So you’ve finally published your book and now you want some affirmation of your skills. Why not enter a contest for self-published authors? You have a chance to promote your book, get some positive feedback, and best of all, you might win!
When you submit a book to a self-publishing contest, there are a couple of important things to remember.
1. Make sure your book is edited well and error-free. These contests are very competitive. Don’t waste your money submitting a book that isn’t ready.
2. Be careful where you submit your manuscript. There are many contests out there – not all are legitimate. Contests sponsored by major, well-known organizations, major academic institutions and not-for-profits tend to be legitimate. Some states even have good self-publishing contests. If the contest requires huge fees, is offered by a marketing agency, or requires extensive personal information, back out.
3. Find the contest that's right for you and your book. Here are some great places to submit your work:
Writers Digest has a prestigious contest with many categories for self-published authors, though they specifically require hard copies. The best part of this contest is even if you don’t win, you’ll get a thorough reviewer evaluation.
The Next Generation Indie Book Awards are available for self-published authors to enter. This Not-For-Profit program has over 60 categories available, including e-book fiction and e-book nonfiction. To enter go to their website and review the rules carefully.
The Eric Hoffer Award honors “the independent spirit of small publishers,” including self-publishers. This organization encourages self-published authors to submit within two years of publication.
Remember, winning or even placing in these contests is great promotion for your book!
The world of self-publishing has opened up opportunities for millions of writers all over the world. Since there is no publishing house gatekeeper, and the barriers to entry are low, almost anybody can get their book published in either electronic or printed formats. However, you might need a little bit of help to get started, so an online class or webinar might be helpful, convenient, and provide just the right information that you need to get your fiction or non-fiction book published.
Go Directly to Publishing Platforms
You can hardly think about self-publishing without thinking of the platforms and tools that Amazon provides with CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing. You can use CreateSpace to publish physical books that can be printed on demand. KDP is for publishers who want to sell electronic versions of their books on Amazon.
Both of these platforms provide helpful online guides with all of the basic information that you will need to turn your document into a book, and you can access them for free. Of course, other self-publishing platforms also provide good online classes and guides, but Amazon is the busiest provider in this niche.
Writer's Market Publications
Writer's market guides like Writer's Digest help authors find a market for their books. In the past, that mostly consisted of listing publishers who were interested in publishing books and articles. However, Writer's Digest has expanded to include the booming self-publishing market. The company provides many different online classes for writers who want to know how to create and market their work.
They say that to succeed in any endeavor that you must surround yourself with knowledgeable experts who are doing things that are similar to what you want to be doing and who can be helpful and encouraging while also providing constructive feedback.
You can meet these people and maintain lifelong friendships with those who are in the field you wish to go into by connecting with them at self-publishing and writing conferences. Here are some amazing self-publishing conferences that you will not want to miss out on.
London Author Fair
Held at The Hospital Club in Convent Garden London, the London Author Fair hosts over 400- authors from all over for workshops, seminars and one-on-one collaborator hubs.
Publishing for Digital Minds
Held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster, this event will be important for those who are serious about harnessing technology and entering into the new world of digital publishing.
What Works? Education Conference
The What Works? conference in London will be a place for the great minds to get together and discuss how technology can best be implemented in innovative ways to help education become more effective.
Held in Charleston, South Carolina, the PubSmart-Con will be a gathering of some of the greatest minds in the field, this event will help you stay on the forefront of the some of the most innovative practices and changes going on in the publishing world.
Grub Street's The Muse and the Marketplace Conference
This Boston-based conference goes on for three full days. Get ready for amazing seminars and sessions led by the best authors, editors and agents from around the country.
You've just created a stunning new piece of software, and you want to share it with the world. Rather than relying on traditional means of publication, such as companies and organizations though, you want to take care of the job yourself. This offers you more control over your creative input, the final result, as well as distribution.
Before you go the self-publishing route, take the following steps to make sure that your software has the greatest chances of succeeding.
1. Get copyright protection – Just like you should patent a great idea that you have for a product, once you actually make that product, you have to obtain copyright protection. This guarantees that no one else can take your software and claim it as their own.
2. Offer a free demo to users – To garner attention for your software, you can always offer a free demo trial period to interested users. This allows them to use the product for a certain amount of time that you designate. After that, they can pay for the full version for continued use.
3. Offer freeware – Freeware, as it sounds, is free software. This may not be feasible or desirable for you, but if you do want to offer free software, then you can simply create a website to house your product and then offer it for download to any interested individuals.
4. Promote your software – If you do decide to charge for your hardware, then it's all the more imperative that you have a website and other means of promotion. A good marketing strategy allows you to reach a larger audience and draw in new customers.
Self publishing, the act of diverting artistic talents around the agents and traditional publishing mills, has risen to an almost unheard of level of popularity. Many artists are choosing to retain creative control and assume a larger share of the financial burden in order to more easily get their work out there. This can be said of books, comics, and even magazines.
There are a few ways to self publish your magazine:
Being that self publishing is a business decision, one must maintain awareness of what their choice to self publish will cost. By researching the different self publishing options in the area, and online, you should be able to get an idea of the sort of investment you will be required when you make your initial order.
After you've decided from where you will self publish, you should make the decision on the size of your self publishing order. For many first time publishers they tend to over estimate what they will need. Taking a realistic inventory of the number of magazines you are likely to sell can save hundreds of dollars on the back end. It is always better to order more magazines as demand rises than be stuck throwing away old ones.
The last thing you need to be aware of when self publishing is that you are also the sole distributor. You do not have the backing of an agency or publishing house to get your name out there. Because of this you will be the one that is lugging the magazines all over the city, trying to get the word out.
With the right mindset self publishing can be the right choice for you!
Becoming a published writer has become so difficult that it can feel almost mythical. Thanks to technology and the rise of self publishing companies it is finally possible to see your work written, illustrated, and bound without breaking your bank or even a sweat.
Here's how to self publish your comic book:
Make sure your book is finished before bringing it to the publisher. Being that the self publishing environment does not have a gauge for quality control, it is up to you to ensure that your comic book is in its final form. This means looking over all aspects of editing: from grammar and punctuation all the way to the coloring of the illustrations.
Understand what you are giving up when you self publish. When you self publish your comic book you are stepping away from the world of agencies and publishing houses. Many publishers, contractually, will not accept a comic book that has been self published. So if you are sure you don't want to go the conventional publishing route, don't worry. If you are waffling on your decision--wait a bit before you hit the publish button.
Choose your self publisher. There are many different self publishing companies on the internet and in cities. Look into all of the options that you have and compare them to one another. Some publishers will give you a better rate for smaller orders, while others may jack up the prices if you use many different colors. Self publishing is your business and you should be particular.
Following these steps can lead you to the land of self published success.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|