Getting Smart With: Self-publishing Research

Blog 4 Research

The internet has become the hub of all information known to man, a great source for research. The “airwaves” are buzzing with breaking news, and it is an era where you can witness an event across the globe as it unfolds. Technology is ever driving us forward, expanding our knowledge and our capabilities.

This movement has provided self-publishers the opportunity for independence, and I tip my hat to all the authors who have come before me, who have struggled through the hurdles and paved the way for the rest of us. It wasn’t long ago when there was a stigma associated with self-publishing, and to a lesser extent today, but in the last ten years the situation has substantially changed. More and more authors are turning to self-publishing, an ever growing abundance of tools and resources are emerging to assist authors, and the quality of the self-published books are on the rise. Many have even become best-sellers, and even received movie deals.

I was ignorant to the state of things when I began. I started with the plan to find a traditional publisher and go that route, but I soon discovered the wide and opportunistic world of self-publishing.

It was just last year when looking into the movie “The Martian” which led me to discover self-publishing. I began to research Andy Weir and his journey (thanks to the good old Wikipedia) into how he started writing the book chapter-by-chapter on his website, then selling the whole thing for 99 cents on Amazon… and eventually scoring a movie deal. I was so astonished I began to look into self-publishing for the book I was writing.

UPDATE ***(May 18, 2016) – If you are interested in Andy Weir and his journey, you may like to learn what his agent has to say, and how Andy got his agent. Click here to see the blog post on Reedsy.***

The more I learned, the more I was sold on the idea. Direct control over the creative process, no timelines, and a supportive community. The possibilities are endless. All this freedom, however, comes with some caveats, the author/publisher is now tasked with a lot of homework, and I mean A LOT of homework, but at the end it’s well worth it! It can feel overwhelming at times, but it’s accompanied with the sense of excitement.

Recently I discovered authors outside of United States were faced with great difficulties in a number of areas when publishing through Amazon, namely when dealing with sales tax. Fortunately, things seem to have gotten a lot better. As a Canadian author, I am grateful for Kobo as an alternative distribution channel, it’s always great to have multiple distribution channels which allow access to a wider audience.

UPDATE ON CANADA TAX INFORMATION WITH THE UNITED STATES is a post by Diane Tibert that other Canadian authors and self-publishers might find useful.

Much of the resources online are tailored to authors located in United States, however, I found the article What Every Self-Published Author Needs to Know About Taxes by Helen Sedwick hosted by Jane Friedman a valuable resource.

Thus far, I have not found too many resources for Canadians authors specifically, but 3 Things I’ve Learned as a Canadian Indie Author by N.M Sotzek is worth mentioning.

I have also discovered the website Savvy Writers & e-Books online which is a great resource, and specifically the article How to Start Your Own Book Publishing Business which provides details geared towards Canadians, Americans, and the UK. I still need to explore the site further, but it contains a boat-load of useful topics.

There are a lot of people that also offer more for authors. Derek Murphy is one of them, and lists others in his article: My favorite 21 people in self-publishing.

The 120 Most Helpful Websites For Writers in 2016 by Angela Han may also be something to look at. Recently I’ve been reading a lot of interesting articles from Just Publishing Advice by Derek Haines as well.

If you have any other suggestions about resources specifically for Canadian self-publishers, and/or other helpful links for self-publishers in general, please comment and share!

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