This is something I’ve been thinking about on a pretty regular basis and feel shouldn’t be ignored. It’d be easy to say I just want to sit down, write all day and have people buy my books but in the world we live in today that might not be the best option. Especially since I’m taking the self-publishing route I can’t afford to have a narrow view of my situation. Maybe if I was traditionally published I could be forgiven for that state of mind but the reality is that, at the moment, I don’t have a team behind me so I have to think much more broadly in regards to my works. It’s not just slapping words on paper anymore, it’s having a business mentality to help complement any literary endeavors. But, on the upside, I have a lot more options which translate into money-making opportunities…
It may not be a surprise to most but selling your book in multiple formats is now the norm. If you only plan on publishing a printed version you’re basically setting yourself up for failure. While physical books will almost certainly never go out of style the truth is that with the advent of e-books and audiobooks new doors have been unlocked. Kindles and Nooks make attaining reading material that much easier which in turn can translate into sales for the savvy author, and the best part is that it costs you (the author) nothing. Unlike printing a book for a customer, which has set costs associated with it, having someone download your book results in pure profit. Another avenue to consider, depending on its success, would be translating your book into a different language. Expanding into new markets should always be on your mind. It’s the way for your works to live on for generations to come.
Aside from the obvious sales there are other areas that should be explored, namely ware. If you’ve taken the time to create an entire world for your reader then it’s not farfetched to give them a little something extra. Capitalize on memorable moments in your stories by bringing them to life, literally. Maybe one of your characters had a unique ring or necklace. Maybe it was an article of clothing. Regardless, it’ll be something your true fans are more than willing to purchase. Jewelry, clothes, and trinkets that have special significance to people who’ve read your book are all on the table to help you expand your presence. If you’re fortunate enough you may even see your work turned into a major motion picture. Depending on what your story is about and your target audience you could see your book title or characters on coffee mugs, T-shirts and everything in between.
If you’re feeling particularly bold then you can always take things to the next level. This level entails striking out and establishing your own publishing company. Now, on paper, it may seem daunting but in the early stages it’s more for professionalism. This step will help separate you from your competition and give you a platform for future growth. As a self-published author you’ll already have plenty of people ready to discount your work based on the fact you took the DIY approach. Having the words CreateSpace listed as your publisher in the opening pages of your book won’t do you any favors. It’s sad but true. That’s why it’d be prudent to consider registering your own company. Aside from the professional touch you’d have the chance to reach out to other authors. Aspiring novelists would have the opportunity they’ve been looking for and you’d have even more exposure for your publishing company. In the end it’d be a win-win situation for everyone.