Friday, September 16, 2011

Why I Chose to Self-Publish

One of the most common questions people ask an indie author is "Why did you choose to self-publish". For me, it was an easy choice. Like many writers, I started out with the goal of being published by a traditional publisher. I didn't think I could self-publish. I didn't have the money to sink into something like that.
Me sending queries

I finished my book and started writing query letters. And, man, did it suck monkey butt. I hated it. Every single moment of it. I actually think I threw a couple of three-year-old-esque tantrums over it. While I was struggling with those (and spending way too much money on paper, ink, and shipping), a friend in Second Life kept talking about indie publishing.

So I sent the letters and waited... and waited... and waited. In the meantime, I started actually listening to what this friend was saying and doing my own research.

I found out that it really doesn't cost all that much to self-publish. I enjoy using Photoshop, so I do most of my own covers. Some have called them amateurish, but I like them, so they can suck it. (Yes, I know that's rude, but so is insulting someone's work just because you're hiding behind a computer screen.)

Formatting is fairly easy as well. There are guides galore out there that will walk you through each step in the process. Editing can be expensive, but I've found a very good editor who is relatively affordable. (I didn't use an editor at first, but that is one thing I do recommend if you can swing it. If you can't, get a couple people that you know have good grammar to take a look until you make enough sales to afford an editor.)

Aside from editing, the only real expense is for print books. They're not required. You can do it all digitally if you like, but there are a ton of people out there who do not read ebooks yet. And I mean a ton. And it's always nice to have a couple copies to hand out when you want to just give your book to someone.

Me as an indie author
Since I published my books, I have received a couple rejection notices (I'm still waiting for many of them, almost a year later). They all said something to the effect of "We like it, but we don't think we can sell it." Well, I like it, and I am currently selling it, but thanks anyway.

Maybe my books will never be best sellers and maybe I won't be a millionaire. But I like the books I write, and other people apparently like the books I write since they keep buying them. And that's good enough for me.

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