New Country for Old Writers

The self-publishing craze is perhaps the best news an older writer could hear. No longer discriminated against by traditional publishing, these seasoned writers no longer have to fear dying before they find an agent or a publisher. Every older writer I know has taken up the clarion call. Some are absolutely giddy, proclaiming that writers finally have the power! You too can become like Amanda Hocking or John Locke!
Writing Tip for Today: What’s the real scoop?

  • Land of a Thousand Bad Novels. A wide open field like this means a lot of competition. YOUR book is wonderful. But readers will have to wade through a lot of dreck to get your book on their radar.
  • Rob You Blind. You could still be taken. For a ride, that is. Self-publishing wannabes need to research the options carefully before taking the plunge. The current leader, CreateSpace from Amazon, has a decent reputation. But consider which services you really need, and be willing to pony up.
  • Hefty, Hefty. Self-publishing means you need some Marketing Muscle. Those with deep pockets will have a much easier time promoting than a single mom who’s been squirreling away a dollar here or there. Plan on spending money to get your book noticed–even if it means something as basic as budgeting for review copies and giveaways.
  • Empty Garage Syndrome. One of the best things about the “new” self-publishing, is that you can choose to keep your book completely electronic if you wish. Those who want a paperback have POD (Print On Demand) to keep their garages from overflowing with a gazillion copies no one will ever want.
  • Many Happy Returns. Before the advent of Amazon, a self-pubbed author had to hand-sell her book to each book store manager. Managers refused to carry these books because there was no return policy in place. CreateSpace and other self-pub ventures have begun to address the problem.
  • Pry My Book From My Cold, Dead Hand. If you are on the far side of 50, you can go the self-pub route and not face the scorn of only a few years ago. Many older writers just want to “hold my book in my hand,” before they go to the Big Bookstore in the Sky. Investigate, assess your needs, budget to include some sort of promotion. Self-publishing may be a new country for old writers–and those who still have a ways to go.

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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