As an author of twenty-something erotic novels and novellas, I know a little about the self-publishing game. While certainly not a marketing genius, I am an engineer by training and taught to study options before jumping in.
For those who’ve tried the traditional publishing route, you quickly realize that the odds are stacked against you. Sort of like when you figure out that being 5-foot-6, professional basketball is not a likely option for you.
After you’ve written the next “Fifty Shades of Gray” or “Gone With The Wind“, your real battle is just beginning. If you don’t believe what I’m about to tell you, grab a copy of “On Writing” by Stephen King.
Like you, there are thousands of scribes out there with their masterpiece in their grubby hands, all jumping up and down shouting, “Look at me!” Only a handful of publishing houses exist in the world and trying to shoehorn your way in is a difficult row to hoe.
After being turned down, it may be tempting to use the services of a “vanity press” or a publisher who charges you a fee to publish your manuscript. Fees can run into the tens of thousands of dollars with typically limited success beyond an empty bank account.
A fellow blogger, David Gaughran, has just published a great post on the vanity press scam, Michael Hyatt Has Something To Sell You. Before you embark on the vanity press route, read David’s blog post.
I’m a firm believer in the self-publishing route for newbie authors that want to try their hand at publishing something. Amazon and SmashWords are the two giants in the field and I recommend that you try either or both if you have an “It was a dark and stormy night!” thriller, smut story, cooking book, or self-help book.
Of the two, I’d recommend that you start with SmashWords.com for a couple of reasons. First, instant results as your book will show up instantly after you finish the publishing process, whereas Amazon’s vetting process takes a day or two so it’s a little more problematic for a new author. The other thing is censorship, SmashWords is much more forgiving than Amazon if you are writing erotica.