If you have a business or want to advance quickly in your career, the number one best thing you can do is establish yourself as an expert. You might think that expert status is something others confer on you, but it’s very largely something that you do yourself! No one can agree that you’re an expert if you don’t keep up on the latest news and put your opinions out there. And there’s no better way than with a book!
In the past, it was all but impossible to get a book published. Any writer knows that the process of getting the words down can take years — but that’s not all. Most writers also need an agent, even for nonfiction. That process can take six months to a year — in some cases, far more. Once you have an agent, they have to “shop” the book to publishers. The big publishing houses often don’t accept “simultaneous submissions,” which means you have to wait for each rejection one at a time. They can each take years!
It’s a wonder how any books got published at all under this system, right? Well, now there’s an alternative. You can publish just about any book on the Amazon Kindle platform and make it available to millions of Kindle users as well as millions more who can view your book on other electronic platforms.
Kindle Publishing Versus Vanity Publishing
One of the biggest scams to hit any industry in the last decade has been the explosive rise of vanity publishing. In vanity publishing, you submit your manuscript to a shady operation that publishes it after you pay them a fee. You might get a few copies and might be able to sell a few dozen to friends and family, but in the end you’re left with nothing tangible and the “publisher” has taken you for a ride. Don’t do it!
By contrast, publishing on Kindle lets you maintain control over your work. You will still have to provide proofreading, copy editing, and other services — but the truth is that vanity publishers don’t provide these, anyway. You will also have to get someone to make a compelling, “book-like” cover if you want your offerings to stand out in the crowd. But beyond that, Kindle publishing is free and you get royalties per sale.
Why Kindle Publishing Beats Traditional Publishing Hands Down
When you go to a bookstore, it’s obvious which authors the store “wants” you to choose. The ones who get the big storefront displays are considered sure bets by management and the corporate office. Those on the back shelves can expect to be “remaindered off” in a hurry — in other words, if the store orders ten copies of a book and only sells two in a few weeks, they might only order two during the next sales cycle.
That means that, as coveted as a position on the bookstore shelves is, it’s a losing proposition for most authors. For all their big talk, publishing houses don’t generally spend much money promoting new authors. It’s up to the author to do as much of the promotion as possible and, if they are favored, to write another book as quickly as possible so it, too, can be remaindered off. Success is the exception, not the rule.
In most cases, you’ll have a fighting chance as a Kindle publisher that you won’t get as an author newly in print from a big publishing house. That’s because people will be able to discover your book when they do their ordinary, everyday Amazon searches. It’s even easier for a new author to get attention from a reader who is shopping on the Kindle.
When you buy books in the Kindle Store, there is virtually no distinction made between establishment authors and newcomers. Your works could appear alongside the most trusted authorities in your field. Plus, there are fewer expectations when it comes to the length of your book. Most customers are happy to pay for a 50-page work that answers their questions effectively and gives them value, versus a 200-page work by a multi-time author that’s full of hot air — intended to meet publishing house guidelines for size.
Naturally, when you publish on the Kindle, you should enlist help. Get a proofreader to help you make sure that your copy (that is, the words in your piece) meets up to the standards of the big publishing houses. Find someone who can make you an eye-catching “cover,” since that will be a huge factor in driving sales — nobody wants to buy a Kindle book that doesn’t have the same look and feel of a real book. If users are disappointed, bad reviews will drag down your sales.
But also try to worry less and enjoy the process. You have creative control!
About the Author
S. D. Farrell is a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, career development author, and speaker. He has placed hundreds of job seekers during the recession, helping IT pros from entry to C-level achieve employment at Tech 100 firms like Google and Amazon. Get tips on information technology resumes by this author at his site, Career Excellence Advisors.
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