The decision to self-publish was originally my way to admit defeat. I had what seemed to be almost no interest in my book, I could hardly find an agent to whom I could submit, let alone one who would deign to acknowledge my submission, even if it was only a rejection. To me, self-publishing meant I was a failure.
So I did what any good historical fiction author does best: I researched. I went to Google and typed in “why self publish”, then proceeded to read every article on the first five pages or so.
I read articles that told me not to self-publish. They said self-publishing doesn’t work, gave me five reasons not to publish, and admittedly only read the first page of this article before I hung my head in shame, convinced that I should just go to my husband and admit defeat.
To put it bluntly, I felt like crap.
But then I started reading “nicer” articles, like six reasons to self-publish, one from a person who used to believe soley in traditional publishing – but had changed his mind, an article all about how awesome ebooks are, and to be honest, most of the articles on those pages were encouraging.
Heck, I even followed a little flow chart, pictured below:
Which lead me to “Congratulations – sounds like you’re ready to pursue indie publishing!”, once I realized that I didn’t have to publish – but I wanted to see my name on the cover of an actual book.
The more I looked into it, the more I thought that self publishing was for me.
Now, to be completely fair, self-publishing isn’t as easy as it seems. It will take quite a few edits, reformatting, and honestly, you’ll probably end up with phantom letters (which LA BASTARDA does have – they’re random letters in the eBook, inserted into words at a different type-set size, and it drives me bonkers because they don’t exist in my MS, so I can’t figure out how I’m supposed to correct them!!). I purchased two printed proofs of LaB so that I would have one for myself to keep, and one to mark up – and mark up I did. Even once the book is “set in press”, so to speak, the work isn’t done. I mean, I want people to purchase it, so I have to market. Constantly. Everything I do is marketing. Even this blog post is a way for me to market, and if I knew Morse Code, I’d blink out my Amazon link every time I went in public. As it is, I content myself with at least once-daily Tweets, Facebook statuses on my author page, Instagram posts, Google+ posts, and anything else of which I can think. I’m a regular on the Historical Fiction and Indie Author hashtags. I like and comment on people’s WordPress posts in the hopes that one person will click through to my own blog (relevant, I swear; I don’t do the spammy “cool post, please check out my blog!” stuff. That annoys me). I try to be relatively active on Goodreads (go ask me questions or add my book to your To Read shelf! See the sidebar. :D). I’m waiting on two libraries to get back to me on the possibility of participating in local author events, and I’m researching Historical Fiction book clubs in my state.
In short, I don’t want to be too far from my prospective readers’ minds. I don’t have the ability to say that I’m being published by one of the Big Five/Six, either, so everything I’m doing, I have to do on my own. It will be a long, not terribly easy road, but hopefully it’s worth it. 🙂
Have you, or would you ever, consider self-publishing? Why or why not?