Redbrush recently led a self-publishing workshop at a local Barnes & Noble. Here are three excellent questions attendees were seeking answers to:
1.) What are the best genres for self-publishing?
If your motivation is to make money, nonfiction typically sells better because people will pay more for information they seek. Fiction is about entertainment, and well-written fiction can do very well.
The best advice, however, is to write what you love and know and want to share, and then outreach like crazy to its ideal readers. Because you’re not publishing in the same model as a huge publishing conglomerate, it’s not necessary to match their budgets or marketing campaigns. Ultimately, every self-published project is a challenge. If it were easy, everyone would succeed. There are no slam dunks.
2.) Are self-publishers who write fiction or non-fiction more successful?
Though nonfiction books may sell better than fiction, where the competition is vast and prices are usually lower, those authors who are able to publish a professional product that builds success through positive word of mouth are better equipped to succeed with their books. Their books can be nonfiction or fiction. The better you can articulate your goals for your book and the right audiences for it, the easier it is to meet the challenge to outreach and sell to those audiences.
3.) What does it cost to self-publish a book?
The answer depends on why you write and what you want to accomplish.
There are three general types of authors: Authors casually writing for the joy of it, authors for whom writing is a serious hobby, and authors publishing and supporting professional book products. As the expectations of the casual writer are so small, they can expect (and often choose) to spend no more than $100. The more serious hobbyist should expect to spend several hundred dollars to put out a product that meets their goals—“out there and available”). The author who publishes their high-quality product to compete in the professional book-selling marketplace should anticipate spending several thousand dollars to publish their book.
The writer who is satisfied with the process of writing needs no budget at all. Their investment is time, and they are hoping that audiences will invest only their time in return. The more you want your readers to invest in your writing (be it time, money, recommendations, and positive word of mouth), the more you’ll need to invest to be sure you’re putting out a professional product that will meet the expectations of your readers. Better books sell better.
At Redbrush, we encourage authors to consider all of their publishing options for their writing projects. It’s a pretty exciting time in publishing. Highly-motivated authors will find greater satisfaction over time by publishing the best book they can and appropriately outreaching to their ideal audiences.