So Many Publishing Platforms, So Little Time
Whether you write singles, shorts, posts, releases, or even if you call your writing “content,” you’ve got plenty of options to get it online.
You don’t necessarily need to work with a traditional publisher. You don’t need technical or design prowess, although you can design and code your own books if you know how. With so many options, it’s getting easier and faster to publish, so you can focus on writing and spending time with your readers . Best of all, you don’t need to spend a lot of time on it, and you shouldn’t.
Here’s a sample of just a few publishing platforms, built for writers. These are all in addition to the big social media giants, which are good for conversation and promotions, but too ephemeral for wrting that lasts.
Medium is a straightforward blogging platform that already has millions of readers.
Popular writing apps like Ulysses and Scrivener have built-in tools to create electronic books. Others are more purpose-built for converting manuscripts into ebooks, like Vellum . There are similar apps for other platforms. Experiment with the different options until you find the one that fits best with your workflow. Whichever one gets you the book you need, inthe format(s) you want, in the least amount of time, is probably the one to pick.
Once you’ve created a digital publication, you may want to take advantage of some of the platforms for publishing and distribution of electronic books . The major players in this arena are Amazon, Google Books, Apple Books, and Lulu. Why not try them all and see which one works best for your writing? Each of them have a pretty straightforward web interface, with help pages to show you the ropes. You could set aside one weekend and have your book self-published on all of them by the end of it. There are some interesting smaller platforms too, like Leanpub , where you can publish a work in progress, to share it with readers as it develops.
You may want something that integrates more closely with your existing website, or perhaps you’d like a bigger share of revenue. You could spin up a simple page to sell your book with Gumroad or Cargo . I recommend platforms like these for selling ebooks, over the more complex storefronts, because they’re more tailored for creatives. They’re fast to set up, again so you can get back to being creative.
Whether you go with a giant platform like Amazon, or you build your own, you’re still going to need to draw an audience to your work. It’s tempting to make the “Field of Dreams” mistake online where you incorrectly assume that if you build it, they will come. Well, they won’t come, unless they know about it. However you build your book and put it online, it’s important to share it with an audience, by any means you can. But that’s a subject for another post.