Self-Published Authors: The New Path by Dawn Galland
The other day it was suggested that by creating dawngallandbooks.com I was modernizing the story of David and Goliath. Trying to defeat the giant industry to help spotlight Self-Published authors was seen as a step toward disappointment. That, of course, scared me. I see the value of independent writers and I want to bring that to the world. Self-Publishing may be a little bed of stones set near the Mt. Everest of traditional publishers: little peons shadowed by the colossal. However, I see gems, sometimes diamonds that just need a little sun to reflect on them. “How dare they ignore us first time writers”, I would think, and then add in disgust, “It’s all about money”. Well, of course it is. The reality is that any effort tossed our way could mean the loss of millions of dollars that could be spent promoting the already established writer. However, there is no evil Goliath in this story, just a need to forge a new direction and figure out a way to spotlight our work. We need to be seen if we want to get our work noticed. We need to stop relying on others to do it. A stream of self-published writers that want to bypass the mountain to create its own river of success is what I’m trying to get started.
No one wants to be the first to the party of the new guy on the block, especially if there’s a fee involved. That invitation is often ignored. Purchasing the work of an unknown over the tried and true seems risky. So, making it advantageous for that reader to take a chance needs considering. That’s where things like the Self-Published contests come into play. They are a great form of advertising. The problem is they only spotlight the few that win, and leave the rest dangling for recognition. So, it makes sense to me to try and make Self-Published books a destination for readers. That helps everyone. Let’s get people who are looking to entertain themselves with a good novel, and direct them to the less obvious path. That path is full of talent. The road less traveled really does make all the difference, both for the reader and the writer.
Maybe one way to combat that is to let those who have a passion to read see how their choices are filtered. In many ways, they are allowing their actions be controlled by the marketing of the genius’s that work for the traditional publishing giants. Just like one may choose Fruit Loops as their breakfast. That choice is made because they see the ads on television and the box is so cleverly positioned on the grocer’s shelf. I’m not even saying that it’s a bad choice. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. All I’m saying is that there are other great choices. There are other viable options that you could like as much or more, had you not allowed the “system” to control you. So, let’s step away from the path that is so cleanly set out for us, and consciously move over to those that aren’t as obvious. They hold the possibility of bringing us to something beautiful.
Another road block to being successful as a Self-Published author is money. This road block is, more often than not, the reason talented people stop pursuing their dream. It just cost a lot to get people to see you. Websites cost money. Ads on your social media cost money. Renting a booth at local festivals cost money. Those writer’s contest cost money. Eventually we all just run out of money. That was my original thought in my creation of dawngallandbooks.com. I was putting my personal website together and I thought, “Why not offer to let some other authors put their info on my site. There’s more than enough room.” Then, as I was considering this, I thought, “If we pool our money, we could really get somewhere”. That’s where the monthly fee comes in. It’s to pay for the expenses of running the website: joint ventures in advertising and marketing. If we can all see that by helping the whole we are helping the individual; it could work.
My website, dawngallandbooks.com, is just getting started, and I accept it’s a path that has a lot of underbrush and limbs clouding its way. However, the whole point is that we, as self-published authors, work together. Let’s unite those finances to market our efforts and use our own social media (s) for advertising. Together we can create much more interest than working separately. The other point is that as readers, let’s take a chance and accept the invitation to the party that the new guy on the block is throwing. Get off the path that’s been forged for you. Take the initiative and help cut down a branch or two that is on that new path…the self-published author’s path. You may find yourself stubbing your toe on occasion, but you may also find yourself discovering a waterfall with a rainbow dancing above it.