Sorry to leave you hanging in the last column, spurting through a ruined handjob, left with aching clit or blue-balls. But there is lots to say about this subject, and I needed to get through part one, regale you of the prickly potential of print and the wonderfulness that is eBooks, especially for us erotic writers.
Now onto self-publishing…
As with most things I find in our dizzying digital age, there are good and bad aspects to self-publishing. The good is, you can potentially get your book out there for not so much money, little effort, while controlling pretty much every aspect of its publication. You can also set it up to see 100% of the profit from your book’s sales.
I’m sure, to some degree, you already have this figured.
For one, you have no distribution network set-up, or if you do, it will most probably be woefully weaker than an actual publishers’. Not that you can’t create a healthy and profitable distribution network over time, you can even begin a cottage industry all on your own, but it will take a lot of time and a lot of work… unless you get exceedingly lucky.
And if you don’t think luck figures into the publishing game, as it does in lots of aspects of our lives, then you have probably not lived all that long.
And be warned, if you do indeed take this route, as most self-published books need to, promoting your book all on your own, working hard to Twitter and Twitter news about it, catch every opportunity to spread the news of its existence far and wide, you must realize (again, this is something you are probably aware of already, just not something you want to admit) that there are plenty of other writers just like you, pushing their books.
You are just one of many.
Competition is fierce, while the facility to self-promote is better than ever before.
Do I write this to discourage you? No. It’s just one of the cold hard negatives of self-publishing.
Another negative is that you will not make a ton of money or maybe any real money at all with self-publishing unless, again, you are exceedingly lucky. The good here, though, is that, because you self-publish (and hopefully do so smartly; and I’ll hit on how best to do this in a bit), your overhead is low. You don’t have to sell a lot of books to put yourself into profit. As I mentioned last time, there are tons of books by well-known authors returned to their publishers all the time. The cost for these books returned/not sold can come out of the author’s profits, advance, reputation (all 3) with his or her publisher. Printed books produced by a company and not sold and indeed returned, or put on a clearance rack, always creates ramifications.
You won’t have this problem with self-publishing.
There’s more cautions you might need to consider along the way: companies that advertise packages where they take your book through copywriting, formatting, publishing, and distribution (they are not a publisher per se but a book ‘wrangler’ ) who might rip you off in any of those areas of work they do for you; the complete waste of time and resources that could plague you as you crawl deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of social media self-promotion; surfing through the soul-crushing criteria listed at each place/site you try and put your book up on (especially true for erotica authors) that might, in fact, get your book thrown off that list/site or call for revisions you can’t see clear to make.
But mostly you come to level the playing field when you self-publish, and as I mentioned before, the best way of doing so presently, is in eBook form.
And I will tell you all about it… in part 3. 😉