This week's topic is supposed to be about agents shuffling authors through the self-publishing process, but honestly I don't see any reason why a writer would need an agent to self-publish and I've heard nothing about this being a trend. The whole reason to go e and self is to get around the barricades imposed by agents and traditional publishing.
A writer gets higher royalties when delving into epublication alone, sans agent, which is part of its beauty. An agent would cut into that and for doing what? Until you're going after movie rights, gaming or some other right outside of publishing, I don't see them as having a role, at least not one that would be worth a cut of the revenue.
The author is shelling out all the expense to epublish -- editing, layout, book cover, promotion and marketing. The agent can't get us a better deal. Everyone gets the same royalty deal in the eworld. So, I don't see why a writer would want to pay this other person in this endeavor.
I once held a stigma against epublishing myself, but now I see it as a vital marketing tool. Blogs and social networking are all well and good, but we're not reaching our audience or potential readers, only other writers. Magazines and publications don't have the reach they used to, floundering. So why not go about it ourselves? Releasing stories, novelettes and novellas in the epublishing world can get us to our potential readers and build us an audience unlike anything else.
It takes time to build an audience, just like it takes time to grow a blog. I've found it very rewarding so far, reaching people who don't know me and who have enjoyed my stories. It's exhilarating and another step down the road. Maybe when I release my novelette for sale in the near future, I can earn enough cash to finance the next project, maybe actually build myself more than an audience and grow my career and a business. I see others doing it, watched some writers go from the starting line with chirping crickets to now considering quitting their day job as they're earning enough in sales. Nice. I want that. So, I'm going after it.
Before delving into the eworld and audience-building, do your homework. Be certain you're writing at a professional level, have a marketing plan, hire a profession editor [read other ebooks and if you really like one, contact the writer about which editor they used -- many now credit editors and it will become a stamp of quality like a publishing house is now], produce a professional ebook cover, and don't give up because you're not a landslide success with the first release. All things take time. Very few people are overnight successes, but if you have a good product and keep at it, you will see your career and business grow.
What thoughts have you about need of an agent or no? If you see some use for them in self-publishing, please share. Have any audience growing tips to share? Thoughts on epublishing?
Will note as per Angelina's comment, to be clear -- I'm talking about self-publishing in the eworld. As Angelina said, not all epublishing is self-publishing. Should also say not all self-publishing is epublishing.