“I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because when it comes to blog posts, I tend to babble!
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of talking to a writers group about self publishing. Most of the circle were new to writing or had spent years polishing manuscripts but had never stepped into the world of indie writing. I covered a lot of areas, including price points, the publication process and the many platforms that you can showcase your work on. It also got me really thinking about why I self published and what led me to the trail of putting my work out there for anyone and everyone to dissect.
How many of us have dusty manuscripts sitting around in desk drawers or hidden away in forgotten computer folders? I, for one, had several stories that had been written many years ago never to see the light of day. But, why shouldn’t they come out again?
This was one of the driving forces behind becoming self published. I wanted to put my work out there and actually gain closure on the words I’d written. After all, I’d put so much effort into writing, it seemed a shame that no one else would ever see it. If only one other person and read my work, I’d be over the moon.
There’s nothing quite like motivating yourself to write because you have a hefty publishing schedule. Before the first book is out, you can rest on your laurels a bit and take your time to get everything right. When you have several pieces of work out, especially as part of a series, there’s a definite driving force behind your work. When there are fans awaiting the next book, I’ll tell you, your motivation is certainly bumped up a notch.
In the past, the only route to getting your books out there was the traditional publishing method. But times have changed, and there are now many avenues to explore. I know many authors and friends who have broken away from agents and publishers because of their rigidity. Even for ebooks, it can take months for work to be proofed, edited, bounced around several agents and have the cover created. Much of today’s advertising responsibility is now put upon the authors themselves too, and publishers are increasingly taking a step back.
Why get a traditional deal where you’re paid 10% but have to do most of the work?
Why sign up to an agent who will delay the release of your work and change story details when, left to your own devices, you can publish on your own terms?
I had manuscript requests for CRYO from several agents. However, I knew that any release would be delayed for a long time and that story changes would inevitably be made. That was something I didn’t want to compromise on. Thus, self publishing was the way forward for me.
Royalties and Ranks
I’ve left this one till last, but it IS important. I think a lot of non-publishers think that us indie authors are money grabbing because we get up to 70% of royalties! Damn right we do; it takes a lot of time, effort, tears and frustration to write, publish and market a book. Why would I go to a traditional publish to get a 10% cut but have to do an increasing level of work that was traditionally their responsibility? The answer – I wouldn’t.
The other point to mention is that authors working through agents often have no idea of the quantity of books they’re selling. If you’re being asked to market and advertise, how on earth are you supposed to do so effectively if you have no idea the numbers of novels you’re shifting? Simple answer – you can’t. In self publishing you have complete control on price points, can see your royalties and rankings, and can, therefore, market properly.
There are MANY more reasons for self publishing, and I hope I’ve shown you just a few pointers which led me to become an indie author. If I was offered a print only publishing deal tomorrow, then – I’ll be honest – I’d probably take it. However, in the modern world of publishing, I personally think it’s daft to compromise yourself simply for the perceived pride of having a publishing deal.