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Category: Self-publishing

The Inimitable Success of the Self-Published

The Lone Ranger, someone we could all learn a thing or two from.There are quite a few authors around the world who have sold a lot of books on their own when they didn’t with publishers, and rather than seeing this as their own success, they see it as their publisher’s failing. They may go on to say how they can teach publishers about how to make an author into a millionaire, if those publishers were to listen. There are probably books on this very subject out there right now, ‘How to Promote Your Novel’ and so forth, by self-proclaimed gurus of the subject.

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What we’ve learned from writers on CompletelyNovel – a ‘read-this first’ for self publishers

Anna LewisThis is a guest post from Anna Lewis, who co-founded the book technology company CompletelyNovel with Oli Brooks in 2008. Since then, they have created CompletelyNovel.com, a community powered book-publishing platform bringing modern publishing tools to an online network of readers, writers and publishers. You can follow Anna on Twitter via @anna_cn and @completelynovel.

 

There is endless advice that goes out to self-published authors about building their brand, identifying their audience and how to promote their work. This is all vital in the success of a book, but writers shouldn’t let it detract from other parts of the self-publishing process – namely, the technical and project management (let’s be honest, slightly more boring) side of things.

Working with self-publishers on CompletelyNovel has been massively inspiring. Every day we see new writers produce something that they have often been waiting many years to see in print. The advent of new tools on the internet has opened up so many doors. But, like anything, it throws up new challenges as well. So here are some dos and don’ts for aspiring self-publishers and their mentors to mull over, learned through watching the experiences of others.

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Bad Language: ‘Legacy Publisher’ Is Not A Thing

Legacy publishing is not a thing. Sorry, maybe it’s this thing. But in the context of the publishing industry, supplanting the word ‘house’ or ‘printed’ for ‘legacy’ is used as a tool only to insult mainstream publishing and assist the few who are benefiting from this false dichotomy (thanks, university degree) of publishing houses vs author.

This meaningless phrase is used as meaningless phrases are: to cover holes in our understanding of things. In this case it is being used to describe a gap in our understanding of digital publishing. In our rush to seem up-to-date and not go the way of the music industry, we create such labels and then throw them around in order to draw a line between ourselves and them. Those others. Those morons with old ideas. Those… Saruman-like dictators of culture.

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