When we’re not dealing with life issues, and I’m not distracted by the Facebook and Twitter machines, I’ve been continuing research on the thesis. My goal is to have a draft completed in the next 14 days, and then tackle editing.
In the meantime, I recently started following a number of writing/self-publishing pages on the Facebook advertising/social-control machine, and offered an answer to someone asking how much it costs to publish a book.
I’m seeing overall from my cursory glance into independent publishing that potential content creator interest remains high. I have run across various consultants who don’t want to give away any information, for fear of giving away the store, I guess. There are also, of course, the PT Barnums out there who package information and advice for a fee, that is readily available at zero charge to anyone who bothers to spend a few minutes on a search engine first.
I’m all for paying legit experts for specific services. A professional marketer who’s developed a Rolodex of websites for a virtual book tour, and knows the asks of the folks running those websites, for example, can save an author hours and headaches, and, depending on the book, may well be worth the extra $. Any huckster who wants you pay them to tell you to format your book properly, put a cover on it, and use Amazon, however, can kiss my posterior.
I also stupidly wasted a few minutes on the Twitter liver-obliterating machine in the past day telling a couple of SJWs where to place it and how, over the issue of an author — this one signed to a major legacy publisher — who pulled a Young Adult (YA) novel before its release because she’s white, one of her main characters is a POC, and some self-appointed judgmental person received an advance copy and savaged the author. I haven’t read the book, so there’s no way I can know whether the book is trash. What I do know is the fundamental argument was that white people have no business writing POC protagonists, which, of course as someone who’s versed in the First Effing Amendment, I believe is utter poppycock. By that logic, we have to cancel Melville for writing POC on the Pequod in Moby Dick and Mark Twain for making Jim the runaway slave one of his main characters in Huckleberry Finn.
One reply to me was basically a whine about the big legacy publishers still apparently putting out books by white people featuring POC protagonists. This is a YUGE eye-roller for me bc why is anyone rattling the gate in the year 20-EFFING-20 when the fence has been torn down??? Nobody needs permission to publish. Independent publishers AKA self-published authors now own more than half the market in the romance and science-fiction/fantasy genres, and are making serious headway against the Big Five legacy publishers in non-fiction.
Yes, I know I jumped into the Outrage Machine.
So, here’s what I wrote in response to the question about the cost of publishing:
If you’re a one-woman band, $0 to self-publish an ebook. This, BTW, was true well before 2007, when Amazon established its ebook store and opened it to independent publishers (self-publishers). There were a few people already putting their novels up on blogs, offering PDFs of their magnum opus through their own websites, and so on.Of course, since 2007 an entire cottage industry of professionals who can assist you every step of the way — for a price — has mushroomed. Again, this kind of help was available before 2007, but the power of Amazon as a distributor completely upended the game, and the cottage industry of consultants, editors, book cover designers, so on, has become rather substantial.
Tim Ferriss in his blog points out that you can also pay a ghostwriter to actually write your dang book for you. For some types of biographical works and non-fiction, if you know just what you want, you’re not afraid to manage the process, and you’ve got a few thousand Samolians burning your pocket, this is an option a few folks whose real expertise is something else, but need a book to offer as part of their work or brand, choose.As for what services you pay for, I guess that depends on how much time you want to spend writing versus doing those other things, whether you have the money for professionals, and most importantly what your goals are.
My first piece of advice would be, don’t pay for advice. There are fantastic author blogs out there, from Chuck Wendig’s to Jane Friedman’s. Search them out! There are also some great vloggers, like this guy:
Dale offers his advice at no charge to you, but don’t cry for him. He gets Google ad money from clicks, and if he’s smart, he’s participating in an affiliate program or two.Happy journey!