Finding an Agent—The Truth
Like many authors, I wasted a lot of time and money searching for an agent to land me a publishing contract with a big name, traditional publisher. While my quest was far from successful, it did bring to surface a hidden truth that most author coaches would prefer you didn’t know.
The truth is, if you are an unknown, unpublished author, the odds of finding an agent to represent you is roughly 1 in 6,000. I was given that number by a professional in the industry. Keep in mind, if you do find an agent for representation, there’s no guarantee that he/she will be able to land you a publishing contract.
Only after paying unreasonable money for less than shabby coaching and sending dozens of rejected query letters, did I finally conclude that, if I wanted my novel published I would have to do it myself.
In my search for information on self-publishing, the first thing I found was…
The Vanity Press
Upon realizing that I would have to self-publish my book, I did as most of us do these days and took to the internet for information. My initial search rendered numerous results for vanity press publishers.
These are publishers that, if you pay them, they will publish your book. Vanity presses offer more independence to the author than traditional publishers, but their fees and services for publishing your book can be quite high.
In my view, hiring a vanity press is hardly considered, self-publishing.
While I’m in no position to bash any publishing house, I know that most vanity press publishers will market your book, and you will receive zero royalties from the books they sell. Leaving the author with a slim market margin to sell and receive their own royalties.
We’ve all seen the TV commercials: “Have you written a book and want it published? Call us, we’ll publish your book and get it in the book store.”
And who will be profiting from your book? Hint—not you.
Enter Real Self-Publishing
When I first began looking into self-publishing, I was somewhat unaware that I could format my book, design the cover and get it published, on my own. Upon making this discovery, I was enthusiastic about the idea. After all, this would put me in 100% control of my book, and I found the idea of formatting and designing to be very appealing.
Though apprehensive about my ability to do it all, I was excited to have found the information that my search had rendered.
I was also surprised to find out how many successful, self-published authors there are. I was even more surprised to see how helpful many of them are and how much information they offered up, for free.
I had finally gotten away from searching for a, ‘better than thou’ publishing agent and took control of my book. Now I want to share the websites that I found to be most helpful, to me.
4 Websites for the Indie Author that Offer Real Help
DIY Author.com is owned by Rick Edwards. It is a complete, one stop website when it comes to self-publishing. This site covers everything.
On DIY Author.com, under each of the titles listed you will find numerous posts from various professionals pertaining to the subject.
Along with all the FREE information on DIY Author, they list helpful tools, a podcast and they offer online courses.
If you are considering self-publishing, DIY Author.com is a great place to start. You will X-out of that website with an infinite amount more knowledge on self-publishing.
Kudos to Joanna Penn for The Creative Penn.com. As an indie author herself with several New York Times and USA Today best-selling books, it’s safe to say that she knows her S#*t.
The amount of FREE, quality information she gives on self-publishing is staggering, and the diversity of it is unparalleled.
Along with offering a free ebook and video series, Author 2.0 Blueprint, her site features
- Online courses
Joanna offers recommendations for tools on
- Cover design
If that’s not enough, she has numerous books
- Successful self-publishing
- The successful Author Mindset
- How to Make a Living with your Writing
- How to Market a Book
- Business for Authors
In short, The Creative Penn.com is an excellent source of information for self-publishing and more. I’m sure Joanna Penn will go down in history for all she gives to the aspiring indie author.
Creativindie.com is one of the most helpful and informative resources that I have found for self-publishing. I must give props to Derek Murphy for all the information that he puts out there.
When I first decided to self-publish, I knew that I would be spending some money. However, I did not spend near as much as I expected. The first coin I dropped was on the self-publishing course offered on creativindie.com
For what he charges for the course (not much) he offers a megaton of information on
- Interior formatting
- Cover design
- How-to videos
If you’re thinking about self-publishing, you will find some very invaluable information on creativindie.
Here is another prime example of real-time help when it comes to self-publishing. Chandler Bolt is a 6-time bestselling author and the founder of self-publishing school.com.
The blog posts alone on this website contains some of the best information out there on self-publishing. Along with a FREE webinar ‘How to go from blank page to published author in 90 days.’ Chandler has a podcast and offers numerous courses.
- Self-Publishing School Starter Kit—go from no idea to completed book outline in as little as 24 hours.
- Mastermind Community—weekly live Q&A calls to answer any of your writing questions.
- Self-Publishing School VIP—one-on-one consultation calls with a bestselling author in your niche, a full year of unlimited email consultation and more.
- Book Marketing Bootcamp—Chandler walks through the exact blueprint he followed to launch Published to bestseller status.
If you’re considering self-publishing, you will find the resources and information on self-publishing school.com to be some of the most helpful anywhere.
While I have noted the four websites that I found to be the most helpful to me, there are many others out there. If you are thinking about self-publishing, you will want to check out these sites as well. After all, what I find to be most informative or beneficial, may not fit for everyone.
I have found self-publishing to be a very exciting journey, one that I am still on and have a long way to go before I call myself successful at it.
If you find yourself where I found myself with seeking a traditional publisher, it may be time to consider self-publishing. If so, I wish you luck and success. I also hope this blog post has helped point you in the right direction.