My book, Master of Illusion, shared ebook friendly’s photo on Facebook telling readers to surprise themselves and read a self-published book. Master of Illusion is like that: he sometimes takes his own initiative when it comes to his Facebook page.
But it set me wondering: Why do readers feel it is such a risk to read a self-published book?
Before I self-published, I researched the opinions of many self-publishers and readers.
So, if the risks for the reader are:
That you will spend less than the price of a cup of coffee on an ebook.
That you may become intensely irritated by grammatical errors and/or poor expression.
The characters may be stilted and one dimensional.
The story might be boring; or the end leave you unsatisfied and feeling you have wasted precious hours of your time.
Then the answer is twofold:
a). Choose self-published books that have been professionally edited. All of the above will have been taken care of, and
b). Reading the free PDF download of 10 – 20% on the author website will give you a good idea if it is your sort of book. And if you must, must read on, well and good.
For the self-publisher, on the other hand, the risks can be daunting, both in time, investment and sending you out of your comfort zone. Basically, you put your money where your mouth is (or your pen).
Not only that, but you must take charge of the whole publishing process, doing all the hundred-and-one things a conventional publishing company does for its author, including publicity.
And the greatest risk of all – that your beloved baby you have laboured over for so long will be torn to pieces when it goes out into the world. Or worse, ignored.
But for the author/publisher there is also the unparalleled joy of doing something you love. It is amazingly fulfilling.
Nothing compares with:
the excitement of seeing your book for the first time on the shelves of Amazon, Smashwords and all the other platforms available to ebook authors.
the privilege you feel when someone has taken the time to read your book and the humble delight when they say they loved it. That is so special.
the sheer indescribable ecstasy of receiving a 5 out of 5 star review from someone in a country across the globe; and watching your book rise in the International ebook authors top ten, pinching yourself to make sure it’s real!
For me, as a self-published author, all the above and the fun of forming my own business StoneHut Publishing, was worth the risk, whatever the outcome. (We breast cancer survivors don’t have time to wait twenty years for a publisher to notice us: we just want to get on with it.)
Matthew Reilly took the risk and self-published his first book Contest. His millions of readers are glad that he did. And he is one of the most positive people I have ever met.
So go on, read a self-published book. What’s the risk? You might actually enjoy it – and have your coffee too.