October 5, 2011

The Choice to Self Publish

Why self publish?  Well, why not?

As I’ve been throwing myself into this world for the past year, I’ve learned that rules and generalities are meant to be broken and ignored.  Yes, it would be wonderful to have an agent and sell millions of books, but that’s not going to be the reality for most.  And I will definitely put myself into that category.

I read about a book or two a week, and a few months ago I happened across an author who I later learned (after reading several of her books) was self published.  Aside from some editorial errors and repetitive phrases, the story was good, the characters were relatable, and I was entertained.  I remember reading that and thinking “Okay, who is her agent so that I can query them.”  Based on previous critiques from friends and other writers, I thought that my writing was on par with this book and if she could get published then I was hopeful that I could have a chance as well. 

Then I looked closer and realized that this was a self published author who was writing stories that were, in my opinion, better than some of the published authors and series that I’ve read.  She’d been rejected by dozens of agents and decided to just put her work out there without them.  And so began the research as to what it would take to become self-published myself.

I queried.  I got rejected.  I know that is part of the life.  But I think that I am more interested in sharing my work right now.  I have a few queries pending, but I’m not holding out hope (I’m kind of one of those glass-half-empty people too).  Plus, the idea of self publishing is exciting!  I’ve been asking my friends, family, and strangers from a critique group to review my work, hoping that they will be as excited about my stories as I am.  It’s been fun designing the covers and making the trailers.  And now I know that at some point, I will have to swallow my nerves, and just put the books out there.

Like most writers, this is not my main career.  Sure it would be nice to make a little extra money (those student loans don’t pay themselves), but it’s more important for me to have readers genuinely enjoy my characters and want to read more. I also recently found out that two of the top ten USA Today’s best sellers were ebooks by self published authors who sell them for $0.99.  And there have been other successful self-published authors like Amanda Hocking and J.A. Konrath who give me the inspiration I need.

So deciding to self publish has been a journey in itself.  And…I’m technically not published yet.  But I think I’m finally getting enough nerve to try.  My hope is to have two books out by the end of the year.  Who knows…maybe I will be an inspiration to someone else someday too.

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