Every aspiring author who has struggled to have their work accepted by an agent or a publishing house – only to have collected enough rejection slips to paper a wall – turns to thoughts of self-publishing.
If you’re thinking of publishing your own fiction, you owe it to yourself to find out everything you can about the self-publishing business. Besides the vanity presses, there is now print-on-demand (POD) that has emerged as a viable competitor in the self-publishing business.
Another element of publishing your fiction is knowing how to market it. Knowing how can mean the difference in selling a few books as opposed to thousands. Be sure your marketing efforts are professional and mistake-free.
If your promotional materials contain typos and misspelled words, the people handling your fiction will assume that your book is unprofessional and will be reluctant to promote it.
The Internet contains online discussion groups for various genres of fiction. Be sure you search out these groups and become involved with them. You’ll find out what people are reading and what they like and may discover ways that you can polish your work to appeal to more readers.
When communicating with people online, be sure and include a “signature file” on your correspondence. A signature file is a pre-written file that is automatically attached to the conclusion of an email message.
The signature file can contain information about your work of fiction and where the reader can purchase it. It’s a valuable advertising method of getting information out about your book.
Once the word is out about your book, the print on demand method helps to reduce the cost of publishing and printing by only printing and mailing the books as the orders come in.
Vanity publishers print a number of books for a fee. After the printing, the author is free to market her fiction without the restrictive contracts required of mainstream publishing houses.
If your self-publishing venture is successful, consider sending the results of your efforts to an established publishing house for your next book. It may be enough to rattle their cage and make them want to take a chance on you.