The Freedom and Responsibilities of Self-Publishing

I thoroughly enjoyed the Digital Publishing Virtual Summit hosted by D’vorah Lansky and I am still reviewing the wealth of information the speakers shared at the Summit, with a view to implementing some of the suggestions.

One of the speakers Roger C Parker shared his thoughts on Creating a Map to Your Personal Branding Success, and touched on the new freedoms that being a self-published author presented in this era.

As an author, do you think that digital publishing has almost leveled the playing field for authors and publishers?  According to Roger, freedom has replaced control, and digital publishing has broken the barriers to getting published. You can now experience freedom and benefits in these ways:

  • It costs less to getting started.
  • You can get published faster. No longer do you need to wait six months to a year to get published.
  • There is greater profit potential.
  • There are more self-publishing, printing, and profit making options. You are free to publish multiple versions of your book.
  • It is a search engine/Amazon world. No need to water down your message for book store audiences. You can now write for limited markets – for your ideal readers – you no longer need to create broad based popular culture books.
  • You are responsible for your book sales and there is no middle man, no deductions.
  • This is the age of the entrepreneur and the entrepreneurial author. You can use your book, reuse it, and sell it in as many ways as possible, or even give it away in as many ways as possible.

What though are the corresponding responsibilities for authors in this new dispensation? You are now called upon to shoulder the responsibilities for many of the functions previously carried out by traditional publishers. These responsibilities include:

  • Developmental editing: choosing the right topic and approach for your book; choosing the right title; organizing a compelling and logical Table of Contents; working on your own; and being your own feedback mentor. The reduced support means that you have a greater responsibility to ensure that you are writing a book that readers will want.
  • Editing and proofing: You may now have the responsibility of selecting and hiring freelance editors and paying for freelancers.
  • Formatting: During the past five to ten years it has become necessary to provide pages with the correct text styles. You are now responsible for formatting e.g. creating a compelling book front cover and back cover, choosing a page layout, producing pages, and if you are not doing this yourself, then you will need to find someone else to do them.
  • Marketing: The most successful authors have recognized that they need to go out and create the demand for their book. And you can do so by establishing an online presence, website, and a reader following.
  • Business responsibilities: You need to determine whether your book is a viable investment-worthy prospect, from a business point of view. Digital Publishing creates a can do mindset that requires mastering the tools.

Roger stated that whether these benefits translate to actual dollars and cents depends entirely on your ability to create a road map to your personal branding success. Digital Publishing means that writing is no longer all that you, the author, has to do. Project Management skills are as important to your success, as is writing.

He encourages you to view the ability to manage your time, and the ability to willfully and enthusiastically embrace new techniques as a freeing rather than hindering process. In Roger’s words, “if you can do that, you are on the way to a second or third career that can be glorious, because if you love books and can write and manage your time the world is yours.”

Sign up here to listen to Roger’s complete presentation as he shares ideas on how you can get your writing started and create a map to your personal branding success, along with other sterling presentations on digital publishing.

What do you think? Has the world of self-publishing presented new opportunities for you? What strategies are you using to manage the new responsibilities that have come with the freedom of being a self-published author?



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