What do you know about self publishing?


#61

8k followers will probably get you more than one buyer. xD I only have 229 followers haha. But a lot of people on Wattpad are here for free stuff. It’s hard to convince them to pay for books - esp. if they don’t have access to credit cards.

I post my self-published books chapter by chapter here on Wattpad. At the end of each book, I ask my readers to leave ratings on Goodreads if they can’t buy the book for whatever reason. Followers can do more than give you sales.


#62

Exactly. Even if all my readers will do is give good reviews or tell their friends…8.6k people who might do that is no small number. I figure if 1k to that itd be good lol. I have indeed had readers pledge to buy. Some asking if they could get a hard copy. Im hoping that whatever I chose to do, the positive connection i have with them would be able to help? I also work really hard to interact with readers. Even with the amount of reads and comments I get i respond to prob about 90% or more? Regardless of the method of publishing, fostering a strong loyal fan base is always gonna be key.


#63

Which is why I say a major reason for going traditional is to get the validation.


#64

100% and I def own that as a pretty big motivator for myself.


#65

Could you guys take this elsewhere? Your first comments were helpful, but this dispute isn’t benefiting anyone, including yourselves. Thank you


#66

Sorry, you’re right. I just felt it was necessary to respond after so many false statements were attributed to my name and threatened my reputation.


#67

I want to make sure you’re aware - the OP of this thread has asked for this discussion to not continue in her thread.

Please do not post replies here.


#68

There are a lot of amazing points in here. I’ll try to sum them up in one post:

  1. You need to find beta readers - Not friends or family. Not critique partners found in the critique section here. You need someone who is willing to go chapter by chapter, who references your book as a whole, and is willing to give you and overall assessment of the story. You need someone who isn’t afraid to be honest, but also knows when to tell you you have done good work. You need someone invested in this role, not a read for read on here. I hear goodreads/facebook have a lot of good resources for free help. There are a lot of people offering free services for that. I would not use Wattpad for that, unless you find a very small community, or another author, who is serious. I am in the Wayferer bookclub and they are great for that.

  2. You need to pay a professional editor - Don’t be that indie author that has their book riddled with errors. It hurts your work and your image in the end. You want your book to be indistinguishable from trad pub books. Reader shouldn’t be getting out a highlighter into order to mark where your book has avoidable errors. A few, in a whole novel? That’s fine. But five on each page? Nope. That sets up a poor reputation for your work.

  3. You can spend money on a developmental editor - this is basically a beta reader, but one that you are paying for. They are “professionals” in the sense that they might have a better, more critical eye, and do it for a living. If you have the cash for it, it’s probably worth it. But you can find pretty decent beta readers for free. This is a “do it if you want. It’s not needed, but it will probably help.”

  4. You need to pay to have a really nice cover made - If you are proficient with Photoshop and adobe illustrator, AND know how to make a nice cover, then probably not. BUT people absolutely judge books by their covers. All the time. It’s like shopping for clothes. We skim until something catches our eyes. A professional cover is necessary. If you use photoshop online, paint, MS word to make covers, do not do that for a published book. You want the full photoshop/adobe suite to make something worth putting on bookshelves.

  5. You need to pay someone to review your synopsis (some editors can offer that help) - some editors have services for this. If you struggle with writing a synopsis, see if a beta reader can help with the meat of it. You mostly want to pay to make sure this is grammatically correct. If someone sees your book is a self-pub and there are errors in the synopsis, they more than likely will not read unless the idea is compelling they have to anyway.

  6. You need to pay someone to format your novel - Readers should never struggle with the formatting. This is a skill that is easy to learn, and not, at the same time. It’s not like cover making or editing where you have to have a lot of practice with it, but it does take a certain skill to execute properly. I’d practice it first, and if you can’t figure it out, hire someone.

  7. You need more beta readers - Just throwing this back out there. It’s probably the most important thing, next to editing, then next to cover. Stories with okay grammar and generic covers can still find some success if the story is just amazing, compelling, and readers have to share it. However, you will not pump out phenomenal work solely on your own. You need some other person looking at it to tell you what works and what doesn’t. You see your world as a creator, and you need someone to see it as a consumer. They’re two totally different perspectives, and being the creator locks you from seeing it as a consumer.

Once you have that done:

  1. Build your author platform - You need a website, social media, some kind of thing you do (blogs, videos, reviews, etc.) that help get your name spread in the community.
  2. Get on social media - This helps spread exposure for your story
  3. Get out in the writing community - forums, social media, youtube, etc. The more out there you are, the better
  4. Work on your next book - having more than one book is always a good idea. You get more potential earnings and more potential fans.

