Why I’m choosing to self-publish
At the beginning of my writing journey, I expected to do what everyone did. Or so I thought. Write a great novel, in one pass without the need of edits, send it off to an agent, sell it to a publisher and sign book after book for the long line of fans filling the Barnes & Noble aisle, waiting to see me. Then I woke up and got to work. It was a nice dream, though.
After tons of research, personal conversations and a few classes, I’ve learned one major lesson: times have changed. That traditional path to publishing still exists and works for some, Sarah J. Maas, Victoria Aveyard and Ingrid Paulson to name a few. However, for the majority of us that doesn’t work very well. Enter the age of self-publishing, and voila, a new opportunity is available. Whether one likes Amazon or not, they changed the publishing world for writers. Today for those of us on our first books, we need to prove ourselves, and we do that by self-publishing, marketing and finding an audience who likes what we’ve written. Then the “Big 5” might be interested in talking to us. I can’t blame them. At what time in history did they have the opportunity to vet a writer with some inkling of certainty, before they invest thousands of dollars, until now?
An independently published book that shows success is like an audition. If you can build a reader base that loves your work, it makes their job easy. There’s little risk on an unknown; they are investing in a proven product.
The other side of this is that once you’ve established yourself and you’re doing well, why not keep going on your own? The days of a negative image for self-publishers are over. As long as all of us work to put out our best work and gain success from it, the choice is open. I like learning the entire process for myself anyway. Chalk it up to my independent, competitive nature, but I want the control. When all is said and done, it will be my book. Good or bad; live or die. Bring it.