Thursday, September 13, 2012

Self-Publishing Part 2 (For Writers)

Why I Chose to Self-Publish and Why You should Consider it.

Read Self-Publishing Part 1 (For Readers)

There is so much more to being an author than just writing a book, especially when you choose the self-published route. If you’ve been following my blog over these last few months you’ll know about how important having Beta Readers and an Editor are (The Beauty of Beta Readers, The Price of Hiring an Editor), and now as I dive into the world of marketing and promotion I’m learning more every day about how to get my book out to readers. After all, that’s what it’s all about - writing a wonderful story, and then being able to share it with the world. Every step of the way is a fascinating and sometimes frightening experience.
With my first book published my journey has just begun; but I thought I’d share with all of you some of my thoughts, experiences, and things I’ve learned so far.

Nina Matthews

Is Self-publishing Right for You?
Many people choose to self-publish after the traditional publishing route doesn’t pan out for them. I however, skipped over attempting to get my book traditionally published all together. Why? Well, I have a few reasons. (Note: Fear of rejection is not one of them.)

To explain why I chose to self-publish without attempting traditional publishing first will involve telling you my opinion about both these publishing methods. First I want to say that I don’t believe books should be judged by how they’re published. Trad, Indie, Self-pub, I choose to ignore them all when I’m looking for a book to read. I prefer to judge each book separately. I judge the book for the book itself. Is it a good story, do I want to keep reading? That’s all I care about. And, I’ve found by doing this that there are wonderful books out there regardless of how they’re published. (Check out Self-publishing part 1 for more info.)

When it comes to reading, the publisher doesn’t matter to me. But, when it comes to writing it does. Yes, I want complete creative control, and 70% royalties sounds so much better than what traditional publishers tend to offer you (usually around 15%), but my reasons go deeper than that. I agree with all of the typical reasons people tend to self-publish, but I have a few more that are more personal to me.

1.      I’d like to start my own publishing company, something small, independent, and author friendly. I want to help other authors get their books out there and to do it in a way where they’re still profiting from their books. I feel like to achieve this goal that I should know all parts of the publishing world, and the best way to learn is to do.

2.     The second, and possibly most important reason on my list is I feel that the traditional publishing world is changing, and in some ways becoming obsolete. I feel like self-publishing is going to become a very important part of how books get to people. This may be nothing more than my opinion, but I think the fact that Traditional publishers are now finding some of their clients in the self-published market, like Amanda Hocking, and E.L. James, is a sign of this.
 
When I made the decision of how to publish, the question that was on my mind was “What can traditional publishing do for me?” I’ve heard over and over again in forums and on blogs that even if you choose to self-publish that you should try to publish traditionally first. People say that just rejection letters alone can teach you something, but I disagree.

“… Who ever received writing advice in a rejection letter as sound as the worst 1-star review out there? There’s far more to learn from engaging the market with your product than there is in form letters that tell you not-a-single-frickin’-thing. What’s wrong with testing the waters? Instead of wasting one’s time writing query letters, why not work on that next manuscript instead? (From Publishing is Broken)
I don’t think the traditional publishing world has as much to offer the average author as we are lead to believe. The way we buy books and how we find out about books is changing. It’s becoming an internet based, digital world, where even paperbacks are bought online. Amazon Reviews, and blog posts, Goodreads, and Facebook are how we’re hearing about new books and deciding what to buy. This article may shed some light on these thoughts. Publishing is Broken, we’re drowning in Indie Books, and that’s a Good Thing.

After coming to the conclusion that Traditional Publishing may not suit my needs I asked myself “What can self-publishing do for me?” I found myself with more positive answers. I found possibilities. With self-publishing I had the chance to learn about publishing, and I knew that how well my book did was dependent on how much work I put into it. That made me feel like I could achieve success if I tried hard enough. (Whether or not this is true I can’t say for sure, but it was an empowering feeling.)

Self-Publishing success isn’t new. Authors have been self-publishing for as long as people have been writing. (Famous self-publishedauthors) The only reason I think self-publishing will take off now when it hasn’t in the past is that we finally have a way to reach our readers easily, and affordable. There is a real chance of making a living at it this way, and I think the promise and possibilities of self-publishing will only continue to grow. Self-publishing no longer means buying boxes of your own book and keeping them piled up in your garage because bookstores won’t buy them off you. Print on demand services as offered by places like Createspace, and the e-book market, which is rapidly growing, means there’s no need to have excessive overhead in buying stock of your own book. This also means that your book will never go out of print as it will always be available online.
So in the end I decided not to waste my time with traditional publishing and to give myself the best chance possible by putting my all into my work, and doing it myself.

Read Self-Publishing Part 3 (For Self-Publishers)