Why did you decide to self-publish?
This is a perfectly valid question asked of everyone who self-publishes and one I have trouble talking about. I think it’s because whenever someone asks me I want to give them an answer which will both be truthful, but also validate my reasons for doing so. The truth of the matter is my reasons for “going indie” have everything to do with my personality type, but if I just told you that the first thing you would assume is my work is crap and I might as well call myself “vanity published.” Perhaps I over think things, but an overactive imagination is why I write fantasy.
So you see my dilemma, because this then leads to me having to recite my history and all the years I have spent writing, dropping names of people I have studied with, and basically having to try to prove that I worked hard on my book and that I didn’t just write a first draft and upload it to Amazon.
Most people expect you to have a story which starts with, “Well, I submitted my work for years and got repeatedly rejected and so I turned to self-publishing.” There is nothing wrong with that reasoning, but I almost feel like a freak because my story, in a nutshell, is “Because I wanted to.”
I have always been one to try to solve my own problems before seeking out help. I find the resources to do it and give it a good whack. Most times, if I put my mind to it, I succeed. There are an enormous amount of resources out there for self-publishing these days. That being said, I also know when a task is beyond my capabilities or when I need help.
I hired a cover artist and an editor to help me with this book. I had beta readers review it. I sought out a lot of advice from those more experienced than me on forums for indie romance writers. I workshopped this novel for two months in a revision class that I attended weekly and put countless hours into edits and rewrites.
I could have then started the submissions process. Submitting to agents and editors takes another set of skills which I would need to study and perfect. Did I mention I am a Type-A personality? It made no sense to me to do this when I had a product in my hand which was ready to go. I know that even if I were to be accepted by an agent or editor that my book still wouldn’t see the light of day for a year or more due to publishing schedules. This was not okay with me. And these days even traditionally published authors have to do a lot of their own marketing, so what was I waiting for?
The logical conclusion for me was to just self-publish my book. Being the DIY-er that I am it was the right choice for me. My goal was always to write a good story that people would enjoy reading.
Will I make mistakes? Sure as shootin’ I will, and I will learn from them too. In fact, if you are a reader and find something amiss in my book I ask that you please let me know so I can correct it. The bonus of being self-published it that I can fix things when they go wrong, though I tried my darndest to make sure my manuscript was polished and gleaming before I hit publish. I don’t want my readers to pay for something that I wouldn’t pay for.
What are your thoughts on self-publishing? Have I stuck my foot in my mouth again? I’m good at that.