that I am working on I am planning to attempt the traditional route.

My first post on self-publishing pros and cons will discuss earnings potential.

Amazon Author Central – possible improvements

I use Amazon and other ebook distribution services to self-publish some of my short stories (I am planning
to use a traditional publisher though for novels if what I am writing is good enough), and also for publishing issues of Alt Hist and Fantasy Short Stories.

Amazon has a service called Author Central, which allows you to provide more information about yourself (here’s my humble page), feeds from your blog or twitter profile, and also check on details of your books, their sales rankings and reviews by customers. That’s all quite interesting and sometimes useful, but I do find myself wondering about how readers interact with this information.

I would like to know:

    How many views my Author page gets
    What happens after people view the page?
    How many people see something compelling enough to click through to a title and which titles do they look at
    On a related note, I would love to know number of kindle ebook sample downloads for my titles, or the number of clicks on the search inside feature. Again I’m interested in knowing what sort of engagement there is with my titles.

If you’re an author using Amazon Author Central, what would you like to see added?