The number of authors publishing through independent means such as Amazon, NOOKPress, Smashwords, etc is exploding, but with that independence comes a host of responsibilities that traditional publishers (both large and small) took care of. There are a plethora of other companies springing up that take care of these responsibilities for you, but for a fee, of course.
What are some of those responsibilities? Well, to start with there are the formatting issues that each publication process requires, book cover art, editing and proof reading and indexing for non-fiction; etc., and if you think these things don’t matter – think again.
All of these processes matter to the success of your book and don’t get me wrong, there are authors who’ve done just fine juggling all these different responsibilities and are quite successful, but some authors decide along the way that it’s just better to outsource some of these responsibilities so they can do the one thing they really want to do and that is write.
For those of us who independently publish our work, there are many tough choices to make. Do we “do-it-ourselves” when it comes to editing, book cover art, publicity, etc., or do we outsource one or all of it to someone else. More often than not it comes down to what we can afford to do or not do, but in the end if we spend all that time writing a novel or non-fiction book, we want people to notice it and buy it and come back for more if we’ve actually continued to publish.
Take the example of Russell Blake who is a self-published author and who has released 25 books in the last 30 months He was recently profiled by the Wall Street Journal in an article dated Jan 7, 2014. Here’s the link:
The article is a fascinating read! I was struck by the fact that Mr. Blake started outsourcing certain aspects of the self-publishing process so he could focus more on the writing aspect. After all, isn’t writing the main aspect of being a writer/author? I was also fascinated by how he positioned himself to be able to outsource those pieces and I think all writers/authors should take note of the lessons they can learn from what Mr. Blake has done.
I haven’t read any of his books – yet – but, I’m very curious about his process as a writer and once you read this article, you will be as well.