Self Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing: Part One

To self publish or not to self publish.

That´s something I never had to ask myself because I´m not a writer, but many others have undoubtedly asked themselves if they should dive into self publishing or not.

Writers from all literature corners have, at some point, thought of the idea of publishing their own work, whether through traditional publishing or through self-publishing.

Both routes are fully acceptable these days, but before any writer choses a path to take they should definitely have a closer look at the pro´s and con´s of both traditional publishing and self publishing. Let´s do a quick breakdown to show the differences between the two and include pros and cons for both traditional publishing and self publishing:

Pros for Traditional Publishing

  • Marketing
  • Reach a wide audience, more exposure
  • Publishing houses often offer a financial advance
  • Publishing houses take care of edits, covers, etc.

Cons for Traditional Publishing

  • A writer hardly ( if at all, depending on the publisher) has a say ( in all areas)
  • Marketing runs at a snail’s pace
  • Royalty rates suck
  • It´s hard to get out of a contract

So basically, a writer´s hands are bound.

 

Pros for Self Publishing

  • You call the shots. You´re your own boss.
  • Publication is almost instantly
  • Royalty rates are higher
  • No rejections ( other than maybe from readers)

Cons for Self Publishing

  • No professional book polish ( no editing, no suitable cover image)
  • You have to do major self marketing
  • Potential for publishing a shitty book
  • Literally, anyone can self publish

It all comes down to having all the freedom in the world but also investing an outrageous amount of time doing self promotion because.. since you´re your own boss you have to do every stinking thing yourself.

If I was in a writer´s position I would definitely go with the traditional route. But that´s just me. Since I´m not a writer it´s not important what I would do, right?

A simple fact is: It´s hard getting a deal with a publishing house and it´s easy as hell to self publish.

Doing business with hundreds of self published writers did reveal an awful lot, but what the years of observation have shown was that many self published authors struggle.

And the struggle is real.

Some authors don´t know how to market themselves or they find it extremely difficult.

Why is that?

Well, for one… most writers who go into self publishing and want to make a name for themselves know that they´re going to have to deal with marketing but they don´t know how hard it is.

Imagine you wrote a book and you set your mind of self publishing. Great. But what steps need to be done?

Is your book edited? If not, it should be. You don´t want to sell crap and no one wants to spend money on crap. A harsh truth alot of self published author´s don´t want to hear.

Is the book cover image eye-catchy and is the quality of the image good? If not, you might want to invest some money and get something that´ll make a reader want to buy your book. Many readers judge a book by it´s cover. ( read my article on book covers )

Once your book is properly looked over and the cover ( incl. the quality) is ready you still need readers.

Do you have fans? Without fans you have little to no sales. And without fans you have no one but yourself and maybe your mother to spread the word about your book.

Your book can be a genius piece of written art or a possible world-wide bestseller but that´s worth crap if you don´t have any readers.

You need a plan. A large one.

From what I´ve been able to learn was that self published authors NEED to interact with people. There´s no way around it. Writers must use the tools they´re given and start interacting with all sorts of people in order to get the marketing ball rolling.

Social media is the best place for that. Millions of book lovers hang around Facebook, Twitter & Co. and are dying to get their hands on a new book. Befriending authors is also a step in the right direction because other, more accomplished self published authors have the know-how and can help with fulfilling a dream of becoming a known writer. Contacting book blogs is another way. Us foot folk know how to spread the word in an effective way.

It sounds so easy. But then again- everything seems easy in theory. Contacting strangers is not always easy. It´s acutally awkward.

„Hey, we don´t know each other but I have a book and ( after a full-blown social media investigation) I know you like to read… So, do you wanna read my book?“

Yes. That´s awkward but with a little more tact there is a high chance of gaining potential readers that way.

When a writer has to do their own marketing that means nothing other than having to sell their own product. In this case, it´s their book. Selling a product involves having to interact with people.

A nightmare for introverts or moody artists.

Another thing most self published authors forget is that self marketing never stops. It´s a constant, never-ending cycle. Once the self marketing slows down or stops then that´s it. Everything else stops too.

