Why I "self-published"

Alright, so early this year I finished my first book, Second Chance Romance. And I was yay so excited. Being an author was my dream. Now I had a book.

Except I had no idea how to get it to the world. As far as I saw I had three options.

The first is to: submit it to publishers, both traditional and e-pubs, and hope for the best. Which if you are in the publishing industry know is a crap shoot. Publishers get so many submissions that a ton are just auto-rejected. (Seriously after reading that post, I don’t know if I’ll ever get to the traditional publishers. Also, I’ll never live in a world where I print off my MS and mail it to someone. Email fast, cheap, neat, and involves spell-check).

I thought about submitting to Harlequin Romance. Y’know, harlequin. But, they have weird length requirements depending on their line and my book didn’t really fit into their lines. And then I realized that if I did get accepted my book would be marketed for a month by them and they pay really crappy royalties. Also it was a series and the second book wasn’t the same length, making it a hard second sell.

Thirdly, the reason that traditional publishing wasn’t going to work for me was because I wanted control. I imagine an editor taking my book and twisting it into something they believe is marketable. WHAT THEY BELIEVE. Not what is marketable, not the story I wrote. I’ve had a few thousand reads of my book all told and no one has written me and told me I suck and I should never write anything again. In fact, I’ve gotten a few good comments that spur me forward.

Who says that random editor will be able to make my book better? You’d never know if my version is better because you wouldn’t be able to read it. I could show my book to a thousand people and they’d all have a way to change it so it’s “better” for them. They can write their own. My book! MINE!

And I’ve read some really bad traditionally published books. Books where I got 10 pages in and thought “I could write this so much better.”

Fourth, most query advice writers tell you to write a marketing plan into your query. So, even if this big name publisher picks me up, I have to market it myself. For a fraction of the royalties. I might get a few more sales because I’m in bookstores and not just on the web. But, now I get 90% of my sales- which are paltry either way. I write paperback romance they are a dime a dozen.

Since this turned into a longer rant than I meant it to, the other two options will be written and posted later. In the meantime here are some links that spurred me to write my own reasons for self-publishing.

The New Money Flow on Ditchwalk is the best reasoning I’ve read. I could write a whole post on summarizing this brilliant one.

Why self-publishing doesn’t work: 3 AM magazine

Why self-publishing does work: 3 AM magazine

3 Am’s tag line is “Whatever it is, we’re against it”.

Misconceptions about Self-Publishing by Levi Montgomery

6 Questions your Book Proposal must Answer

Fiction is an obvious example. From the “penny dreadfuls” to dime novels and pulp magazines, fiction has long been dominated by bad writing. The state of fiction today is improved somewhat by virtue of the fact that consumers of fiction are a smaller, more self-selecting group than in past eras, but that still doesn’t keep the borderline-illiterate Dan Browns and Stephanie Meyers of the industry from leaping effortlessly onto the rungs of the bestseller lists.

From a post on bad writing in video games (Hoping the makers of Final Fantasy take note here)

And last is a quote from author Moriah Jovan‘s mother: “In 1995, my mother said to me, “Why do you base your goals on decisions someone else has to make?””

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Filed under electronic age, projects, publishing, questions, rants, writing

4 responses to “Why I "self-published"

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Why I “self-published” « Learning to Say Yes -- Topsy.com

  2. Congratulations on your book! I’m glad that you pushed through self-publishing. Getting your book out there does not come overnight. But you can efficiently promote your book online little by little. Try using social networking sites as promotional venues. Generate discussions about the topic of your book. Interact with other authors. Blog and participate in author forums. All these things, though they might be little, can definitely raise awareness about your book.

    • asrais

      Thanks for the advice. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to market, write the next book and the non-writing life. One day at a time though. Joining your group as well.

  3. You’re welcome! Please feel free to visit our Facebook Fan Page for publishing and writing tips. Also, please don’t hesitate to let us know if you need help or advice regarding your book marketing campaign. We’ll gladly assist. Thanks!

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