When that first manuscript is complete and you step back from the keyboard to consider what you have created, there comes a point when you have to decide just what you will do with it. There are a few options, but what we all want to do is have our work seen, in one form or another and that almost always means publishing.
The traditional publishing route is fraught with difficulty and negative experiences that might falsely give the impression that your work is inadequate. The other side to that coin is self-publishing, which once held the stench of desperation, failure, and misplaced pride in a way that almost no other business venture did. It was the last avenue for writers who could not break through to publishers or the agents who held the keys to the kingdom of literary recognition.
Let’s not mince any words here; getting your message through to publishers and agents is difficult. The advice you will hear is varied and at times contradictory on how to even begin. The changing market for online publication has opened up a host of new opportunities that for some are a more preferable option than the old ways. If your desire is to go it alone, with some planning and a willingness to let your work speak for you, digital self-publication offers a great deal of flexibility and opportunity.
To begin, I feel like I need to reinforce one key idea here; digital publishing on your own is all about persistence and perhaps a bit of savvy. Online publication options have changed the publishing landscape in a fundamental way. Let’s begin with the assumption that you are a capable writer and you have a good story to tell.
What do you have to do in order to succeed now? You have to be as good as you think you are. An avenue for your work to be judged by the people who matter most is open to you however, the proof of your work has to stand on its own. What I would like to do here is set forth the five things I believe are necessary for engaging the world of digital publishing and for helping your work to stand out as something exceptional. It’s not a path I’ve mastered, like you I am an adventurer in this new untamed wilderness. Like all other trailbreakers, our survival and success depends on learning from those who have gone before and by sharing the tools of our trade.