It is almost impossible to stand out from the crowd in a world where anyone with access to the internet can advertise their product. It is deplorable that there is so much mediocre literature freely available on the net; however, it is not impossible to make an impression. In fact, it can be argued that a truly talented writer would stand out more easily from the crowd of mediocrity! Just recently, a self-published book was featured by Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times as one of her 2012 Books of the Year.
It takes time, serious commitment and willingness to make and learn from mistakes to make it as a self-published author. The web offers several resources that can help you make your dreams come true. We take a look at some of the best.
Authonomy is a website that is run by Harper Collins, which allows unpublished authors to upload their manuscripts in order to be reviewed by other members. Members can then vote for their favourite works by putting it on a virtual “shelf”. Each member is only allowed to have five books on their shelf at any given time, which forces users to think carefully about which books they really feel are deserving. The top five ranked books per month will make it to an editor’s desk, which means it is read by an editor at Harper Collins and stands the chance of being published in the traditional format.
While only a few books have been chosen for publication, the site offers many opportunities for a budding author to learn. There are many articles posted regularly on the site, which discuss issues such as marketing and design. There are also forums where members can discuss their work or any writing related matters.
Although many have benefited from the site, some members feel that too many authors review other people’s work positively with an expectation to get a similar review in return.
While some writers just want to get advice in order to better their own writing skills, some websites offer opportunities for those who want to earn a living from their work as soon as possible. CreateSpace is a member of the Amazon group. It allows authors to upload their work and sell it on amazon.com in a process which normally takes no longer than a day. CreateSpace also has facilities on its site which help authors design a cover for their book. Uploading costs nothing and royalties from each sale amount to 70% for the author. Marketing is left up to the author. There are also forums where authors can exchange ideas and reviews of one another’s work. There are other sites which offer similar services, such as Lulu.
Authoright is a site linked to the Authonomy website, but it provides independent services, such as editing, design, online marketing and many more. Publishing an e-book along with some help from Authoright could be the perfect way to get your work, and the word on it, out there!
Louisa Theart writes for House of Publishers, a resource for writers looking for publishing houses, literary agents and general advice.