Authors Have Other Options

 


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With the multitude of Print on Demand Publishers popping up, giving authors more options than ever before, why should an author chose to self-publish an ebook? Simple, it’s an easy way to control the process and the proceeds. When working through a publishing house whether it is electronic or traditional, other people have control over both, yet the author is still doing all the work. Electronic publishing is also the least expensive way to launch your work. Whether delivered on disk or by email, PDF formatted books cost very little and are easier to distribute than print books. In addition, the new technology has increased popularity of ebooks to the point Sony has joined Microsoft by launching its own line of ebooks and portable readers.

A beginning author receives very little help from publishers. They are responsible for doing nearly all the promotion and for placing advertising. Traditional publishers are responsible for obtaining the ISBN number and listing them with distributors, but very little else. Many PODS don't even do as much. Whether it is through press releases, interviews, or other direct contact with the public, the author is the one who brings attention to her or his work. With the increasing popularity of ezines and newsletters, it has become much easier to get press releases and articles out to the reading public. Free article sites such as GoArticle offer their services for free to both the author and publisher. In addition, by doing a search on free article content or press releases, authors can find other venues, which are either free or low cost. Dorothy Thompson's ebook, A Complete Guide to Promoting and Selling Your Self-Published eBook not only lists sites, which accept press releases, but also has active links to the sites.

Promotion should not be limited to articles or press releases. The more active the author keeps her or his name on the net the more selling opportunities will present themselves. By listing your blog and website on a multitude of search engines, they are more likely to draw traffic to them and to your work. However, visiting others sites or blogs, which are in the same genre, and leaving messages are another way to attract attention to your work. Podcasts are new internet trend has opened up new possibilities for authors to be not only guests, but also hosts of their own shows. The podcasts are frequently free to the listener and are a simple way to target you primary market. By making connections with others, who have common interests, you extend you realm of influence by giving your name and work credibility. Once you establish yourself as an authority in your field, it is easier to get you peers to review your work and to get the media’s attention.

When an author self-publishes, she or he has control of how much is charged for the book and how the profits are distributed. All an author has to do is to check with the many publisher watchdog sites, such as Predators and Editors, to learn that many publishers are not ethical when it comes to royalties. Crafty bookkeeping skills help them hold or even keep royalties due the author. Increasingly it is being revealed how some of POD publishers are taking advantage of the author desperate need to be published by offering services and sales they have no intention of providing. By self-publishing, the author doesn’t have to worry about the ethics of publishers; they know how many books are sold and to whom. In Ms Thompson’s ebook, she gives links to sites that will list your ebook for free; many of them do not require an ISBN number. These sites list by category and redirect the reader to the author’s site for the actual sale. There are still others, such as Fictionwise, which act as an ebook store, but instead of selling physical books they sell downloads. As with a brick and mortar bookstore, the electronic bookstore receives a percentage of the sale.

An additional advantage of self-publishing is the author has more direct contact with readership. Whether the payment is made through Paypal or another service, the author gains the readers contact information, which makes it possible to keep them updated with your future work. By creating an ezine or newsletter, this readership list could be used to maximize the author’s ability to create an interest in readers in your up-coming works, thereby creating a demand before the work has been released. The newsletters and ezines could also create a barter system between authors, who help each other promote their work, giving all involved access to additional readers.

The increasing access to new technology has increased the popularity of ebooks. The advent of smaller readers with larger view screens had made them more popular. Both Sony and Microsoft both have electronic readers that are about the physical size and print type of a typical paperback; the only thing missing is the ability to turn the page. The print graphics are clear and no longer difficult to read for long periods of time. Although the Sony products are limited to a specific program, Microsoft and many other readers are capable of reading many different programs. Adobe Reader or one of the equivalent PDF generics is the mostly commonly used. PDF stands for portable device format. By using this format, you work will be accessible to most of the operating computers today.

Once an author has developed a readership and a successful publishing track record, she or he will have the option of continuing to work independently or to attempt the more traditional publishing route. Once an author has establish her or himself, doors to ethical agents and publishers will be more available; whether the author chooses to walk through is an another story all together.

Theresa Chaze is a local fantasy writer, who has been published both online and in slicks. She currently has two novels available both in paperback and in ebook format. If you would like to learn more about what she does, please go to her site at http://www.theresachaze.com

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