6 Ways Micro-Publishing Strengthens Your Author Career

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Today’s guest post is by author Christina Katz (@thewritermama), who recently released Permission Granted, 45 Reasons to Micro-Publish.


For writers—especially nonfiction writers—a well-lit publishing-path through the murky wood of pundits, doomsdayers, and bestseller advice is micro-publishing.

Micro-publishing is not new, but when I use the term, I am referring to both the size of my publishing “house” and the length of my publications. In other words, micro-published books are short, tight, and swift. Experienced authors can deliver them in a steady flow, which can be less demanding and taxing than what it takes to create full-length books.

Micro-pubs vary widely in genre, format, and price point. (And fiction writers might consider serialization to be a better description of their micro-publishing landscape.) Micro-pubs with enough demand can become physical books eventually, usually when there is existing readership or demand for physical copies.

A meaningful discussion of micro-publishing has been pushed aside during the ongoing tug-of-war between traditional publishing and independent publishing (self-publishing). But we are well beyond “everyone is a writer” at this point. We have progressed into “everyone is a publisher,” if they wish to be—and we have been living in this realm for some time already.

Fortunately, micro-publishing benefits the industry as a whole by bringing some much-needed simplicity and directness into a publishing equation that is often weighted down by its own complexity and contracts. And it also benefits you, the writer. Here’s how.

1. Writers need to write. The changes in publishing have made contracts increasingly harder to come by, and advance rates lower, even when contracts do come. Micro-publishing allows you to keep writing and publishing no matter what the economy or the industry decide to do next.

2. Writers need to earn. Micro-publishing provides you with opportunities to earn passive income—and with less money flowing from publishers to writers, you’ll want to develop multiple alternative sources of income.

3. Writers need more ways to channel their ideas. Not every idea you have will be suitable for a traditionally published book. (Most aren’t.) But micro-publishing allows you to string together your better ideas and publish them in ways that benefit your readers. So micro-publishing gives you access to a series of smaller successes, rather than always investing the most energy in fewer, larger projects.

4. Writers often want to diversify. There is a lot of pressure on writers not to diversify—to keep delivering the same type of work to a ready audience. But some writers can handle diversification and would like to attempt it more often. Micro-publishing allows you to diversify on a smaller scale with less risk involved.

5. Writers who dive deeper into their niches can achieve increased readership loyalty. Readers don’t always like to wait a one or two years for the next book. And writers sometimes need relief from the pressure of too many publishing deadlines in a row. Micro-publishing can serve readers’ needs sooner and more swiftly than traditional publishing.

6. Writers grow skills from increased ownership. I got published in the first place because I produced my own career success. But once I started self-publishing some of my shorter works, that’s when I understood on a whole new level how much work publishers actually do. Can I do everything for myself that a traditional publisher can do for me? No. But I can learn valuable skills from increasing my career ownership and then take those increased skills back to the negotiating table with publishers down the road.

With all the editorial talent now available for hire, experienced authors can micro-publish more easily and more professionally than ever before. But it also offers a worthwhile option for writers who have never published because it’s a closer target and easier to hit.

But even writers who micro-publish won’t likely stop working with traditional publishers all together. Each form of publishing has a time, place, and benefit associated with it. More and more writers will take their careers into their own hands, rather than waiting to see what publishing decides to do next.

After all, when we talk about “publishing” today, we are no longer talking about a specific industry with gatekeepers. We are talking about a process that is accessible to all.

Posted in Getting Published, Guest Post, Marketing & Promotion and tagged , , .

Christina Katz

Christina Katz has been coaching all types of writers for fourteen years both online and offline. She specializes in helping writers prosper within a constantly evolving publishing marketplace. Her mission is to inspire writers to take ownership of their writing careers without diminishing the joy and satisfaction they experience in the creative process. Christina offers video courses on helpful aspects of professional success, e-mail prompt challenges, and phone consultations for authors and aspiring authors by appointment. She lives in Oregon with her multi-talented husband, Jason, her delightful daughter, Samantha, and their four rather spoiled pets. Why not swing by http://christinakatz.com for a visit?

