Virtual Shelf Space

Self-publishing an e-book is completely different than going the traditional route when you consider the amount of shelf space available to you.
Let me explain why.  When you go into your local library or a bookstore, you will see most authors with only a couple books at best. Unless you browse a Stephen King, Danielle Steele or several other big name authors, you simply won’t find the space being used for the lesser known authors.  Such a shame but that’s the way the industry tends to work.  Push what you know will sell.
To be honest, I can’t blame them.  The world revolves around making money and for a traditional publisher to stand a chance at making money they need to go with the sure thing.  Getting “found” as a new author these days is nearly impossible.  Just having a great book isn’t enough.  You have to have an excellent book.  And how many of us can fit into those few select spots even when we have an excellent book?
The beauty of e-books is that you, as the author, get to decide what you want to write and when.  AND there is no limit to how many books you can publish.  Your shelf space in limited only by your own mind.  If you think you can write ten short stories this year…have at it.  If you want to publish three books…go for it!
With e-books the sky truly is the limit.  But with that being said, the same standards still need to apply to self-published work.  Do the grueling edits over and over again, have other people help you find typos and grammar issues.  Pay to have your book professionally edited.  Outline.  Review.  Re-write.   
Always remember, and I’m sure it goes without saying but you’d be surprised how many times I find this, that you need to put your best work forward.  Writing styles change, you improve as a writer with each book that you publish.  Looking back, I see things that I could change with my first novel, Defiance Rising.  Sure I could have tightened that bit or expanded on this bit but I vowed not to rewrite it.  I want my readers to learn from my own growth as a writer.  If all readers ever see are completely polished books then how can they learn from other people’s experience?
My goal, as it has been from the very beginning of my journey, is to write what I love, entertain and encourage others to follow their dreams.  I know what it’s like to not feel good enough, knowledgeable enough or simply think that could only happen to other people.  Not true.  Each day that I wake up to write I remind myself of why I need to write.  I shove those negative thoughts aside and press on.
And with that being said, as I stated in an earlier post, I have set some mighty big goals for myself for 2012.  1 novella and 5 full size books is HUGE for anyone.  I won’t set specific dates.  I will continue to let my muse guide me.  But my biggest promise is that even though I have plenty of room on my virtual shelf, I will only release to you what I feel is the best book I can possibly write.
So what will you do with your empty shelf space?  Thinking about putting something on it for 2012?  If so I’d love to hear about it!

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