Blogumentary: Peer Associations

Let me start by saying this: Self-publishing is an art form.  Sure, writing is a literal form of art, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.  The process of self-publishing and the magic that goes into it is an art form all unto itself.  Traditionally published writers have the luxury of having agents, editors, and publishing companies that handle everything from cover design to marketing.  The writer is able to focus on one thing – the writing.  As a self-published author, I’m solely responsible for everyone of those aspects I just mentioned.

Having said that, while I am solely responsible for completing each of those things, that hardly means I do it alone.  Luckily, I’ve been able to create a hell of a support system who have been crucial in my publishing career, and have helped me put out as polished of a finished product as possible.

Becoming a published author is easier than ever in this technological age.  Access to services and resources are limitless, and there are countless options when it comes to producing content.  The biggest limitation for an up-and-coming author is budget.  If you have the means, there’s nothing stopping you from hiring a legitimate editor and graphic designer.  If you have a healthy marketing budget, it’s not even that hard to reach new readers.  But here’s the thing, unless you have the luxury of a trust-fund somewhere, then odds are your options for these things are limited simply due to cost.  Which is where networking and peer groups come in so handy.

Facebook isn’t what it used to be, but it still comes in handy for networking.  In the span of five minutes, you can find numerous writing groups to join, with some options likely in your vicinity.  Take advantage of those groups and contacts.  Socialize and make friends.  Having a small group of like-minded associates that you can count on for quality feedback is critical.  Ask if anybody is interested in trading services.  A good ol’ fashioned bartering system is hard to beat.

The other option is to invest some money into an editor.  There are plenty of services out there on the internet that will let you set your price and request certain services.  You might get a good bargain, but here’s the thing – keep in mind that you get what you pay for.  If you don’t have the necessary budget for a trusted, experienced editor, then hiring some rando off fiverr is likely going to be a crapshoot.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s my name on the cover, and establishing a good reputation/building a quality brand is important for a budding author.  I certainly don’t want to put something out that doesn’t have a professional look and feel to it.  With that in mind, I’m sure gonna take advantage of every resource I have available to me.  Then maybe one day, I’ll have people for that.

Thank you, that is all.

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