So, you might not know this, because I hardly talk about it, but I self-published a book. I know, I’m a mystery wrapped in an enigma, right?
So, what made me choose self-publishing? That’s a good question. After all, I’d only started sending out queries for my novel. I certainly hadn’t had enough time to get enough rejections to discourage me. So, what’s up?
I’ve talked about this before on my blogs. I’ve dreamed of being a writer since I was a kid. Back then, I never dreamed of things like the internet. Al Gore hadn’t invented it yet (joke…gees). My dreams of being an author were limited to finding an agent and publishing company. I never thought in a million years that I would be able to do it myself.
It’s been many years since I was that little girl, and there’s been lots of procrastination. I’ve gotten caught up in lots of different things: school a couple of times, many different jobs, role-playing games and LARPing, and starting a family. Sometimes I regret the procrastination. Sometimes I don’t.
Self-publishing is one of those times. I have at my fingertips right now everything that I need in order to publish all my work. I have my computer, with the most recent version of word (kudos to my job because I was able to get it very cheap…if your job has a discount program, keep up with it. Even if you’re like me and rarely use it, once in a while, you’ll find a gem…my tip o’the day for my fellow authors). I have the internet. And, I have a plethora of websites dedicated to helping me sell my work. They will print on demand. They will facilitate paid downloads. Many of them demand no money upfront from authors, getting their profit from a cut of purchases. Some offer distribution and marketing services. Some offer editing services. Freelance editors offer their services as well.
I chose to self-publish because, well, I can. I can publish my book myself, once it’s ready for publication, without having to wait to find the right agent and right publisher. I can get it into the hands of readers.
Here’s the trick, though. Self-publishing is hard. It is work. It is constantly talking about and tweeting about your work. It’s telling everyone you speak to that you wrote a book and they can get it. I have a hard time with that part. I’m shy. I’m uncomfortable with self-promotion. I can handle it online. Face-to-face…I clam up. But you have to do it. You have to reach out to bookstores and other retailers and talk to them about getting your book in their stories.
And here’s the thing. Self-publishing isn’t just another way for authors to publish. It’s a new paradigm. I’ve talked about this before too. We can’t force on self-publishing the same marketing/promotion that is part of the traditional publishing paradigm. Traditional publishing has a large and established infrastructure working for it. Self-published authors do not. Even the publishers that are getting into self-publishing aren’t putting the power of their brand behind it.
No, the self-publishing paradigm, to be successful, needs to be reader driven. It needs to depend on the relationship between the artist and the audience. This means that we need organic demand from readers for these books. Hence Bay Side Stories and StreetWraith.Net. We’re one of many sites that are dedicated to self-publishing. That’s okay. I think we need more of us out there talking about as many of these books as we can and highlighting their literary significance.
So, if you haven’t done so, please check out our site.