We held our first seminar yesterday on How to Publish Your Own Book on Amazon and while the wonderful writers who attended said they learnt of lot I can honestly say that it was probably us who took the most away from the session.
It’s always great to meet fellow writers. Writing can be a solitary profession and talking to people who really understand what you’re going through can be uplifting. However what was really special about the seminar was meeting writers who are about to trudge up the same difficult path that I did myself a couple of years ago and coming to understand a little about the barriers they’re experiencing in trying to turn their work into ebooks.
The barriers were somewhat different for each writer but the one we found that applied to everyone who attended was the uncertainty they had about whether being a published ebook author was something they could ever achieve. I remember feeling this way myself and there were a few occasions when I almost gave up. Luckily I persevered and the thrill I got when I saw my first book on Amazon was indescribable and was only matched when I sold my first book. If I’m honest that thrill had never gone away and when I look at my Reports page and I find that I’ve sold a book it feels great and even greater if the sale is in the USA or Canada. Someone half a world away is going to read something I put together at my little desk in my bedroom and they’re willing to pay for it!
So basically the seminar was aimed at getting other writers to experience that same feeling but doing it in what I think of as a ‘sustainable’ way. So what do I mean by ‘sustainability’?
There are lots of websites out there where you can pay to have your book formatted and published. They will do everything for you but, of course, the big problem is you have to pay every time you publish a new book or want changes made to an existing book which, for authors with limited funds, is unsustainable. Even if you have the money and are willing to spend fairly substantial sums there is still a massive problem. That problem is in differentiating between those organisations that are genuine and will provide value for money and those that are basically scams. Unfortunately vanity publishing has moved into ebooks in a major way and writers may find themselves in the position of spending lots of money and still ending up with an ebook that looks shoddy and unprofessional.
The old axiom ‘give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’ really applies here. What the seminar was trying to do was to give writers the information that might allow them to prepare, format and publish their books under their own steam. Once they do it successfully then they are in a position to alter the blurb, re-price or even re-publish their books themselves and they don’t have to rely on anyone else. That’s sustainability, simply being able to really own your book because you have total control over it.
The seminar has also changed our minds somewhat about the type of author services we were thinking of offering under the Garden City Ink brand. We’re now thinking of offering a subscription service and you can read more about this on this blog post.
As I say this was our first seminar but we’d like to hold others. If you’re a writer and you’d like to publish your work as an ebook but you’re doubtful or worried about the process then this seminar is for you. You can register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us –
- Where you live
- You’re genre
- Something around what you’re trying to achieve
- When you might be available
If we get enough writers registering an interest in your area we’ll put together a seminar and let you know.
I personally hope we can make it happen because I enjoyed our first one so much.