I am a self-employed Author. About a year ago I learned there were methods and ways to self-publish without costing the thousands of dollars required by so-called ‘Vanity’ Presses. A vanity press will only print up your book or put it on Kindle or other e-pub stores – all things you can do yourself. There are instructions and help galore on the internet for this. Then they will charge copious amounts to ‘market’ your book and most is ineffective.
First I had to combat that label ‘Vanity Press’. It was so far removed from ‘who I am’. I couldn’t sell a toilet to a person who needed one. I have no marketing skills. But now – with modern technology and the internet there are so many methods – not so costly – where you can promote yourself without continually bragging.
I had to learn that just because a publishing company rejects you doesn’t mean your story isn’t great. I think the publishing industry is mainly luck and the editor – liking your story (perspective/opinion). If they agree with your ‘political or social views’ they will look kindly at your work. If they don’t – they reject it, well-written or not. If they have space they will publish you. But in the end – it is still up to you to promote your work. They also take most the proceeds from sales.
Then I discovered the fantastic option of being able to ‘keep’ more money self-publishing than the meager amounts a publishing company will give. You are in control. It is a heady experience. You the author – gets a larger amount for all your efforts, struggles and time. You – the person who wrote the story.
Researching internet marketing and self-promotion is a difficult, confusing endeavor, but with an open-mind, a thickening of the skin and a plan, not impossible.
My suggestions are – target your market. Don’t spend all your time (but some) on the social aspect which can end up eating all your time. Join groups – both locally and on the internet. Find out who is helpful and who would wish to harm you. There are both. It is a great lesson in character reading/development. Character development is something all writers should learn. Only put out money on those things that will help you (press releases for example. I write romance and Authorhouse put me in the Boston Financial Paper – needless to say – there were no sales). There seems to be more con-artists on the internet than before in person. Maybe because we used to see their eyes? Research all websites and claims to help you. Trust other self-published authors who are willing to help you – only after you are sure they are actually serious about writing/publishing. A writer who is not serious can drain you.
This will be time-consuming, confusing and frustrating. Write out lists/write out a plan – even a business plan just like you would for another small business. Organize your ideas and go forward. There will be drawbacks and many times you will feel as though you aren’t getting ahead. It is like other small business attempts. There are outlines – both on the internet to download or in book stores. A business plan may seem like a long stretch from writing but is a serious way to market.
It’s all up to you. You are the boss. Good luck and happy writing!