by Truitt Collyns
Let me set the scene – perhaps it’s a familiar one. You’re sitting at your desk one morning, an open bottle of vodka to one side, a loaded pistol to the other. Your manuscript has just been rejected by your favorite publisher, such as, for example, Dragon Eagle Publishing. But even though a full day of raucous drinking and gunplay should cheer you up, it’s not going to introduce your masterwork to a larger audience.
So perhaps it’s time to consider self-publishing. But first, reflect on why your story was rejected in the first place. For example, did you know that more than 75 percent of manuscripts Dragon Eagle receives are rejected solely because the author had an ugly-sounding name? Names like Jett, Shadow, Kirisitiana? That’s your aiming for – none of this John, Herman, Virginia or Gertrude nonsense. But it’s not always the name. For example, maybe you had some beta readers – friends, family, co-workers – appraise your work. Did any of them describe it as “bad,” or “not good,” or “not worth publishing?” Have any refused to talk to you since? Well, maybe that’s a sign you still need to make some minor tweaks.
But let’s say you got a great pseudonym, a clever title and a story people can at least feign interest in to maintain your personal relationships. Here’s some tips and information about the world of self-publishing we hope can guide you.
1. Do your research
This is probably the most important step your self-publishing journey because not all ebooks are created equal and not every solution is going to work for your project. Therefore, when you Google “How to Self-Publish My Ebook” don’t just look at the first page of results. This is going to require you to go to all the way to page 6 or 7. (Unless, of course, your settings are different and you don’t just get the standard ten results per page).
2. Your local neighborhood library is a great resource…
… of cheap labor because of its large homeless population. You can have these people write and post reviews to Amazon, Lulu and Goodreads, create ad copy, and even design covers if you hit the jackpot and stumble across a former art major and mother of three whose house recently burned down due to faulty wiring.
3. Promote your book
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Once your book is ready to upload, you’re going to need to spread the word. So get to it.
4. Remember that books aren’t sandwiches.
This is an important one when considering your audience and their needs. Keep in mind, sandwiches are just something to provide humans with nourishment and energy. Books are also not washing machines, tiny umbrellas you put in cocktails, nice fleece blankets or 2008 Honda CR-V’s. A person who needs those things doesn’t necessarily need your book. (Books are, however, a well-maintained ceiling fan).
5. Consider marrying into a rich family, or waiting until you make your first million, to start publishing
6. Or, failing that, consider all possible corporate tie-ins
7. Make sure you’re using the subjunctive correctly
8. Enter every contest, even if your book doesn’t fit the topic. Trust me, the National Jewish Writing Society doesn’t want to read any more about the Holocaust.
9. Be the smartest, loudest and preferably tallest member of every writing organization you join.
10. You’re almost there.
So you’ve done everything we’ve said. You did your marketing research and promotion, you’ve created a cover, everything’s formatted, you know who your audience is and you feel success is on it way.
Well, you couldn’t be more right, because the next thing you’re going to do is hit the “Cancel Publishing” button, not upload your book to the platform and ask for a refund if you need to. Because you’ve passed the test and shown Dragon Eagle Publishing you’ve got what it takes to make it in this business.
Send everything to us and we’ll get the contract prepped and ready to sign. Welcome to the Dragon Eagle family, Mr. (or possibly Mrs.) Writer. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?