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35 Comments on "6 Ways Micro-Publishing Strengthens Your Author Career"

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[…] Today’s guest post is by author Christina Katz (@thewritermama), who recently released Permission Granted, 45 Reasons to Micro-Publish.  […]

Steven M. Long

Really interesting article. I write short stories and novels, but micro-publishing is something I haven’t really thought of – like a lot of my friends. I think for a lot of writers, the task of figuring out the right balance of publishing and self-publishing is an opaque, sometimes daunting process, and it’s hard to let yourself think about one… more… thing. That said, I think the current market for writers in general (especially those not firmly established) is all about being thoughtful and adaptable, and keeping your eyes open.

Terri

Great points and this confirms our core message for novelists and memoirists to develop their persona, define their niche audience, and diversify with their writing. That’s why we started our Author Marketing 101 site/book. Genre novelists have been misinformed and limited that they would lose their readers if they didn’t produce cookie-cutter stories. Not so anymore. These are exciting times to be a writer.

Adam Henig

I adopted micropublishing for my new (and first) book, a 15,000 word eBook biography of Roots author Alex Haley. This easily could have been 150,000 word, full-length book. But, given my time constraints, limited research budget, and desire to write about other subjects, for me, micro publishing was the route to go. Thanks for sharing. I wish more bloggers wrote about this topic. Given Amazon Single’s single success, it clearly is the direction of where publishing is heading.

Nina Amir

Great post, Christina.

I think writers and authors have so many options today, and they should take advantage of them all. As long as they produce professional quality work and have a market for that work, they stand a high chance of success.

The more success they achieve in any one area–indie or traditional–the more success they will continue to have in other areas as well.

Paula Millhouse

I enjoyed your post, Christina

As busy as everyone is these days, Micro-Publishing feels like a good fit.
Congrats on your book!

Sue LeBreton

As a new writer this is an exciting area. Your “Permission Granted” opened my eyes to how this can be used by writers at all levels.

Robyn LaRue

I really like number four as a writer who has produced a fantasy, two YAs, and a romantic suspense in the last five years. I also write a lot about writing and creativity, and the info on micro-publishing fits a lot of things I’d like to do. Will definitely do my research. Thanks. 🙂

Greg Strandberg

Some good ideas here. Over at The Book Deal (http://www.alanrinzler.com/blog/) prequels were discussed this month and micro-books seem like a good way for authors to give something to faithful readers.

It’ll also be a great way to replace perma-frees with shorter $0.99 titles, perhaps bundled into a 3-box set to get the higher royalty while still enticing new readers.

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Tyrean Martinson

Great article. I write mainly fiction and poetry, but I’ve been outlining a book on writing for homeschool students, and this article has me thinking that it might be nice to put it out in smaller parts first. I’ll have to think about it more, of course, since my book is for a very specific audience, but it might be interesting to try.

Dan Erickson

Great article. I bought a few smallish Moleskin journals with the idea of writing shortish-lengthed books by hand. It goes against the way I’ve been writing the last several years. My hope is that they wind up as short ebooks 50-100 pages up the road.

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[…] 6 Ways Micro-Publishing Strengthens Your Author Career by @thewritermama via @janefriedman […]

barbaramcdowellwhitt

Christina, as I have said before, you are ahead of the curve. Your understanding of and ability to explain micro-publishing is yet another example of your expertise and service to writers. I like your words that can define it: short, tight, swift.

Recently I noticed that you are taking short excerpts from your book, The Writer’s Workout, and reposting them as small, colorful notes on your Facebook page. Now there’s another example of “micro-publishing.”

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[…] the micro-age. Christina Katz lists 6 ways micropublishing can strengthen your author career, while Kristen Lamb explores the invasion of the […]

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[…] In regard to publishing. Chuck Wendig reminds authors that self-publishing is not the minor leagues and urges writers to exercise quality control and publish finished, quality work. Bob Mayer discusses the illusions of traditional and self-publishing and the reality of hybrid publishing, and Christina Katz discusses 6 ways micro-publishing strengthens your writing career. […]

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[…] 6 Ways Micropublishing Strengthens Your Author Career helps us all understand what micro-publishing can do for writers and authors. […]

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[…] have a post on JaneFriedman.com today called, “6 Ways Micro-publishing Strengthens Your Author Career,” and I hope you will read it and share it with other […]

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[…] 6 Ways Micro-publishing Strengthens Your Author Career […]

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