Last year I received many beginners’ questions about self-publishing Kindle ebooks. I’ll tackle the questions this year. Today, let’s look at some of the basic myths around this simple process.
You’re aware that many authors make an excellent living from self-publishing. Some fiction writers are making six-figures a month. Who knew, right? I’m shocked at the figures some fiction authors are making, because for centuries, writing fiction was a hobby for most authors, not a career.
You’d love to self-publish, but it all seems so complicated. The more advice you get, and the more forums you read, the more confused you become.
Self-publishing is really simple.
Consider this: millions of people all over the globe want and need entertainment and information. You can provide it.
Self-publishing Kindle ebooks is easy, fun, and still profitable, despite the competition
A British publisher published my first novel in 1982, and I’ve been creating ebooks and other information products since 2002. Some of my info products sold for a decade. Yes, I updated them, but nevertheless, I got paid for the ebooks over and over again.
As regards fiction, my years dealing with traditional publishing houses and literary agents in the 1980s instilled a deep cynicism. It took a long time for me to get over it. Self-publishing helped me to LOVE writing fiction again, both for myself, and for my ghostwriting clients.
Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, self-publishing is easy, fun and can be very profitable, no matter what the competition — see Myth 4, below.
So, let’s look at the top 5 myths. They’re in no particular order.
Myth 1: you need an original idea
Listen up. ALL your ideas are original. You’re the origin of any idea you have, and you’re an original, so your treatment of any idea will be original.
To get all Biblical on you for a moment: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
Be aware too that there’s no copyright on ideas. You can only copyright the form of an idea: “A major limitation on copyright is that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, and not the underlying ideas themselves.”
So create away. Yes, many thousands of books have been written on weight loss, but you can happily write your own ebook. It will be original. As for fiction — human nature is what it is. So you can happily write your own mystery or romance novel and it will be “original.”
Myth 2: self-publishing is complicated — you need professional help
Yes, well… (sigh) about “professional help” — when you depend on others, you’re at risk. Read Kris Rusch on the recent All Romance Ebooks debacle:
ARe wasn’t the only venture to go belly-up in 2016. A couple of other companies that got their start as some kind of support, or “new” business model based solely on the indie publishing revolution also liquidated in 2016. Another—Booktrope—vanished fast as well, although unlike ARe, Booktrope gave its suppliers a month to handle the loss.
Please pay attention. Years ago when I had major publishers and New York literary agents, I still had to learn to do everything myself. It’s amazing how useless and incompetent some “professionals” can be.
Today, if you can create an MS Word doc without spraining a finger, you can self-publish.
You can learn anything and everything there is to know about self-publishing. If I learned anything from traditional publishing, it’s this: the more people who stand between you and your readers, the more trouble you have. Eliminate as many middle men as you can — you’ll have an easier life.
You can hire all the self-publishing help you need: an editor, proofreader, cover designer — you choose what you need. Or you can do it ALL yourself.
Check the motivation of anyone who tells you it’s complicated.
Myth 3: it’s hard to sell ebooks. You need a big launch
You know where this myth came from, don’t you? One guess. The people who charge you big bucks to teach you how to do “launches.”
Hit the Publish button on Amazon and Draft2Digital. Hey presto — your ebook is launched.
Myth 4: there are too many ebooks already, the competition is too tough
Read the indie publishing survey:
▪ 87% of the 2,000 authors reported earning 70% of their income from ebooks.
▪ The majority of the authors survey reported that 2016 was their best year in self-publishing since 2010.
There are many reasons that YOU have no competition you need to worry about, so publish away. Look at it this way: new readers are discovering indie ebooks every day, and new baby readers are born every minute. 🙂
Myth 5: you don’t know enough to write and publish an ebook
“Writing a book” sounds complicated, doesn’t it?
Think about something you’re good at. Have you ever helped someone to do it — shown them how? If you have, you can write a nonfiction ebook.
If you want to write fiction, have you ever told your kids (or someone else’s kids) a story? You have? Happy days. You’re a storyteller, so go ahead and write short stories and novels, and self-publish them.
Start today: your journey to self-publishing your own Kindle ebooks starts here
Self-publishing is EASY. Truly. If you can create a Word doc, Amazon will publish it for you as an ebook. Amazon even has something called Cover Creator, it’s free.
Happy self-publishing. 🙂
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Updated: January 20, 2018