The self publishing solution is tricky
The self publishing solution has a problem. Writers don’t know the solution they need is called ‘self-publishing’. Only people who have discovered this solution know that’s what it’s called!
Most people have a conversation about their book: which is the context; then mention ‘how can I sell more of them?’ or ‘it’s all so complicated, how can I make it easier?’
They are not aware that the solution is ‘self-publishing’. The aha moment comes from someone else knowing the answer and telling them. But, once someone knows the answer, the answer becomes complex and confusing because they don’t know all the components of ‘self-publishing’ in order to assess, firstly, whether its possible for them to go for it, and secondly, whether what they’re reading about is good and true for them.
The next step is to talk about it with people and find out if anyone else has any experience of self-publishing. Most writers never get this far. Most writers are overwhelmed and go back into their writer-ly cave and don’t face the problem again: sometimes, ever.
The confident ones come back to it and step their toe in the water.
Who is helping?
One of the new kids on the block which has just popped up on my radar is Reedsy.
This is what Reedsy say:
“Reedsy provides support through every stage of a book’s production. We’ll connect you with vetted, industry-experienced editors, cover designers and publicists, and help you find the best partners for your project. We’ll give you a purpose-built writing tool designed for collaborating closely with an editor on a manuscript. Then we’ll take care of converting and posting your book directly to the Kindle Store, the iBookstore and the Kobo Store with a single click.
Reedsy streamlines self-publishing, making it easy to compare freelancers, craft your book with the help of an editor and handle after-publication tasks like tracking sales and financial data. We eliminate the busywork and leave you free to do what you love: write.”
Even with this great service – writers need more. Getting your books produced and on the digital/physical shelves doesn’t get to the root of the problem. How to sell more books?
No-one is addressing that! Amazon is filling up with books that don’t sell. Writers will become disillusioned with services such as this because it doesn’t do enough. Much the same way as companies come to web designers to build a new website, when what they actually want is more sales. Writers should be targeted for a marketing strategy which actually works, as opposed to one which they are led to believe works. I’m not suggesting Reedsy are doing this btw, not at all. They appear (I haven’t tested it) to be providing a fantastic service, and I’m only using them to illustrate my bigger point. Writers need a marketing strategy in order for the production strategy to become effective long-term.
Otherwise, all the companies listed above, will eventually disappear.
Sell more of my books and I will buy into any production process you present me. The production process itself will not sell more books.
Mark Mapstone – 2014 😉
Mark Mapstone is a skateboarder, a writer, and author of the Ethan Wares Skateboard Series books.
Follow Mark on Instagram: @7plywood
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