I think that everyone can benefit from someone else’s experiences. That is why I want to share a few points that I have discovered about self publishing my work rather than going to traditional publishers. I used to be dead set against it and wanted to go the traditional publishing route at any cost. Now, I don’t think I ever will unless I get handed just the right contract for my work. (Probably never gonna happen). I have heard too many traditional publishing horror stories.
1.) eBOOKS: Self-publishing used to mean that you wrote your work, perfected it, ordered the copies, and maybe a few friends and family would read it. The rest of the copies sit in your garage in a sad and sorry box. Well, that’s not the case anymore. eBooks changed everything.
2.) EFFORT: You have to be everywhere at once. I have a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and a YouTube channel. I am a member of several forums for writers. I do NaNoWriMo. I am going to a writing convention come May, and I am working on more platforms as we speak. Everything you do will help to sell books.
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. I want more books out. I have to change something in my schedule and sit down to write in order to make that happen. Self-publishing is probably harder than traditional in some ways because you have no extra hands doing everything else for you. You are your own marketer, designer, editor (unless you hire someone or have a beta). And you have to put in the time to do everything and do it well in order for that wheel to turn.
3.) CONTROL: You have so much more control. You can control your covers, your pricing, your own deadlines. I have everything at my finger tips. I can decide where my story is going to go, and not my editor or my agent. (Which don’t have anyway). I can make my own choices and that is so priceless. I had too many teachers telling me that I had to do things their way for years and years and years. I love that I can do things my way.
4.) PERCEPTION: Like I previously said, I always thought that self-publishing was just outrageous and a waste of time. I wanted to see my books in bookstores. And to be fair, I would still love that. But I don’t think of self-publishing the same way I did a year ago. Although others do. You say you are SELF-published and suddenly your credibility goes the other way. People sometimes think that writers are a dime a dozen, and saying that you are actually selling books just shocks them. So I just tell people that I publish exclusively to Amazon rather than saying I am self-published (when people ask). It just sounds cleaner. People who don’t write or are not trying to publish, don’t usually understand that self-publishing isn’t what it used to be.