Friday, February 11, 2011

To Publish or not to Publish

This week the CreComm tradition of speakers held strong as Matt Duggan and Julie Wilson talked to us about publishing.

If I were to publish a work that I had written there would be three options in front of me: traditional publisher, self-publish, or online.

The first idea that comes to my mind would to be digital. Although I personally believe digital (iPads, kindles, e-readers) are not completely taking over, I do think that people spend a lot of time on their laptops and cell-phones where something I wrote could be read.

However, after reading Julie Wilson's blog, I discovered a very good point she made about publishing. Yea, I could upload my manuscript to Indigo or Amazon for free...but who would read it? I agree with her in that books need to be seen in stores, promoted, and put forward for eligible awards for it to gain a following. She says "No one buys a book they haven’t heard of" in her blog post.

As I read her blog post, I found out that writers usually only take home 10 per cent of their book sales, but Amazon and Indigo are offering up to 70 per cent of sales, therefore cutting out the publisher.

It's a struggle. Either more people buy your book as a result of good editing and marketing with a publisher, but make less money, or have the chance to make more money with no marketing provided.

Faced with these choices, I think I would upload my book and do the marketing and promotion myself. Now, I'm no public realtions/marketing genius, but I would put the skills I've learned in CreComm to use. I think if I was really serious about it, I could market my book, because the cause would be personal to me and I would work hard at it. Maybe I'm being naive, but isn't that what CreComm is all about? Believing that you can do what seems impossible?

After I uploaded my book and self-promoted it, I would use any publicity or following I had to try and get a publisher for my next work though.

As an end note, I can see why writers that speak to us are always saying that there is not a lot of money in writing, since according to Julie Wilson's blog and speech they usually only make two or three dollars per book. I somehow didn't believe previous speaker because the extremely succesful writers were in my head.

I suppose the money is in multiple projects at a time and using writing skills for thing one never imagined like Wilson's guide to True Blood or writing final reports for organizations or companies.

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