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Welcome to my blog. Here, you will find information about my novels, life in Japan, as well as author interviews, discussions on writing, and more. Feel free to browse and if you enjoy a post, please comment. Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Self-pubbing Freedom

What do I love most about self-publishing? That is a loaded question for any author. It’s also somewhat vague: do you mean the process, the self-publishing market, the “self-publishing revolution”?  There is quite a lot to say on this subject and I’m sure this won’t be the last post you’ll read from me about it.
I’ll talk a little about the self-publishing boom that has been going on and changed the industry. What I love about self-publishing is the freedom it gives writers. We can now write about anything we want, and most likely there will be an audience for it. With the gatekeepers of traditional publishing, ideas had to be analyzed and vetted. This could lead to some possibly great novels not being published because it was too much of a risk for the company. Perhaps it didn’t fit with their brand image or it “just isn’t for us.” No longer. You have an epic opera about space plumbers? Write it. I’m sure you’re not the only one who has thought of it.
The main peril with such a freedom is the niche market. One reason big names authors are popular is that they have a large appeal; almost everyone can identify with the characters or story in some way. But if you write novels with a very specific topic or a very limited type of character, your book may appeal to the niche market and nobody else. You may not find that wide audience that’ll launch your career. You’ll still have to have your day job because you’re only selling one or three books every six month to a select group of people.
On the other hand, your niche market may become some of your biggest cheerleaders. The number one way to success in writing, not mater what you write, is to write a good book. If you do that, if you write well and write well consistently, your niche market may become your best buyers. They will wait for every new installment from you and snatch it up on release day. If you’re lucky, they will generate word-of-mouth to get others to read your book.
But I’m not talking about marketing. The publishing changes that have been, and continue to take place, are giving more freedom (and power) to the writer. Writers that had ideas locked in their heads but were afraid the powers-that-be would hate them now have the freedom to write it. The risk factor is no longer on the companies, it is on you.
Your great idea about time-traveling alien plumbers who look like dinosaurs may not sell right after you hit the ‘publish’ button. It may never sell. Or it might take a few years then suddenly catch on like wildfire. The point is, that idea no longer has to be locked away. Put your story out there.
A story isn’t a story if it isn’t written down for someone to read.
Always, thanks for reading.

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