My First Adventure into e-book Self-Publishing
"It's sounds too overwhelming."
"I'd prefer having a traditional publisher."
"Self- publishng has too many critics."
"Too many poorly published books..."
These are only a few of the comments that I've made personally and have heard from other authors and readers. I found it interesting that so many authors were going the self-publishing route but I was content being with my publisher. After all, I have an editor, a copy editor, and a cover artist. My publisher takes care of everything including uploading my books to all the sale outlets.
All well and good. Why take on all the responsibilties myself? I had no idea where to begin anyway. I wasn't happy with their promotional efforts or my meager royalty checks, but I was building my reputation and receiving some great reviews.
Then the the publishing climate began to change. My publisher was dramatically affected by the industry changes. Advertising and promotional opportunities became almost non-existant and royalty checks grew smaller with larger percentages taken by sales outlets. Other reasons that are best not to get into concerning my publisher led me to asks for my rights back on two of my novels and soon a third. I'd met my contractural agreements and they met theirs. So, here I was with two manuscripts that needed a new home.
Should I resubmit to a new publisher or go the self-pub route? My answer was easy and here's why. Self-publishing over the past few years has changed from a smattering of authors learning about it and stepping in bravely, to an industry that now includes New York Times Best Selling Authors. Many whose bank accounts have grown to six figures or more. Self-publishing is no longer seen as an avenue for authors who can't get published any other way, but as a business that has opened the door for even top selling authors, woed by traditional publishers, to take total control of their careers, retain rights lost to them in contracts, charge less for their books, and increase royalties.
On the down side, taking responsibility for your writing career through self-publishing, also means making an initial investment that can hurt really your pocketbook. Since my books had been previously published, I didn't have to pay out for edits and copy edits. I needed to reformat to the venues' qualifications, namely Amazon and Smashwords, and create new covers. Adding front and back material, including copyright information, a new ISBN, web addresses, a second book promotion, etc. took time. ISBN numbers aren't cheap. It cost to create covers and have formatting done professionally. I might try to learn to format on my own eventually, but I wasn't ready for that step yet. Self-publishers are responsible to upload their material to the different sites and do their own publicity.
I'm not happy with the outlay of cash without a guarantee of return, but I like being in control of my own books and my career. It's up to me to write the best book I can and put it out there. Hopefully, my efforts will prove to be successful. Time will tell. I'm a self-pub newbie. I appreciate those pioneers who made my path easier, who share information freely and those who have created businesses to help self-published authors. Even traditional publishers have taken notice of the growing trend to self-publication, especially when self-pub books are making the Best Seller Lists. Traditional publisher, like Penguin. has announced they're moving into self-publishing. Others are considering it. Self-publishing isn't going away.
My first self-published novel, REGAL REWARD, is up for pre-ordered on Amazon today for Kindles and will be available on August 27th! A CONVENIENT PRETENSE will follow soon after, and my newest manuscript, JOURNAL OF NARCISSA DUNN, will be coming in the future.
I'll continue blogging about this new journey in future posts. Meanwhile, I need to get busy with my promotions!
I'd love to hear comments, especially other self-publishers' experiences!