It also doesn´t stop at the interacting, either. There´s a whole lot more to self marketing than a writer´s eye can meet. Writers need to become creative and find ways to keep the ball rolling. This can be done with simple posts of teasers from their book or maybe a graphic quote or possibly through another author promoting a new writer. Something that engages other people. There are ways to make self marketing fun and slightly easier but the key is: interaction.

It also can´t hurt to mention how much time self published writers need to invest on self marketing. Yes. Many writers would appreciate a day with more than 24 hours.

The reality of self publishing is completely different from what people might think. It´s not just going on some self publishing platform and uploading a story with over 60.000 words and calling it a day.

Of course, writers who chose the traditional path and get taken under the wings of a publishing house have it bit easier. They don´t have to worry about self marketing because that´s included in their package. All the fun( insert sarcasm) with having to deal with emotional stress, interacting with strangers and working on spreading the word falls in the hands of competent people who know how to work the book mill. It might not always be what the writer had planned but it´s one less thing to worry about.

Self publishing is hard work and we´ve only just scratched the surface of how hard and frustrating self publishing can really be. The only advice I can give to writers who are unsure of which publishing path to take is: Collect as much info as possible and weigh your options. See what works best.

Because if we´re honest- not everyone is capable of marketing themselves or their work. Not everyone is a social bunny. But if a writer wants to self publish then there´s no way around having to do some self marketing. But when someone is good at marketing themselves then self publishing can be a joy and fun all around.

Coming next: Self Published Authors, Part Two: Book Pricing

Latest Instagram Features from Morgana´s Book Box

It´s time for a few honorable Instagram Book Box Feature mentions!

I proudly present my recent works. Lots of love, sweat, energy, yelling at the dog, telling my kids not to run on the road, fighting with wind, rain and heat were invested in creating these pics. Have a look…. 🙂

Happy Saturday, everyone!🌸 My neighbor caught me examining her flowers today from my kitchen window and invited me to pick a few, even offered me the whole bush as it annoys her😂. So- a purple 💜BOOK BOX FEATURE💜 it is today. Let's give it up for one of my favorite books by @pccastauthor – 'Devine By Mistake' (Partholon #1). Such a beautiful story worth losing yourself in. Okay, chichas… gotta run. Hope you all have a lovely day. Don't forget to share the 📖💜! . . . . #bookstagram #libraryofinstagram #love #fantasy #paranormal #read #book #paperback #series #pccast #partholon #bookworm #bookpic #bookphotography #purple #flowers #bookishfeatures #feature #saturdaynight #germany #bookjunkie #ilovebooksmorethanpeople #bookstagrammer #bookblogger #instablog #instablog #readingissexy #magical #📚

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*waves enthusiastically* Hey all you lovely people! How's it going? Enjoying the heat?☉ I've been hiding in the shade reading one 📖 after another and contemplated on buying a sombrero ( I burn poorly while tanning. Life's such a bitch) Anyways… while hiding i managed to get a ☆☆BOOK BOX FEATURE☆☆ done. ' Verführt' (Colours of Love) by Kathryn Taylor. All in all a nice read. Keeo sharing the 📚💓 . . . . #romance #lovestory #love #books #bücher #lesen #read #leseratte #bücherwurm #suckerforromance #igreads #libraryofinstagram #ilovebooks #bookstagram #bookworm #booknerd #bookwhore #bookjunkie #bookninja #bookcover #📚 #liebe #androidphotography #s7 #bookphotography #bookpic #bookfeature #germany #read

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Happy Monday! 🤓What to do with your kids and their friend when they're bored as hell? You force all 3 to sit and pose for a book box pic😂 Yes. I was deeply hated before/during/after this pic. Was it worth it? Definitely! I'm in love. ( btw- left and center are mine ) Hope you all enjoy your day and don't forget to share the 📚💜! . . . . . #instakids #childrensbooks #kidsandbooks #mygirls #bookbuddies #bookstagram #bookbesties #bookfriends #readingbooks #androidphotography #bookworm #books #booklove #paperback #bookstagrammers #instabooks #igreads #bookphotography #fortheloveofreading #outdoors #kinder #mädchen #lesenmachtglücklich #buchliebe #bookgram #lesenmachtschlau #germany #📚 #lesen #monday

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What do you think?

