Publishing is a hair-raising and confusing game at the moment. Lists are said to be shrinking and even well known authors sometimes struggle to make a living from publishing. There are also many publishing possibilities and many authors are choosing to let readers decide by bringing their books straight to market with the help of professional editing and design services.
Eliza Green is just embarking on the journey into publishing. Her debut novel Becoming Human – part of what will be the Exilon 5 trilogy has just been released. Eliza has worked in many industries from fashion to sport to finance, but caught the writing bug several years ago and has now released her first novel, BECOMING HUMAN, part one of the Exilon 5 trilogy. Since Eliza was young, she has always been a fan of science fiction television shows and films and is bringing that love to her new trilogy. She hopes to capture the imagination of readers who shy away from the genre with her new novel, set on Earth and Exilon 5 by writing what she calls ‘down to earth’ science fiction
Eliza is here with us to day to share with us her thoughts on the advantages of self-publishing for new authors.
Why Self Publishing can be good for debut authors
I’ve been writing for four years. Over those years, I wrote three books, submitted two to agents and publishers and resubmitted one with serious rewrites and a much more favourable response from a reputable agency. The submission process didn’t come to anything, so I decided to self publish my most recent work, BECOMING HUMAN.
I tried my best to plan the release accordingly, but the date kept getting pushed back because I discovered new things I had to do before I could proceed to the next step. For example, I commissioned a cover designer early so that I would have an agreed design well in advance of my ambitious release date of late November. What I didn’t calculate for was that my designer would need my final page count so he could set the size of the book, including the all important spine width. That meant I had to have the final edit completed on my work (which I hadn’t). Three weeks of solid editing ensued and my miscalculations pushed the final cover reveal back by a month. You have no idea what is going to happen when you self publish, but it can be an interesting learning curve. The more obstacles you face and overcome, the less likely you are to repeat them.
With very strict deadlines and the pressures of a full time job, I managed to release the ebook in Mid December and the print version five days after. I enrolled my ebook exclusively in the KDP select programme, which means that I’m not allowed to release the book digitally on any other platform for three months from the publish date. That brings me up to mid March. Why did I do this? Because it can be a good way of bringing a new book to Amazon Prime members which in turn could be good publicity for my work. Of course, that all sounds great in principle but I can’t sit back and wait for things to happen. I have to work out how to drum up interest in my book. How can I point the members to my work other than enrolment in a programme for which I have very few statistics?
At the moment, my marketing plan is a bit trial and error, but I will learn what works as time goes on and that should benefit the launch for my second book.
A learning opportunity
At some point, all writers dream of securing that elusive publishing deal through traditional means. I can understand that, I was one of those writers. But it can be frustratingly slow and instead of agents/publishers seeking out your talent, you have to convince them of yours. The rejections can take the tarnish off what should be an exciting time in a writer’s life. If you do secure a book deal, it can be a great thing. The agent will guide you and the publisher will edit and format your work before publishing it. But for new authors that don’t see the work that goes into publishing as indie authors do, this could be a disadvantage.
Learning to promote yourself and your work
Indie authors are competing strongly with their traditionally published counterparts on digital platforms such as Amazon. And what self publishing has taught me is that you have to promote yourself and your work. While a traditional book deal is always nice, promotional efforts could be lost if the author is not involved.
So, the ideal scenario? Understanding what goes into publishing your own work could make you a better author. Unless a publishing house has a marketing department, you will have to do the promotional work yourself. A friend recently told me about a guy who self published his novel but he didn’t have much success with it. He suggested I speak to him to get an idea of what went wrong. I don’t need to. I can list the main reason why. He didn’t promote himself or his work. Somebody once said about debut authors, ‘Nobody cares about your book.’ It’s up to you to convince them otherwise and self publishing can give you the confidence to do that.
Thanks to Eliza for this food for thought and I wish her every success with Becoming Human. She is currently working on ALTERED REALITY, book 2 in the Exilon 5 trilogy.
Two worlds. Two species. One terrifying secret.
In 2163, a polluted and overcrowded Earth forces humans to search for a new home. But the exoplanet they target, Exilon 5, is occupied. Having already begun a massive relocation programme, Bill Taggart is sent to monitor the Indigenes, the race that lives there. He is a man on the edge. He believes the Indigenes killed his wife, but he doesn’t know why. His surveillance focuses on the Indigene Stephen, who has risked his life to surface during the daytime.
Stephen has every reason to despise the humans and their attempts to colonise his planet. To protect his species from further harm, he must go against his very nature and become human. But one woman holds a secret that threatens Bill’s and Stephen’s plans, an untruth that could rip apart the lives of those on both worlds.
BECOMING HUMAN is available in print and Kindle ebook format (exclusively until mid March). Afterwards, it will be available in several other formats through Smashwords.
Where to buy: Amazon.com
Eliza has kindly offered a free copy of her book. All you have to do is add a comment below. Tell us about your favourite science fiction film., Favourite science fiction television show or Favourite alien (humorous or serious is fine).