Guest Blogger: Shawn P. B. Robinson Pt 2
Hey, in my last post on Phyllis’ blog (shout-out to Phyllis, she’s awesome), I shared a little bit about what started me on the Self-Publishing Blog process. This time, I want to share some of the difficulties I faced as I was trying to learn about Self-Publishing (and how I’m trying to fix them).
The first problem I faced was cost. It appeared as though it could be quite expensive to Self-Publish, but I could see in my early research that it could also be done for next to nothing. I realized that I wanted to provide a plan for people to Self-Publish in a very affordable way. So, I set up Self-Publishing on a Budget!
The second problem I faced in my research was a lack of helpful information out there. A lot of sites would give a little bit of information, but not enough. I would read something like this: “Most authors agree that the best way to distribute your books is to use both Createspace and Ingram.”
Talk about helpful! Well, maybe not. What does that mean? I suddenly knew that I should use Createspace and Ingram, but to be honest, I wasn’t really sure what Createspace was and I had never even heard of Ingram. I didn’t know if the blogger was helping me or just trying to mess with my mind.
I came to the conclusion that this was either a result of lack of research on the part of the blogger or lack of understanding of who was reading their blogs. If it was research, it meant they had learned the basics, but not the depth of Self-Publishing and therefore could not explain it properly. If it was lack of understanding of their readers, it meant they didn’t know how much their readers didn’t know and needed explained.
I wanted to be a resource for people where they could get all the answers they needed. Since then I’ve found some good, helpful sites that do not avoid complete answers, but I just couldn’t find them at first.
The third problem I occasionally found was a lack of willingness to help people (there are a lot of helpful people out there, but there are many who are not). I would read something like this:
Question: “Hey, can anyone out there tell me how to set up a book for pre-sale? This is my first novel and I want to set the date for June 1.”
That’s a great question and experienced Self-Publishers should be right there to help, but instead the answers would be more like this:
Answer: “If this is your first novel, you shouldn’t worry about pre-sale dates. Just get it up there for sale.”
That’s a terribly reply! That’s not helpful. That’s just someone’s opinion and it simply does not help the novice Self-Publisher understand the craft. If we have a new author who is eager to learn, why wouldn’t we do everything we can to help them learn?
Unfortunately, this kind of thing is not a rare thing. There are so many out there who are looking for answers, but can only find people who ignore their question and tell them to do something else.
I decided I wanted to be a resource for the indie publishing world where people could find clear, complete and affordable answers!
Thanks again to Phyllis for the chance to share a little on her blog. In my final “Why I blog about Self-Publishing” post, I want to share a little bit about what I’ve learned and the joy it is to be a resource for other authors and bloggers!
Shawn P. B. Robinson