Are you one of those people writing a book, but never get around to publishing it?
Why not? What is stopping you?
Here’s a list of the most common excuses I hear from fledgling authors as to why they have not published their book yet:
- Self-publishing is only for losers
Before Amazon launched its Kindle Direct Publishing programme (KDP), the only real way to get your book published was to get offered a contract by a reputable publishing house. They received millions of submissions each year and only a few books were selected based on how well known the author was, whether the book was a potential viable commercial success, how well written the book was and a few other factors known only to the people doing the selecting. That was a tragedy. So many great books that never saw the light of day.
That has all changed now. There are thousands of well-known authors who have made a huge success of self-publishing. In fact some of the traditionally published authors are now making the switch to self-publishing for many reasons; more royalties, retention of copyright, control of their own marketing and the ability to repurpose their content into other media.
Jack Canfield is a prime example of someone who used self-publishing to get a book to market. The first book in the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series was rejected time and time again by traditional publishers. Eventually he took matters in his own hands and self-published it. You all know what happened to that series.
- I am not a Marketer
This is a comment I hear all too often in my self-publishing group. There are great writers but knowing that they will have to market their own books brings them to a grinding halt. They do not want to expose themselves on the various social media platforms and have to ‘sell’ their books.
The truth is that marketing has nothing to do with selling. As a reticent writer/marketer all you need to do is focus on what you can ‘give’ your potential readers that will help you build up your exposure.
- I am not a technical person
Formatting your book and getting it ready for publication on the different distribution platforms like Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes and Noble’s Nook does require a little technical knowledge. There is good news though. If you have the funds you can outsource this part of the project to someone else. If you don’t there are thousands of easy tutorials available on the internet that teach you how to do this. Yes, it may require a small learning curve and a bit of time, but the rewards are huge when you finally get your book published. It’s not just a monetary return, but an emotional one as well. You are now a published author.
- I am not a book cover designer
Designing a great book cover is essential to the success of your book. The challenge is that most people do not have designing skills and possibly don’t even have access to some form of graphics package.
Again, if you have the funds available then outsource this job to a professional. Prices range from $5 to $300. The key elements you must remember is that the title must be large enough to read in a small image and that the graphic (if you even have one) clearly tells the viewer what the book is about.
If you don’t have money, then barter for it. You have certain skills that other people do not. Chat to some of your friends and colleagues and see if you can do a service swop. This works really well.
- I don’t have a website or email list
Most of the self-publishing guide books out there recommend that you have your own website. Being solely dependant on the third party distribution platforms like Amazon is not a smart move. You will need to build your website eventually but, if you don’t have one right now you can still self-publish. It does not stop you.
Start small. Create a Facebook fan page for yourself as an example and start sharing information and images that relate to your book on their. Invite a few friends and then ask them politely if they would mind sharing the page with a few of their friends.
When you have a little spare cash, buy a domain in your author or pen name and then setup a basic WordPress site for yourself. If you are technically challenged, then outsource it and pay for it either with cash or barter your services.
- I am afraid someone will steal my work.
Yes, that is a real possibility. There are many lazy, unscrupulous people out there who have no morals and ethics. Sadly there is not much you can do about it, but you cannot let that stop you. If you do then hundreds of thousands of people will be deprived of what you have to share.
If you publish through a platform like Amazon, the risks of downloading your book illegally are reduced due to their secure services. Releasing your book as a pdf on your website does have a higher risk factor but you can overcome this by using a secure online store facility which protects your documents.
- I am not good enough
This is one of the primary reasons why people will not publish their books. They feel that their work will not be good enough and that it will be rejected by people who read it.
My suggestion to you is publish anyway. You have something to say, and someone needs to hear it. Even if only a few people actually buy your first book you are still a published author. You need to get out and get it done. It becomes easier each time. Just write, edit and then publish. By the time you are on your third book it will be second nature to you and you will wonder why you were so afraid in the first place.
For each and every excuse there is a solution and I will summarise them below:
- Only losers self-publish – Tell that to Jack Canfield, Hugh Howey and a thousand other authors
- I am technologically challenged – Get someone else to do it for you.
- I am useless at designing – Bribe, pay or barter a talented friend or someone else to do it for you.
- I don’t have a website – Use a free domain service
- I don’t have money for outsourcing – Barter or bribe a friend
- Someone will steal my work – Yes they might, but publish anyway
- I am not good enough – Yes you are. Publish anyway
Now the choice is yours. You can continue to make all the excuses as to why your book is not published. Or you could decide that you have no more excuses and it is time to get it done. There is absolutely nothing stopping you getting your book published and out there in reader’s hands – except you.