In high school (yea, many, many moons ago) I submitted writing to contests, publishers, magazines and hoped to hear something back. It was a game in which I lost more than I won. I did win once. I won’t talk about how much I lost.
As I attended writing conferences when I got back into this author thing, I heard more about the struggles of dealing with publishers than anything else. Classes dedicated to pitching, writing letters, surviving the slush pile, told me that the path to being published was long, a lot of work and still fraught with rejection. As Hal says in Megamind, “Who needs all that noise?”
Self-publishing is easy. Amazon makes it so easy that a boatload of crap is floating around out there. Tough to find the good books. Not that a book from a traditional publisher guarantees a good story either but at least someone liked it. There have been a few classes at these conferences that have also said that getting a social media following by self-publishing is a good way to get picked up by a real publisher. Social media, yeah, I can do that.
There definite downsides to self-publishing. This biggest: all expenses come out of your pocket. Oh sure you get more of the profit but you need to in order to pay for an artist to do your cover and an editor to check your spelling, story flow and try to cut the garbage out of your story. Plus, you have to buy your own print copies to sign and any other fun marketing material (business cards, bookmarks, signs, etc.).
So I did what any self-respecting totally cheap person does: I self-edited. I self-illustrated. I have very few print copies and no other marketing material. The results are exactly what you would expect. Thankfully, my brother, who is an incredible artist, took pity on my and made me a cover for free. I’ve had lots of people read and give me editing feedback. I’ve been lucky. I’m very grateful.
I’m slowly learning how to market a little better. I got twitter. You can follow me by clicking on the side –>. I’m going to be having a contest soon for an Amazon gift card and free copy of my book. It’s a learning experience.
In the end, I’m glad I did it this way. The rejection is a silent lack of sales instead of a typed formal “You suck” letter. My book is out there to be discovered by those willing to take a chance with a few bucks to get a copy instead of collecting dust on a shelf after being seen by a handful of very picky people. My friends, neighbors, coworkers and some awesome person in the UK are able to read my story and enjoy it. I’m no longer a closet author or a writer who is still ‘shopping’ their book. I’m published. I’m an author. I’m living the dream.
This is the Novel Mage saying, *POOF*