• Grant Handgis

Taking Authorship of your work

Ever more authors are turning to POD publishing as their primary means of getting their work out. Even authors who have had their books published by a traditional publishing house. The reasons given for this move to self-publishing, and away from traditional publishing, are pretty much the same as emerging writers who are publishing their first books. The author is in control. The underlying reasons listed also have to do with royalty return, time to print, difficulty making it through the maze of querying and inherent obstacles and delays. Add in a dash of condescension and a sprits’ of indifference and any self-respecting writer is going to bolt ranks if there was any other alternative. Then there was the digital revolution. Enter POD publishing. One exemplary example of this new avenue of possibilities was my POD publishing provider, Create Space. I make no secret to my use of this superb site for self-publishing my books. A task I delight in, each time I recall the alternative. The Create Space tools for publishing offer everything the writer needs for the task of getting a book to print, professionally printed, with a listing cost that is nearly free. The author retains the control over royalties at all times. The author sets the price. The linked article is from James Altucher, a published author, and his new book "I Was Blind and Now I See", which was produced... by him, using Create Space. The articles on POD publishing are an overview of how the process functions. To have a fuller understanding of the POD process necessitates participation by the reader/writer. In my opinion, there is a distinction between writer and author. In the broader sense, the former denoting a person who writes, in any capacity, professional or not. The latter denotes a writer who has a book in print. Possibly there are other views on that subject. Digital printing, on book order demand of <buy one/print one> breaks the conundrum of production before readership. Tricky business unless one is without monetary limit. I do not speak knowledgeably therein. Being a relatively new phenomenon socially, easy to use digital tools also allow a potential for what might be described as 'mediocre' work. I believe an inherent trait of any socially organizing group of like minded artists, craftsmen, wordsmiths, musicians, buskers, that there be some sort of quality check, which meets peer reviewed standards of practice. Out of those genres were formed Guilds. Thus begins another cycle of organization, this one a thriving marketplace of independent craft-persons, artists, musicians, writers who now have a reading audience looking for new authors, new work. The ultimate jurist of any writer's work, as always, is the reader. Those who are willing to learn the tools for self-publishing know this. It is one of the first challenges undertaken. Slowly, the stigma of self-publishing as “Vanity Press” is wearing thin, due to the influx of very good writers who now utilize the POD platform for publishing their work. Readers have responded in kind by purchasing their books and finding them good, satisfying reading. I know, I have spoken of this before, but it deserves repeating often, as those that read this blog tend to be independent authors navigating their way through the minefield of obstacles necessary to arrive at the end result of a professionally designed and completed book(s).

The preceding posts have covered the basic nuts & bolts of POD publishing. The how-to of signing into a digital publishing platform and getting your book listed. Those procedural tasks to this endeavor are fairly standard to most POD publishing platforms. The other portion of publishing is writer oriented. Choices to be made about how the writer wants their book to appear to the reading public, and other important issues, such as designing a cover and best practices for that task, and the ISBN number, and how important that is to you and your brand. That will be the focus of the next post


g. Michael Handgis Photography


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