All in all, remember this: No one knows your book exists, until they know it/you exists. I didn’t know you were a person until this post. The more out there that you are, the more your book has a chance to be seen. Your best way to get your book seen is to have people share it via word of mouth. They share it on social media, with their friends, etc. It needs to be so compelling that people can’t help but lend it to family members. Your beta reading will get your story to that level. After that, you need it edited well, or it loses that professional quality.

As a self-pub, you are responsible for getting your work out there. And you are responsible for making sure your book is ready. Be honest with yourself and ask - if I saw this as Barnes and Nobles, what would I think?


#69

How can you be sure they won’t steal it?


#70

That’s an issue that is not really much of an issue. Anything you publish on Wattpad can be easily stolen as well.

If anything, using a beta reader is easier to keep an eye on because if they print your story, word for word, then you can easily sue for them for that. And since they were a beta reader, you can actually follow them. Whereas anyone can access Wattpad and take your story without you knowing.

Even if your book is published, there isn’t anything you can do unless it’s got scenes and characters that are word for word (or close enough). Someone could re-write Harry Potter, change all the names of anything “trade-marked”, maybe slightly mix up the plot, and it would be just fine.

The best thing to do is to use people that have a history of beta-reading, and are really communicative with your works.

If you’re super concerned, you can lock documents so they can only read them.


#71

If I can see it, I can copy it. With a digital camera and an OCR program if I have to, but it’s not usually necessary to go to such lengths.


#72

I was hoping someone would mention that!

That goes along with my point that it’s sort of a moot concern. Anything you post on Wattpad is just as poachable as sending to a beta reader.


#73

I would never post a novel on wattpad that I plan to sell. (I have had short stories stolen from other sites.)

My point was, if you don’t know the Beta reader (no friends or family), then how will you be protected? And how would you even know they published it?

I’ve used Beta readers, but I always knew them. They weren’t a stranger I found on the internet.


#74

The simple answer is you don’t.

The issue with beta readers that are friends (not friends that are writers, but just your average friend) is they are more likely to be less honest. The goal with a stranger from the internet is to get a cold read on your novel.

You also don’t have to go with the first person that wants to beta read your book. You’re allowed to be picky. Essentially, you can meet them, discuss things with them, and see if they are a person you want to work with. It will be a slower process to find a beta reader this way, but you can establish a relationship. I’d also recommend picking someone known in the community. As in, not from craig’s list. I’d probably recommend Goodreads or Reddit for this one (Reddit with a username that is known - their social media profile, etc)

If you are someone that is overly concerned with your story being stolen, then I’d say a developmental editor might be another good choice.

If you’re really concerned and don’t have money for a dev edit (it’s expensive!), then family and friends are a good last resort, but they do come with a bias. (unless one of them is specifically in the writing community as well and knows how to be objective). Most of mine are terrible beta readers, lol. They just say, “Yeah I like it! Maybe change this, etc.” They are not critics at all, so I can’t rely on them for that.

I’ll add too that this is one of the trade-offs with “having full control” in self-pub. In trad pub, your editor and agent will look at your work. Without them, unless you know a network of writers, you kind of have to start looking on the internet for those resources.


#75

I’ll also add that I agree with being careful what you select to put online for free.

I chose stories for Wattpad that weren’t my “This is my real crown jewel” books. They are my testing books that I want to see what they can become. And any sequels will not be posted on Wattpad.

That being said, I hope to make at least one or two connections in the writing community that I can trust as beta readers for the other books in the series lol


#76

You can’t. But authors worry about theft of their work far more than they need to. Does it happen sometimes? Perhaps, but in most cases you won’t even know that it happened because there are so many books and finding it would literally be a needle in the haystack.

The only time you WOULD know, is if the book became hugely popular…which if that were the case, you’d be able to sue them for copyright infringement, issue a cease and desist, and, collect damages in the form of money they made on the book, additional fees for your legal team, and some extra thrown on top for the pain and agony their theft brought you.


#77

I read up on it many years ago, but never managed to self-publish.
Been wanting to publish my graphic novel for 14 years or so, but haven’t found a way to do so.
Lulu charges $1100 minimum for one color 30-page book.

Not sure if anyone’s ever managed to do it.


#78

In fact, I would imagine having it published on Wattpad would be an advantage in such a case, because there would be records proving that your story was written first.


#79

I’m not sure what you are talking about. I used Lulu to print a 4-color book that was about 50 pages long, it was a photographic history of my family and while I don’t remember the cost, I’m sure it was under $15.


#80

Yes, quite true. Although there if you really were the creator, it’s not hard to prove that point. Old drafts, emails to friends or critique partners, messages to other beta’s it’d be pretty easy to demonstrate how long you’d been working on the project.