Guest post by Phyllis Zimbler Miller
I first decided to self-publish when I learned that self-publishers no longer had to pay for a print run and stack the books in their garages (or second bedrooms). The concept of POD – print on demand – is truly genius in my opinion.
I self-published my novel Mrs. Lieutenant: A Sharon Gold Novel in early 2008 at the same time that I entered the manuscript in the first Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition. (MRS. LIEUTENANT was named a semifinalist in this competition.)
Although Kindle ebooks had only been available for a few months (and I did not own a Kindle then), I knew enough to have my book converted into the Kindle format.
But since ebooks were so new, I still had to buy copies of my novel and mail each copy to people who offered to review the book.
Now let’s move ahead to 2012 and the release of my newest self-published book – How to Succeed in High School and Prep for College: Book 1 of How to Succeed in High School, College and Beyond College.
Because I want the book’s information to be as accessible as possible, I am not self-publishing it in a physical format but only as an ebook. I did, though, have the book converted to the ePub format besides the Kindle mobi format.
Thanks to the ability nowadays for people to read ebooks on their computers if they do not have an ereader, I can now email either format to people who offer to review the book.
In addition, HOW TO SUCCEED can be distributed on many online book sites besides the Amazon’s Kindle store.
What else has changed?
Back in 2008 it was a big hassle to get Amazon to allow me to verify that MRS. LIEUTENANT was indeed written by me. Today I simply went to www.authorcentral.amazon.com and clicked on HOW TO SUCCEED to add it to my Amazon author information page.
And, of course, many more people are on social media in general and Facebook in particular in 2012 than in 2008. During this time period Facebook has continually made changes, many of which can be useful for authors to promote their self-published books.
In fact, because of the major format changes Facebook has just made to Pages (formerly called fan pages), authors can now showcase their books much more dramatically.
The new Page format (as well as the new profile format) allows a very large image (called a “cover” by Facebook) that can be used to display book covers as well as book information.
(Warning: Be careful to follow Facebook’s rules about covers – NO promotion. This includes no “click here to ….”or no “like our Page” or no URL or telephone number, etc.)
I personally have made changes to my Facebook book marketing strategy because of the new Page format. My business partner Yael K. Miller (she is also my daughter) created a cover for a new Page for Phyllis Zimbler Miller as author that I am using to showcase my books.
(The irony is that, because I already have the URL www.facebook.com/phylliszimblermiller for my profile, I had to get something different for my author Page – www.facebook.com/phylliszimblermillerauthor )
And thanks to groups on Linked such as the book marketing group I founded and manage – www.LinkedInBookMarketing.com – it is now easier to share information on self-publishing.
On the other hand, since 2008 more and more options for self-publishing have become available. Today more research is necessary to figure out which options are best for your books and your objectives. And these options will continue to expand.
Bottom line? It is an exciting time to be a self-published author. If you are dragging your feet about entering this arena, perhaps it is time to take the plunge.
Phyllis Zimbler Miller has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the online marketing company Miller Mosaic LLC. She is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including her newest release, HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL AND PREP FOR COLLEGE. More information is at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com