It’s Time

As some of you already know, I’ve been working on edits on The Fifth Circle. I’ve been kicking around the idea of self-publishing the book and recently considered querying agents. My publisher (for The Claiming Words) had a look at the book and expressed very mild interest, but I’ve decided for various reasons it might be best try my hand at self-publishing. The book has been edited – several times. My last beta found a few editing thingies I missed, so it looks like I’ll need to give it another edit before publishing. And, I need to commission a book cover, work on formatting, and a whole bunch of other stuff I didn’t have to worry about with The Claiming Words. It’s scary just thinking about doing this on my own. If the formatting is messed up, I can only blame myself. If the editing isn’t up to par, it’ll totally be my fault.

Just thinking about publishing this book induces almost crippling anxiety, but it’s time. It’s time to stop messing around. It’s time to get the book out there. It’s time to put my fear aside and take a risk. It’s time to have a little faith in myself.

I’d love to hear from other self-published authors. What have been your greatest challenges? Was it worth the risk?

 

16 thoughts on “It’s Time

  1. My greatest fear was just the stigma of self-publishing. I also doubt myself a lot, so there was that too. But it was very worth it. I’m still hoping to pick up an agent eventually, and nowadays having a self-published book with good reviews makes that easier. If you’ve put in the gruntwork, and you know you have, and you know the book is ready, then I’d say don’t let fear hold you back.

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    • Thank you so much for your comment, Victoria. My fear of self-publishing was what led me to sign with a small publisher. If anything, I think I’ve over-edited and held onto the book for far too long. It’s time to let it go. Good luck to you with your own writing. You’ve given me encouragement and I really appreciate your insights.

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  2. Having just done all of this myself, I can say it a little costly and time consuming doing the research for self publishing, but there’s one thing being indie gives you that trad pub doesnt, and that’s -control-. I had control of my cover, my interior print formatting, everything.

    Granted, I didn’t have access to the connections that a publisher does – the biggest challenge in my opinion with indie publishing is exposure. It’s incredibly difficult to get your book to stand out among so many others when you don’t have a big name (or even smallish-medium name) standing up there with you, shouting your book from the rooftops.

    That’s not to say marketing/exposure is impossible; it’s just a bit harder.

    All in all, I’d say it’s basically a trade off. You’re sacrificing ease of publishing and ‘backup’ basically for complete control and elbow grease.

    But here’s the best part – you don’t have to stare royalties with anyone but the platform. :D!!! Why divy up the 70% amazon leaves you with someone who’s doing stuff YOU could be doing yourself? Sure, it’ll cost you some time and effort upfront, but you’ll sleep better at night in the long run, methinks.

    (P.s. You know me and Maegan will help you through the indie thing. :p Just ask us! You don’t have to do it alone. 🙂 )

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    • Thanks, Tori. I will definitely be bugging you for help in the near future. If an author is lucky to score an agent and a big publisher, it’s worth giving up control in exchange for marketing support. Plus, a large publisher has the clout to get your book into stores. With a small publisher, they aren’t really able to do anything you can’t do for yourself. The advantage is, they often bear the burden of upfront costs – editing, cover art, formatting. Any choice you make is a trade-off, but if you want to have total control, self-publishing is the way to go.

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  3. There is just something about having complete say over your book and what happens to it. I think that this is a great move for you, Tricia! You’re already so active in the community, I think this is a great next step for you! You’ll definitely be happy with it, and I say go for it. ❤

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  4. I’ve self-published three books now and anticipate two more coming out this year. In addition, I’ve formatted five for other people I highly recommend APE by Guy Kawasaki — even though I’ve just started reading it. He covers all the bases. I had my husband do 2 of the covers and paid for the third (Tuxedos and Corsets) and it was well worth it! Happy to share my cover designer with you, Tricia.

    Catching all the editing mistakes is a big challenge. I didn’t hire an editor for T&C — big mistake! I won’t make it again. Formatting can be problematical if you aren’t a patient, methodical person. The Smashwords guide helps.

    Be prepared to spend time and money to do it.

    As someone else mentioned, it’s the publicity/marketing that can be the most difficult. But since most of it do it for the books published by someone else, why not do it for ourselves!

    Happy to answer any questions you have, Tricia!

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    • Thank you for the information. I’m not sure if I’ll have the patience for formatting, but I don’t really have the money either. But, you made an excellent point: marketing is the hardest part, and with most small publishers, the author bears the burden of promotion. Why give control of our books to someone else when we still end up doing most of the work? Be prepared for me to bug you with questions and thanks for the offer.

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  5. I was initially afraid of the stigma, but after i found out that most publishers do almost nothing for you except put their name on it and tie up your rights I went indy. So long as your book cover/formatting looks good, the average readers have no idea that you’re self published unless you tell them. i remember when I once thought that vanity presses were real publishers. I had to research to find out that they weren’t, and the average reader doesn’t do that. It’s mainly writers that are hung up on that, and I just asked myself “who do I want to impress? other writers, or readers?” Everyone says that indy is a lot of work, but really it’s barely more work than most small presses or even a big house, for that matter.

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    • You’re right, Joleene. Unless your book has a movie deal in the works, the big houses don’t give new authors much of a marketing budget. I’ve seen traditionally published authors on the same blog tours with indies. Self-publishing is becoming more and more mainstream.

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  6. Go for it, Tricia. If you feel that your book is truely ready, go for it. It will be daunting at times because your basically doing everything yourself and it can get costly. I was very lucky to get some of the things I needed at a low cost and within my budget limits. If you do decide to self-publish send me an email and I’ll be glad to help you out. 🙂

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  7. I had some success with the first book that I published by another writer through CreateSpace, but got tired of promoting his work for him. We sold over 600 of his books within his own 40 mile home radius, in one year. I find that all artists do better when they have an agent than they do when they represent themselves. I have also found that working alone as an agent is as lonely as being a writer. I am a great promoter, but am tired of working alone, so I simply write, and write, and write…

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    • Promoting is tedious and it isn’t something I’m good at. With fewer and fewer publishers providing marketing support for their authors, promotion is something authors will have to get used to. I used to have fantasies of signing with a publisher and letting them do all the marketing while I simply wrote, but it seems this is not the reality for the majority of authors. Marketing also cuts in to writing time. Like you, I’d rather write and write and write.

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