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Blogs by Shawn Patrick Cormier
There is hope for us yet!
3/8/2011 5:41:23 PM
So you've written the Great American Novel and dream about it gracing bookstore shelves across the country. You need a publisher. No problem. You slap down $20 and buy the 2011 Writer's Market and do a little thumbing through the crisp, clean pages, quickly locating a suitable publisher in your genre. Of course, you start with the Majors. Why wouldn't you? You make your list and query each publisher according to their guidelines. As you send off your carefully crafted pitch, you walk away from the mailbox with that crazy, expectant feeling rushing through your writer's soul.
Eight weeks later you are rewarded for your efforts with a form rejection letter (often times no more than a sentence or two) photocopied so many times it's faded at the edges. And these are from the conscientious publishers. You'll still be getting form rejections for months to come from the others. (I once received a "no" eleven months later). Your dream is crushed, along with your spirits. Non-writers will never understand the emotions we suffer when rejected by a publisher or agent. It is profound. We spend years planning, writing, rewriting, work-shopping, dreaming, writing some more, often in solitude, only to be told it was ALL IN VAIN! It is absolutely devastating. Yes, deep down we always knew the odds of landing a publisher were slim. The numbers bear that out. A large publisher will receive several thousand queries a year and publish less than one percent of those. But we still can't help feeling deflated. There is hope, though.
Some of us turn to self-publishing, and that's what this Blog is all about. When I say self- publishing I do not mean Print on Demand. Self-publishing is when you become the Publisher and do what a Publisher does, namely hire and pay for the people and or companies that assist you in creating a proper cover, editing, binding, distributing, storing (your first print run of 500- 1000 books will be delivered to your house by tractor-trailer truck) and marketing your book. Print on Demand services will do all that for you for a nominal fee and then print you one book at a time as people order them. There are many differences between self-publishing and Print on Demand (POD), many pros and cons to each, and I will touch on those along the way, but this Blog's primary concern will be actual self-publishing.
Now you may be wondering, like I was when I decided to self-publish, just how to go about getting your novel into book form with a cover, beautiful formatting, ISBN number and all the bells and whistles that make a professionally bound book. This Blog is NOT going to concern itself with those mechanics. Several great books have been published that will walk you through that process much better than I can. Go to Amazon and search for books on self-publishing. My favorite, and the one that helped me most was The Complete Guide to Self-publishing by Tom and Marilyn Ross. In it you'll find everything you need to know about doing it yourself. What this Blog WILL cover are the ups and downs of that process, the mistakes that I made along the way, what I found to be effective and what I learned to be a waste of time and money. Yes, I recommend reading SEVERAL books on self-publishing before you undertake the vastly rewarding and often humbling task of getting your book out there yourself. In fact, I think it's a must. But before you start your journey, stop here and read one writer's honest assessment of what worked and what didn't. Hopefully it will save you some time, effort and money.
Some of the topics I will cover will include costs and proper retail pricing, marketing to bookstores, marketing directly to your readers, pros and cons of advertising, distributors, book signings, contests to boost sales, media coverage and how to get it, web marketing, family expectations, the stigma or self-publishing and much more. I hope you find the information interesting and informative.
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More Blogs by Shawn Patrick Cormier
Why Do You Write? - Monday, December 05, 2011
Creative Ways to Sell Your Book – or Selling in a Psych Ward! - Monday, December 05, 2011
Book signing dos and donts - Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Self-promotion - Wednesday, March 23, 2011
So you want to sell lots of books? - Sunday, March 13, 2011
To publish or not to publish - what is the difference? - Thursday, March 10, 2011
There is hope for us yet! - Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Has Publishing Killed the Writing Star? - Monday, March 07, 2011