Self-Publish…or Not?

(Dream sequence- play lyrical music)

I write an amazing novel.  I query agents.  The top New York agent asks to read it.  They fall in love with it and beg me to allow them to be my agent.  I agree.  I few weeks pass.  My agent calls with great news, she has found a publisher and is mailing the contract.  Shock and surprise, tears of joy.  A few short weeks later I trek to the local book store to see my book on an actual shelf.

(Reality- play 80’s music)

What is the reality?  I write.  I edit.  I submit and collect rejection letters as a hobby.  I just, like 10 minutes ago, read a post by Hugh Howey      on using self-publishing to jump start your writing career.  It was very interesting.  To be honest I haven’t really thought about going the self-published route.  Why?  Because I know nothing about it and it scares me.  There I said.  But there’s more.

Concerns about self-publishing:
(Those with a heart condition or weak stomach turn away.)

  1. I think I’m awesome. I have a healthy dose of self confidence.  Some may say too much.  That’s fine while I’m at home dancing around like it’s Dancing with the Stars.  No one needs to see that.  Trust me.
  2. Am I really ready.  Or rather, is my WIP ready?  After the revising and editing is it really ready.  I know you have to stop at some point and release it into the wild.  Doing so without the backing of a publishing house, saying the book is ready, is scarey.  It’s like walking out of the house naked.
  3. I am awesome, but not perfect. So few of us are truly perfect. I have weaknesses, I admit that.  There are certain aspects of grammar that make my writing life difficult.  I’m sure you have noticed a few just by reading this post.  In my dream my editor waves a magic wand and the errors fade away.  My wand is broken.
  4. Are the times really changing? I am not trying to offend any of the wonderful self-published writer’s out there, I am trying to understand things.  In the past, they were looked down on by traditional publishers/writers.  The self-published book was easy to pick out.   The cover didn’t have a professional look and the writing was not as good. (Much like my last sentence.)  There I said it.  Please send all hate mail to *Y*&&*#$%^&*.   That seems to have changed. A quick look at Amazon and I can’t always pick out the self-published.  I’ve read about break through writer’s who have crossed over.  It seems like writer’s are turning to self-publishing instead of waiting for that big break.  Using their skills to find  readers that, before the internet and social media, would have taken years to cultivate.  Almost like self-publishing is just part of their platform. I’m all for positive exposure.  I don’t want to be the writer that others hold up and say, “There’s a reason that book was self-published.”   Now, I’ve read traditional books and wondered how they ever found a publisher.  There’s bad writer’s in both areas.
  5. Confusion.  I don’t even know where to begin to think about self-publishing.  Clueless.  I know there’s more to it than turning a document into a PDF.  That’s my husband idea on the matter.  I know there is formatting, Beta readers, and I don’t know what else.

Self-publishing is acceptable, maybe even the norm.   Talented writers are willing to take the leap, put their writing on the line and self-publish.  The question is  am I capable of that leap.

What’s your experience or thought of self-publishing?




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