Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Why I didn't shop my book to publishers.
It has been interesting as I've traveled on this self-publishing journey to see how people react to the fact that I am an Indie author. Someone will ask, "Who is your book being published with?" and when I respond, "I am self-published," most people can't hide the surprise and even pity in their response. I am sure they are thinking that I couldn't get a publisher, or that my book appeals to a small group of friends and family.
The truth is, I didn't even shop my book around.
Even with the flood of ereaders and the availability of ebooks, there prevails a stigma around self-publishing. That stigma is well-founded in some ways. There are thousands of would-be authors who can write a story or a how to book and slap it up on Amazon. And there are many books that could use a good editing and a brand new cover. But I'm thinking that with the book industry, like anything else, the stories that have staying power will rise to the top.
Self-published authors who take the time to learn their craft, and are willing to spend the necessary time and money can produce a good quality story that others will pay money to read.
I have to give a little disclaimer here. I am not against traditional publishing. I actually have some other titles out on submission. One is a picture book about a girl who blows out her birthday candles and wishes that every day were her birthday. The other is a series of early readers about a girl and her fairy companion. I believe that there are many roads to publishing, and that those roads will continue to expand. Each author chooses a path, and each book may need it's own direction.
Here's why I side-stepped publishers and decided to self-publish the book I knew would appeal to a wide audience:
1-I have the resources. My husband is a writer, a graphic designer and programmer. He helped me brainstorm, attended conferences with me, created the cover, and formatted my book across platforms.
2-I am a stay-at-home-mom. If my book does wildly well, I can't afford to take off and go on book tour, and attend a million author events. I can, however, create my own deadlines, write during nap time, and market after bedtime.
3-I have a good base of networking with other writers, book bloggers, and Irish dancers(something that is prominent in my book). I have been told that unless they are a top listed author at a major publishing house, authors are expected to do most of the marketing themselves. I figure that I can do that either way, I just get a higher royalty if I do it myself.
4-I am dedicated and willing to improve my craft. I've been studying and writing for almost five years and I plan to continue to improve my skills as a writer.
5-Last, but not least, I'm curious. I want to know: can I write a book, edit it, and using the tools at my fingertips, create a book that will rival books from the big boys? Can Indie publishers rival traditional publishers? I know it can be done. Can I do it?
That, of course, remains to be seen.
Do you plan to self-publish? Or is traditional publishing the way for you?