Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Self-Education for Self-Publishing Authors

My real job is being a high school basketball coach and a history teacher. One of the traits of many great historical figures is the seemingly universal practice of lifelong self-education. These individuals never stopped trying to learn. I still have a keen interest in learning and while it might take a little longer than in the past to inculcate (SAT word for pound in) new information, I find learning more enjoyable and beneficial than ever before.

I strongly encourage self-publishing authors to learn as much about the industry as possible and hope some of the readers of this blog have learned something of value from the content of this blog. With the rapid changes taking place in the industry, largely due to new technologies such as print-on-demand publishing and e-books, times have never been better for self-publishing authors.

Amazon has certainly helped to level the playing field through its willingness to allow self-published books to be sold on an equal footing with traditionally published books. Indeed, the marketing, collection of payment and distribution of books to customers by Amazon makes self-publishing more viable than ever before.

Not to be lost in the wave of changes though is the need for authors to continue to learn more about what the topics or genres they write about. Technology is changing everything and for non-fiction authors this impacts many of the topics we write about and for the topics it does not impact, the contrast between the technology of the old and the technology of today may provide a new topic to write about, at least for those of us interested in history and how people do things.

Fiction writers need to be aware of the changes in the world in order to be able to reflect those changes in the stories they tell, regardless of the time period, or world, the story may be set in. For science fiction writers in particular what was once fiction may very well have now become fact.

The lesson? If you are a writer, you must always be learning!