When I had sat down originally to write out the first Why I’m Self-Publishing post, I did not have intention of making it a two part post. However, as I began to write I found myself feeling the importance of sharing pieces of my journey along the way that brought me to where I am now as a writer. In sharing those pieces though, I wrote quite a bit of content before finally getting to the answer of why. I condensed that right into a one paragraph answer, because I was afraid my initial post was just too long already. So I gave the short answer. If you would like the long version, keep reading.
It is a control issue. It is not a rejection issue. While my young-self attempted to write a story about a vampire created by Lucifer (see part one) crumbled at the first mocking response. My older-self is much more capable of handling and understanding that not everyone is going to like my writing. As a reader I know what flavors in books I enjoy the most. I know what flavors I enjoy the least. I know how I feel about all those colorful flavors in between. Not every author whose work I love, do I expect you to love as much as I do. Just as you shouldn’t necessarily expect that of me to the authors you enjoy. Therefore, I know not every reader out there is going to latch on to what I put out there.
Now while I love horror and that very well may be a focus genre for me, I know I am not only going to write horror. I want to explore writing children’s books, YA books, fantasy, and so forth. Even currently I can’t stick to one genre. For example in my present novel writing, I have the Untitled Horror Project and Vini’s Story. One is horror while the other is more contemporary fiction. From my research I find that most publishing houses don’t want you to venture out from one genre – at least not right away. They also want to control how soon you release one book from another. So clearly that wouldn’t go with my plan. I have the Untitled Horror Project due out later this year and I would like to think Vini’s Story won’t be too far behind.
I started looking at POD (print on demand) companies very early on last year. There seemed to be two very specific popular choices. I am choosing neither of those options though, as there is another I am planning to work with. That information will come later in a ‘How I Chose My POD Company’ kind of post. Looking over POD companies and seeing the kind of options though for self-publishing authors really played a role in cementing self-publishing for me. There’s a lot more options than I thought there were at the initial thought of self-publishing. Granted, it’s still a costly venture, but thanks to POD companies it’s actually from my perspective become a lot easier. For example, back in the day authors who wanted to publish their own books pretty much had to stock up and sell copies out of their trunk. While it’s true we can still do that if we want to, POD companies make it so you don’t have to have hundreds of copies of your book to sell out of your home. Again, I’ll get more into those in a future post.
Now I do find it fascinating that despite all the advantages that Indie Authors have now-a-days, there is still such a bad rep for self-publishing. I do feel part of that comes with the mass amount of authors who self-edit and release books with a ton of obvious grammar and type-o errors. There are Indie Authors whose work I absolutely love, but still find these obvious self-edited errors scattered throughout their book. I won’t lie; this is part of why I am so determined to hire a professional editor. I’d rather not fall into that stigma. Furthermore at the topic of the bad rep, I find it fascinating when discussing publishing a book how quickly a person’s reaction can change when they learn you’re self-publishing.
For example I was talking to an Uncle awhile back and it came up that I am planning to publish my first book later in the year. He seemed impressed and asked who I was going with (referring to a publishing house). When I mentioned I am self-publishing his expression changed and he literally was like “oh”. Honestly, I’ve shrugged the negativity off. I think of it only for the fact I’m amused how easily people think so little of the option to self-publish. Oddly enough I feel like these moments also just further help cement that this is how I’m going to publish. I know that sounds weird, but I think for me it’s being able to see my Uncle’s reaction (and others), and still know without a doubt this is the right path for me as an author.
Let’s wrap this up by taking a moment to go back to the control factor. As I’ve mentioned on my site before I do struggle with depression and anxiety. I have since I was a kid. While I’m not magically cured of it all (I still have bad days), I have come a long way in my mental health. I have been able to push through so many barriers to get to this point that I’m at now. Granted some were self-created, but regardless I don’t want barriers anymore. I don’t want a publishing house or anyone else to set those for me. It’s very important to me, to stay on a steady path in continuing more self-control with my mental health issues. I feel it would be too easy to slip back into some darker mind sets if I had a team of people basically telling me what to do or how to handle my business.
So while it might seem like an easier path to get my books out there if I were to go the traditional route, I really strongly feel self-publishing is truly the best option for me. While there is a lot to learn here, I am fortunate to have supportive help around me. Plus, thanks to a lot of Indie Authors before me I also have a lot of venues to assist in my research in understanding how the self-publishing business works.
Naturally, I will continue to share more of my findings and experiences along the way as I continue to push forward in preparing for the release of my debut novel later this year. If there is anything specific about my journey you’d like to read about in a future post, don’t hesitate to post in the comments below.
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