Seven whispers – (the truth) about self-publishing
You’ve written your book. What now?
More authors than ever before are choosing to self-publish. Here, at Whisper, we applaud everyone taking the self-publishing journey.
Below are some important points to consider before you abandon traditional publishing. However, if you do decide to self-publish, we offer a range of services to help.
1. Write – publish – repeat
Unless you are in the 0.1% of writers whose first novel is a bestseller, you won’t retire on the proceeds of your first book. So, forget about that villa in Spain, new car or celebrity lifestyle. In fact, for a moment, forget about marketing, sales figures, and royalties.
The most valuable piece of advice for any aspiring author is, once you have finished your first novel, give yourself a pat on the back then start writing your second. The more books you have, the more you will sell. Fact!
2. The best things in life are free
A popular saying but unfortunately untrue when it comes to self-publishing. Nobody wants to buy a book displaying a cover created with Microsoft Paint, and your mate who’s ‘pretty good’ on Photoshop won’t cut it either.
Friends and family will be happy to read your manuscript and point out your mistakes. However, they are not professional editors and don’t have the knowledge and skills needed to give your work a polished finish.
If you want the best, skills cost money. The fact is … you will need to pay.
3. The power of social media – truth or myth?
Every author is expected to have a presence on social media. While Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are great for building up an email list and fan base, they do little to increase sales unless you’re already established.
For social media to work, you need to pay for ads. Marketing your book is time-consuming, and time spent writing the day’s best tweet would be better spent learning about keywords, organising a blog tour or sending a press release.
We provide outstanding author marketing services tailored to your requirements.
4. You need to be the town crier
To sell 1,000 copies of your book, you need to reach over 10,000 readers who are interested in your genre. That’s the easy part. You then need them to read your book. To do this you will require:
- A brilliant summary or description that nails the Amazon algorithm
- A standout book cover
- Reviews, reviews, and more reviews
This publishing malarkey is more difficult than people think!
5. Who wants to be a millionaire?
Recent research shows that the average self-published novel sells less than 100 copies. Using £2.99, as the average price on Amazon (UK), the earnings for an author from a self-published book, assuming a 70% royalty rate, would only be around £210. Consequently, a 100,000-word novel will make less than half a penny per word.
The sad fact is, you have more chance of being struck by lightning than becoming a millionaire self-published author.
6. The great divide
The line between traditional and indie publishing is becoming increasingly blurry especially with the increase of vanity publishers. (We recommend you avoid these.)
Each has their advantages. For example, a self-published book can be earning from day one. You keep all the royalties and don’t need to adhere to any advised changes.
On the other hand, a good publishing company will provide you with expert knowledge, take care of the editing, cover design, and marketing and leave you to concentrate on what you do best. Write!
7. The choice is yours
Self-publishing can be quick, affordable, and extremely satisfying, however, the promotion and marketing is time-consuming and likely to be difficult. With an end result of limited sales, the prospect can be daunting and many authors dive in without understanding what challenges lie ahead.
One final whisper
We aim to help aspiring authors to keep their expectations realistic. For authors who seek traditional publishing, we accept unsolicited submissions and are always seeking new talent. For those taking the self-publishing route, we offer a comprehensive range of services to ensure a flowing manuscript, polished finish, and promotion/marketing support. From cover design to professional editing, our solutions are perfect.
(Please note: The choices shown below are for writers who want help with self-publishing. Authors we agree to publish receive a broad range of complimentary benefits as standard.)