Feel free to find and stalk me on Instagram under Morgana´s Book Box and leave a like and comment! If not, then I might cry a round or two then I´ll get over it.

Hope you all have a lovely day! Don´t forget to share the book love!

5 Reasons Why Book Reviews Are Important

We´ve all seen them. They´re all over the internet, on movie / book covers and even in magazines in form of recommendations or as one-liners included in ads. In one form or another – we´ve all been confronted with someone´s opinion on something that piques our interest. Reviews.

We live in a time where everyone has the opportunity to raise their voice and be heard and the easiest way for that to happen is through the internet. Luckily- not everyone has to be a professional writer to whip up a few words and publish them.

Reviews play a major role in the book industry.

When an author decides to publish their work they need people who will read their book and leave an opinion on their story, or else, their dream of „ getting out there“ will less likely come true.

Sadly, alot of great books don´t get enough recognition. Many good stories never see a large audience. Why is that?

Well, maybe the book is terrible. Maybe the genre of the book isn´t popular and therefore hasn´t been able to reach a larger audience. Or, maybe… just maybe the book doesn´t have enough reviews.

In alot of cases, all points above can be the reason for lack of success. In my humble opinion- the main reason for a missing fame is a missing review.

Mouth to mouth propaganda used to be a reliable source when it came to spreading the word. But these days- it´s not enough to tell your neighbor about the awesome book you recently finished reading. You have to use the tools you´re given in order to help spread the word and that tool is the internet.

Now, I know what you´re thinking because I think about it alot before I purchase a book.

Are reviews reliable? To be perfectly honest… the answer is YES and NO. The problem with reviews are- they´re subjective. Reviews are 20% based on facts and 80% based on personal feelings. Every reader who writes a review will always know what the story is about but their feelings on the story is what makes a review a review. So, can I trust a stranger´s opinion about a book I want to read? The answer is still YES and NO. It depends.

But one thing is for sure- reviews help and here are the 5 reasons as to why reviews are important.

Reviews Help Indecisive People

Despite the fact the reviews are subjective, they still help readers make a decision. It´s a trust issue. It could also help to read more than one review before picking the next read. What usually helps me is to skip all the 5 out of 5 star ratings and go straight for the 3 star reviews. Those are mostly more trustworthy than all the ramblings from the outstanding ratings. Reviewers who give 3 stars often take a step back and try to be less emotional about what they´ve read.

Reviews Increases Sales

Believe it or not. Reviews help with sales. If you´re a fan of an authors work, especially a fan of an independent author, then publishing an online review can help them climb up the ladder of success.

 

Reviews Help Get An Author Noticed

So you read a book and want to share your thoughts? You call a friend or you mention the book at a party and that´s where it usually ends. The bush drums have collected dust over the last few years. My first boss used to tell me- „Good news spreads at a snails pace but bad news spreads quicker.“. There´s alot of truth behind those words but nevertheless, if you don´t spread the word ( positive or negative ) then people won´t know. People won´t notice the amazing author your discovered if you don´t use your tools ( technology ). It takes one curious person to stumble upon your opinion on the internet and you have the power to persuade that person with your thoughts. And in the end, you also helped an author get noticed. It´s a win / win for everyone.

 

Reviews Help Authors Improve Their Skill

It´s true.

Reviews are not only there to help with sales and convince a reader to buy a book, reviews are a form of feedback for authors.

If 20 people wrote that they hated the story then that´s their opinion based mainly on their feelings. It´s then a matter of taste. But when 20 or more reviews say the story lacked emotions then that´s something an author can work with. That´s called constructive feedback. Sadly, both don´t really help an author with sales but it can help an author improve their skill and write a book with more emotions for the future. If no one points out the positive or negative then an author will never know if they´re doing something right or wrong.

