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Why You Should Start Your Self Publishing Journey With Digital

September 19, 2010

There’s tons of information out there about self publishing and how to do it.  Print on demand.  Various forms of e-publishing.  It’s a lot to take in when you’re starting out and can often be totally overwhelming.  My advice?  Start with e-publishing.  I have a number of reasons why I feel this is the best course of action.

1.  Formatting is simpler.  Doing layout for a print edition is complicated and has a steeper learning curve.  Formatting for digital, however, is simpler.  You don’t have to worry about page breaks, page numbers, and a lot of the specifics of print because these things don’t matter on an e-reader.  The text is flowed like it is on a web page.  Readers can adjust the font, the font size, and a number of other features.  That makes your life easier because you just need some basic html.  This means you can get your book into distribution channels faster.

2. Lower cost up front.  Some costs will be fixed.  For any book, print or e, you will pay for copyright.  You’ll be paying for professional editing (or you make friends with grammar Nazis who will be willing to trade services with you).  Unless you are a Photoshop guru, you’ll be paying for professional cover art.  But a front cover costs less than a full jacket cover.  You won’t have to pay for professional layout (because, see above, formatting for digital is simpler).  There’s no cost for proofs or changes.  By that token, it is easier to fix mistakes fast (and with no extra cost) if you find them.  You just have to fix your source file and upload a new version.  The corrected one will be out instantly (or in a matter of days depending on the distributor).

3. Test marketing. If you’re trying something new and don’t know how it will be received, digital is a great way to test the waters.  See what readers are saying, how they’re reacting.  You have a chance to change anything from small details within the story itself to clarify what may not be understood, to playing with your blurbage to find the most effective summary.  As you acquire them, you can add reviews or back matter (that is, swapping samples with other authors you make friends/contacts with).

4. Proceeds can fund future formats. This is probably the biggest one for me.  Few of us go into this with a lot of money to back us.  We’re mostly working other jobs and are doing this on a shoestring.  I invested $120 in copyright and cover art for my first novella.  I’ve since more than earned that back and used proceeds to fund an audio edition, cover art for the next release, and I’ll be more than ready to fund the rest of a full jacket cover and the cost of proofs when I get ready for a print release.  Oh, and did I mention I’m still making a profit on top?  So yeah, this is definitely the most economical means of starting out.

Cruise by our website. Check us out. Join the collective and see you next week!

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Kait Nolan is a writer of action-packed paranormal romance that features a fresh and inventive mythology.  No sparklay vamps here!  Her debut release, Forsaken By Shadow, is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Sony, Scribd, Amazon UK, Kobo, Diesel E-books, and SpringBrook Digital.  She can be found at her blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, MySpace, and Pots and Plots (her cooking blog).

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