Is Self-Publishing a Flying Leap?

Image - iStockphoto: FERGregory
Image – iStockphoto: FERGregory

By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

Issues on the Ether: Is Self-Publishing a Flying Leap?

[su_dropcap size=”4″]I[/su_dropcap]f I’d been writing On Becoming a (Self) Publisher for Publishing Perspectives here, there’s be little surprise in finding this line early in the piece:

Whether you are self-publishing, a publisher, or doing any other type of content sales, it is hard. Very hard.

Nick Ruffilo
Nick Ruffilo

But this was Nick Ruffilo, a highly visible and frequently heard from technologist in publishing.

After appearing on a panel in New York last week at Digital Book World Conference & Expo—here is Ed Nawotka’s Five Things We Learned at Digital Book World, as a follow-up — Ruffilo wrote his “On Becoming” piece as part of an exercise in learning what this whole thing is like.

Previously with Vook and BookSwim, he’s the chief technology officer now with Aerbook, a cloud-publishing venture that specializes in creation, conversion, marketing and sales of digital books. So when it comes to someone kicking the tires of self-publishing in a let’s-see-what-this-is-like experience, Ruffilo is the kind of guy you expect to sail right through. He has written a series of “Tips for Technologists” articles here at Publishing Perspectives and—especially nice in the kind of week some of us are having—he writes a Zen of Technology blog, the kind of thing you wish you could get certain people to read, enough said.

But here he is on his experience in self-publishing:

Some self-publishing super-stars tout the benefits of being independent and show sales numbers from their latest book as results of success. They often fail to show the years of work it took them to build the writing skills, build the audience, and put together the team necessary to publish a successful book. Yes, even self-publishing folks need a team. You need an editor, a cover designer, a web-designer (to make your blog and/or style your author pages on Amazon/Goodreads, etc).

And here we arrive at one of the most vexing elements in the fast growth of self-publishing, particularly in the States and, increasingly, in other nations in which self-publishing is ramping up. Note: I didn’t say anyone is vexing. Like Lyle LovettI Love Everybody (Especially You).

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