 

Bonding Through Reviews

Who would have thought that reviews are also a great way to meet new people and possibly make new friends? Yupp. Whatever a review entails there are always going to be people who either agree or disagree and that can bring people together. It can be an author who liked your review or it can be another reader… when someone reacts to your review and reaches out then there´s a good chance to make a new friend ( or enemy ). It´s not science, it´s nature. And here´s the clue- when people bond over a mutual interest then they eventually expand and form groups that often turn into larger groups and that always leads to a small fan base. The small fan base meets another small fan base and they create a large clique. That´s how an author CAN get fans and fans meet new people and sooner or later they become devoted cheerleaders with a purpose. Another win / win.

 

The truth, though, stays the same. Not everyone wants to write a review for the public eye. Many are just comfortable reading and leaving it at that. Which is fine. But keep in mind- If no one writes a review then others can´t be helped. Reviews do not have to be as lengthy as a novel. They don´t even have to sound professional. The sole purpose of a review is to help ( or not help, depending on the type of feedback you want to give ). It only takes a few words, maybe 5 lines to state your opinion. You also don´t have to use every single social media to publish your review. Pick one platform ( Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, FB, etc.) and I guarantee someone will see it. You can even contact a blogger and speak with them about your thoughts and maybe co-write a review with them. The possibilities are endless.

And that, my dear readers, is why reviews are important.

 

Book Spotlight Feature- Colleen Hoover

In my Book Spotlight feature, I´ll be focusing on one author every few weeks- whether it´s a well known, NYT Bestselling writer who´s published more than 5 books or an Indie-author who is destined to be a future Bestseller.

I´ll be presenting their books in form of a review and book box feature on Instagram.

This is designed to introduce readers to new and well known authors and their works and maybe help readers who have been tempted to try these authors books but haven´t been sure where to begin.

Diving head-first into a new world can be exciting but unfortunately, it´s also tricky business. I´m here to help navigate and maybe help indecisive readers in their choice of what book to read next.

This week, starting today until Saturday, the author and books in the spotlight is: Colleen Hoover.

spotlight-1

Colleen Hoover

  • Who is Colleen Hoover?
  • What books are available?
  • What do I think?

Who is Colleen Hoover?

Colleen Hoover is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including the #1 bestseller, Hopeless. She lives in Texas with her husband and three children. She is the founder of The Bookworm Box, a book subscription service which donates 100% of its proceeds to charity. She also owns The Bookworm Box, a specialty bookstore located in Sulphur Springs, Tx. colleen-hoover

Mrs. Hoover’s highly anticipated novel, It Ends With Us, releases August 2nd, 2016 and is currently available for preorder.

Her novel, Ugly Love (2014), has been optioned for film by Hackybox Pictures and is slated to begin filming in 2016, starring Nick Bateman.

You can follow Colleen on her very active Facebook page and on Instagram and Twitter @colleenhoover

What Books Are Available?

Colleen is known and loved by all age groups for writing highly emotional, deeply meaningful and beautiful romantic stories. There´s  something for everyone in her books.( with the exception of horror.)

The list below is not in publication date order. In which order you read the standalones and series is entirely up to you, but I highly recommend you start with Hopeless ( Hopeless #1).

Hopeless ( Hopeless #1 )

Losing Hope ( Hopeless #2 )

Finding Cinderella ( Hopeless #2.5) 

Slammed ( Slammed #1 )

Point Of Retreat ( Slammed #2 )

This Girl ( Slammed #3 )

Maybe Someday ( Maybe #1 )

Maybe Not ( Maybe #1.5 )

Ugly Love

November 9

Never Never ( Never Never #1 ) * Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

Never Never: Part Two ( Never Never #2 ) * Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

Never Never: Part Three ( Never Never #3 ) * Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

It Ends With Us

Too Late

 

What Do I Think?

Each day, starting today until Saturday, I´ll be presenting either complete series or standalones and will include my thoughts in form of reviews. Also- I will be including Instagram Book Spotlight Features of Colleen Hoovers books along with each published review.

My reviews can also be found on Amazon.com, on my  Facebook page and on Twitter . Reviews will not be included on Instagram but you´re still very welcome to visit my book box features anytime you feel the need to.

 

Thank you and I truly hope you enjoy!