If you follow my blog or one of my other social network sites, you know my current work in progress, Howdy, Ma’am, is with an editor. Self-publishing has weighed heavily on my mind, so my book needed to be professionally edited. There is a long list of eBook publishers I’ve considered sending this W.I.P. to, but the decision to self-publish still sits at the top of my list.
Since I’ve been through the publishing route with a publisher, it’s not something I want to do now since I’m free of a contract. That’s not to say I’d turn down a contract if I opened my email and found an opportunity, but I would have to give it a lot of thought.
Some of you know I had my first manuscript (MS) with a publisher for two years. Yes, you read that correctly. The manuscript was requested so it’s not like it sat in the slush pile. When I finally contacted them I learned it had been lost. When found, the editor requested some changes, which I did, and then I sent it back per his request. This meant more waiting but happiness and hope empowered me.
Waiting. More waiting…
Again, after a long wait I contacted them. My luck had run out because the editor who had requested the manuscript LEFT that publishing company. My MS was sent back with a nice letter mentioning the first editor left, and it wasn’t what the current editor was looking for. I won’t give the name but I can tell you it’s a top publisher in New York who kept my paper baby for two years.
Another thing—they did not accept *simultaneous submissions which means while my novel sat on someone’s desk for two years, I couldn’t send to another publisher. That doesn’t mean I gave up. In the interim I started the second book in the series. It was a needed distraction, but without publishing book one, there would never be a book two. Those two books eventually got published. Times have changed and most submissions are through email. Many publishers will accept simultaneous submissions. Keep in mind, most big publishers prefer you go through an agent these days.
There are many reasons for me to become an Indie Author. I’ve weighed the options.
Submitting to a publisher means:
(I’m talking about ePublishers, but submitting to a traditional publisher will have about the same steps.)
· Write a Query Letter
· Write a Synopsis
· Sign a contract
· Assigned an editor
· More hours of revisions
· Possible Rejection
· Convert document for an eReader
· Possible print book (Some publishers turn your eBook into print after so many sales.)
· Lose certain rights to your book
· They provide cover design
· They do some Marketing but you’ll be expected to promote your book.
· Prestige of having a publisher If this is important to you, you’ve already made your choice.
· No contracts
· Hire an editor
· Still more revisions
· Purchase a cover (Or take the time to do your own if you know how.)
· Format document for eBook conversion (Research this thoroughly so you know how.)
· Could hire someone to convert for you
· Retain rights to your books
· Convert document for an eReader (More research)
· Self-print (Lulu, CreateSpace, etc.)
· Write your book blurb and author biography
· Will need to write some kind of synopsis for website and blogs
· Market and Promote yourself
· Looked down upon for being an Indie Author (Yes, it does happen)
**Indie Author seems to be my way to go at the moment. It might not be yours. All of the work falls on the author when it comes to self-publishing/printing. Money will come out of your bank account instead of a publisher’s account. You don’t really have to pay to be published, other than the usual expenses that go along with marketing, cover, editing, etc. Doing everything yourself steals writing time so that needs to be factored in.
This doesn’t scare me off. How about you?
Marketing your book might not be a lot different with any publisher. Many times you must submit a marketing plan when you submit to a publisher, either traditional or online. If you’re thinking you won’t have to market with a publisher, think again. You will unless you hire a PR person to do it for you. Can you afford the cost?
Can you afford to hire someone to design your cover? There are some great designers out there with reasonable prices, and you get the cover you want. I loved working with Dawné Dominque, the designer who designed my cover for Visions of Enchantment and Howdy, Ma’am. So, far I’ve worked with three different designers on different books including Dawné. It’s so much fun to see your idea turn into perfection. Feel free to ask about the other two designers I’ve used for other books.
Do you want to pay an editor? I’m in the process of doing this as we speak. My decision to hire an editor is because I’m putting a book on the market with my name on it, and I want it to be as flawless as possible.
You can also use what is called a Beta Reader who will read your finished product and give you feedback. Or, use an Alpha Reader who will read your work as-you-go to give feedback on what you are writing, as you are writing. An Alpha is usually someone you trust like a friend or family member. Remember they are not usually editors.
Laying out these choices make it easy for me to see why I choose to self-publish. It’s not because I don’t think I’m good enough. I know I’m good enough. The main reasons are because I’m tired of the waiting game, and I want control. With my previous publisher I went around and around over the title for my second book. This took a couple weeks. Then there’s the contract issues I won’t go into.
From the time I received the rights back to the Enchantment series books, I knew they would be revised and self-published.
If you have any questions or comments about anything I’ve said here, or have your own experiences you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you.
Whatever your choice, make sure you research, ask questions, and feel comfortable with your decision. Always think twice before you hand over money to have a book published, edited, or cover designed. Again, research is the key.
*Where you can send to more than one publisher at a time as long as you let each know it has been sent to more than one.
**Independent author and publisher.
To update this post, I’d like to say I have, indeed, self-published Howdy, Ma’am, Book #1, and I’m glad for my decision. A lot of work, yes, but I think it’s so worth it. Book two coming 2013.