• Grant Handgis

Odds & Ends of Self Publishing

Continued perusal of publishing sites for self-published authors is a good indicator of the growth in this industry. In the past few years several POD publishing providers have been created to handle the ever increasing number of authors choosing self-publishing as their means of getting their books to print. All of which bodes well for authors who endeavor to see their work in print. The flip side of this trend is ever more authors competing for the pool of readers who make up the audience which the author is attempting to reach. More competition. Competition is not a bad thing for any competent writer, if the writer's work is being seen. The current trend indicates each POD provider have their own sales channels available for the printed book, including 'Books In Print' database, libraries, universities, and other book sales outlets. An update through Create Space, from its original setup, is making the book available to European readers, as well as Japan and numerous other countries throughout the world with Amazon listings. For me, a very nice advance for book distribution possibilities. For ebooks, Kindle publishing, another division of Create Space, two royalty levels are offered, at 35% and 70%, with the differences in market reach. I chose the 70% level which is a bit more restrictive than the lower rate, but does cover so many countries that, for me, the difference is quite acceptable.

Expanding one's listing possibilities to a foreign market brings up the notion that foreign readers tend to speak a foreign language. For blog purposes, there is a simple solution, if available, for adding a translator gadget, which allows readers in any foreign country to read your written words. The task for self-publishing authors is to consider having their work translated into one or more select dialects of a potential market they feel would be responsive to their particular genre or style of writing. This is a task I am currently working through, finding available software sophisticated enough to translate English into other languages in the manner spoken in the host country. I have used inexpensive programs which do this to a degree, yet not well, leaving anomalies and fragmented sentences. Worse yet, the finished translation is unlike the normal structure for common use. The translation of the above attempt was English to Spanish.

What I ended up with read like a academic nerd mired in verbal errors. I will be investigating translation possibilities in the future and will post my findings, along with costs incurred for said software and available languages for translation the software offers. For whatever dreamy notions I harbor for readership acceptance of my poetry in Spanish speaking countries, it remains an objective, as does probing European markets for readership of my children's book. Considering Denmark is home to Hans Christian Anderson, and most other countries within Europe and even Russia, there is a very rich heritage of Fairytales and folkloric stories. A little internet research can lead to some interesting discoveries of new veins of readers eager to read your story, poem or novel. Another avenue for authors to showcase their work is an audio file of the reading. Poetry is rather perfect for this method as the excerpts would be short enough to hold a visitor's attention long enough for them to hear your words. This updated website and blog allows for audio files in mp3 format to be posted via ‘audio play button’ or ‘single audio player’, both of which I’m sure are available most web based building toolboxes. My first use of the audio file is a reading by a children’s book author, reviewer & blogger, Tiffany Flowers, who reviewed my children’s book and sent me the audio file of the opening passages. I have that file available next to the book’s listing on my landing page, which offers an interactive sample of the book’s content.

Finding the right mix of showcasing your work, through website and blogging, on the website and other outlets like facebook, doesn’t guarantee readership or a following, although without such avenues of getting your words out, it is far more unlikely you will ever be seen. The thing to keep in mind is persistence and patience. As in any other artist pursuit, the buying public wants to see consistency and quality over time. In that vein, keep at it relentlessly and consistently. Your patience will pay off over time.


g. Michael Handgis Photography


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