13 October 2011, Marketing - to Publishers more Subsidy Press Problems
Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way. At this moment, I'm showing you the marketing material I put together for a novel.
Today's Blog: So, what could be the problem if you publish your own books. I gave you the four preconditions yesterday. I haven't told you the reasons why you could hurt yourself as an author.
The most important reason is you could ruin your career as a writer. I wrote yesterday that the most important precondition before you self publish a book is that you have written at least one million words of creative fiction. If you don't have this degree of experience, you run a very great risk of self publishing a novel that only reveals your flaws and none of your skills.
When people tell me they have written a book and they are looking for a publisher, I tell them to keep writing. The reason is that almost no one (I'd like to say no one ever, but I'm sure there might be a single person in the world who can write like Shakespeare from youth) can sit down and write an well written entertaining novel the first, second, third, fourth... time. It takes one million words. In the past, most people couldn't afford to self publish. Those who could might publish their novel at a high cost, find out they weren't a very good writer after all (or not) and return to oblivion. Today, self publication is cheap enough that almost anyone can do it. The problem is that too many do publish unready and immature works.
You can really hurt your prospects as an author if you don't continue to get your writing into the hands of publishers and continue writing. In the past, the natural difficulty of publishing (as well as the stigma of self publishing) prevented immature and unready works from being published. Today, an author can embarrass himself over and over by publishing those works. The worse problem is that many times those unready works might be redeemable with experience and time.
My own experience is that after one of my later works was published, after I edited my earlier works, my publisher wanted to publish them too. If I had self published those novels, they likely would not have been published by a regular publisher. There is your proof, if you need it. I have three early novels that wouldn't have been published by a regular publisher if I had self published them. Further, if I had relied on self publishing, I might never have had a novel published by a regular publisher because I wouldn't have continued to seek a publisher.
More tomorrow about electronically published books.
I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.