What is an Author-preneur?
Being an author in the self-publishing industry today is like opening a small business. Your books are your products. You must wear the hat of writer, editor (for early edits), publisher, publicist, social media manager and entrepreneur.
Being an author is a challenging career choice whether you go the traditional or self-publishing route. You expose your soul to the world and brace yourself for reviews.
If you decide to go the route of self-publishing, you give up the team behind the traditional publisher. You will need to do a lot of work yourself, hire people and ask for help. You will be your own cheerleader and give yourself a daily pep talk in the solitude necessary to write. It is the most rewarding gig ever, yet very tough. Keep in mind that Selah Press has many services that can help take some of the pressure off of you.
Who Could and Should Self-Publish?
Maybe the question isn’t, “Who can self-publish” but instead, “Who should write a book?” My belief is that God gave each of us unique gifts and perspectives. Everyone has a voice and something important to teach. Do you have the confidence in yourself to believe that what you know is worth sharing and you are worth earning income for sharing it?
I use the term author-preneur in my book, How to Self-Publish: A Guide for Author-Preneurs, because being both author and entrepreneur is critical to being a successful writer today. Self-publishing is the entrepreneurship route to publication. You are in control of deadlines, cover design, concept, price, as well as your potential success or failure. It’s all yours, baby! You will see other terms commonly used for today’s author including indie and artisan. I like all the terms because to me being an author-preneur, indie or artisan encompasses the innovative and risk-taking spirit it takes to succeed in today’s ever changing marketplace.
Whether you call this form of publishing indie, artisan or author-preneurship, the truth is that at the end of the day, readers don’t care how your book was published. What they do care about is content, what it can do to help or inspire them, in addition to how much your book will cost them.
Once upon a time, self-publishing was equated with failure for an author, but it wasn’t a true perception then and it most definitely isn’t true today. It is just as exciting to hold a self-published book in your hand as it is to hold a traditionally published one. Maybe more so, because you get to keep a bigger piece of the profit; and you successfully accomplished your goal.
You are probably not going to get rich unless you are among the few one-in-a-million runaway success stories but in the meantime, why not create a long term source of income that will outlive you? Your royalty checks will continue rolling in forever. The book publishing industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. It is a risk to reach for the moon, but it’s definitely more exciting than studying the lint in your belly button as you hold your dreams in.
Well-known and profitable authors are walking away from traditional publishing to self-publish using On Demand Publishing for paperback editions, Digital options for eReaders such as Kindle, Nook and other devices. You can read more about the Positive Shift for Indie Publishers here.
In the book, Be the Monkey, co-author Barry Eisler discusses how he turned down a half million dollar book deal with a traditional publisher to self-publish. Not too long ago, he would have been considered crazy to walk away from such a deal, but he did the math. The decision to self-publish, just like any business decision, is a mathematical equation in which you commit to put your time, energy and resources into the most profitable route.
You don’t have to look too far to find articles by established authors and publishers who look down upon self-published authors, but the ability to keep your book in print forever, earn higher royalties, achieve better eBook profits, set your own price and increase the speed that a book can enter the market, is swaying many over to self-publishing.
Joe Konrath, co-author of the book, Be the Monkey, puts it bluntly, “There are so many writers now defending the Big 6 (publishers) that I liken their behavior to Stockholm syndrome.” Later in the same book Eisler says in regards to legacy deals, “The final argument I’ve been hearing . . . is that, ‘Okay, some people are making money in self-publishing, but it’s always the same names.’ But the list of names keeps getting longer. The critics are going to be reduced to saying, ‘Okay, some people are making money in self-publishing, but it’s always the same five thousands names.’ The critics will be self-publishing themselves before then.”
There has never been a better time in history for you to write your book. The only things that stand between you and your published book are self-limiting fear, excuses or not making your dreams of writing and publishing your book a priority. Whether you want to self-publish, find a publisher to go the traditional route, or find an indie publisher like Selah Press I highly recommend reading How to Self-Publish: A Guide for Author-Preneurs.