Last Saturday night I went for a long walk with She Who Must be Obeyed. We talked about the future. I’d analyzed the finances. I’d considered my options. Now I have a plan. I’ve been on both sides of the argument for and against self-publishing (and a lot of those arguments against were good objections when they were true not so long ago.)
It’s time for some grown-up decisions since I’ve been a kid in long pants for some time now. I have a manuscript to publish. Well, several, actually (and plans for more.) What to do with them though?
I’ve read Seth Godin, JA Konrath, Dean Wesley Smith, Barry Eisler and Cory Doctorow. I’ve read multiple defences of the status quo from legacy publishing. In the end, the latter were not convincing. I’ve spoken to Rebecca Senese about her experience with Smashwords and Jeff Bennington blogged in this space about Lightning Source. I kept an open mind as long as I could and decided I have to jump. Now.
Inspired by Kevin Smith, I see where the puck is going and I will not chase after where the puck has been. I’ve decided to pick myself, go big, go indie and publish my books myself. I’ll be using Smashwords and Lightning Source.
What are the main reasons I’m committing to indie? I’m looking forward to having the first book out by November. Traditional publishing would take much, much longer than that even if I struck a deal tomorrow (and the royalty rates are not favorable.)
I have had mainstream interest in the first book. I was concerned that self-publishing is seen by some as cheating the system, an evasion of gatekeepers who ensure quality. As I’ve explained in previous posts, I reject that premise.
JA Konrath ran the numbers. Ross Laird was very persuasive. Barry Eisler really got my attention when he said opting for self-publishing came down to a business decision versus an ego decision. That rang true for me personally.
Self-publishing is not the quick route to publication some people think it is. I won’t be skipping lightly over editing. I’ll be doing most everything a traditional publisher would do. I’m a tad intimidated by the tech side of things, but I’m a smart guy. I can generally figure most things out or ask for help. And I worked inside traditional publishing for five years so I’m not intimidated by a lot of things that would worry others. I’ve written and published a lot already so I’m not going in starry-eyed. But I am optimistic and excited. Much of the time, this is going to be fun!
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go with a New York publisher, a Canadian press, a university press, a small press or a micro press. I am saying this is the right choice for me because it suits my temperament and it suits the material (cross-genre, late YA with humor and sex, drugs and school bullying wrapped up with some literary pretensions.) Books coming later fall into horror (a plague’s coming so buckle up) and two fantasies (one with a vampire cannibal cult, the other is angels in the End of Days). Also, there’s a sexy and occasionally horror-oriented short story collection. Down the road I can see two non-fiction books, as well. Lots to do.
This is my time (before it’s too late…I hope.) I’ve started up several businesses to employ myself. I haven’t had a “real” job working for someone else since 1991! I’m used to living on the edge of the real world. Self-publishing is for me. It might not be for you. I need choice and independence. I need to be a control freak about some things. (Okay, a lot of things.)
So, thank you to everyone who responded to my Twitter announcement last week with such kind wishes.
And before anybody tries jumping on my head about my decision,
let’s try this:
I’ll be me. You be you.
- Createspace or Lightning Source: Pros & cons breakdown (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)
- The Heart of the Matter: Ebooks and Self-Publishing Part 2 – Another Dialog Between Authors Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)
- Writers: How to Publish on Smashwords (by Guest blogger Rebecca Senese) (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)
- Writers: Self-publishing links (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)
- Writers: Do you have time to get published? And can we dump the “self” from publishing? (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)
- How to Self Publish Your Book with Smashwords (tawhite.wordpress.com)
- Smashwords Publishes 40,000th Book (smashwords.com)
- Self Publishing Is Not Hard: Reprisal (kaitnolan.com)
- The Big Authors Begin To Bolt – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)
- Self-Publishing: Barry Eisler And JA Konrath On Why Big Authors Walk Away From Big Deals (huffingtonpost.com)
- Indie Projects and How They Can Get Out the Door (asanto.wordpress.com)
- The Easiest, Cheapest, Fastest Way to Self-Publish Your Book (pbs.org)