Most writers wish their story would become a bestseller. That’s just being human. But whether you are still chasing publication or you are just intrigued by all the “instant” successes like Amanda Hocking, self-publishing is a world you probably should investigate.
Writing Tip for Today: Who should go self-published and who should tough out the agent-traditional publishing game?
- Fifty to One Hundred Agent Turn-downs. If you’d really rather go traditional, my advice is not to give up (if then) until your project has been passed on by at least 50-100 quality literary agents. Resolve to approach as many of these as possible in person at a writing conference. It costs money, but it’s still your best opportunity. A query letter has a much smaller chance of connecting with an agent on the emotional level than does a face-to-face pitch.
- Know Thine Audience. If you have a nonfiction project with a very well-defined or niche audience, you may need to get your product to market faster than a traditional publisher might. And never forget that a publisher may approach you if you sell a lot of your books and create a good buzz. One of the most common mistakes authors make in putting out self-pubbed titles is that they aren’t really sure who their audience is. If you don’t know this crucial bit of info, you may as well drive around the country and sell your book from the back of your station wagon.
- Be Marketing-savvy. If you do decide to self-pub, take a refresher course on basic marketing or study how these Amanda Hocking-types do it. You will not be able to put your book on Amazon and hope it sells. Talk to other self-pubbers (preferably writing similar genre books), and grow your network with the usual online presence, plus an active campaign in that 100 mile radius of your location. Most importantly, if you are disappointed with sales using one strategy, be creative. Most of the success stories refused to give up.