Co-workers and acquaintances exclaim and ask when they see the print copy of my book.
“You got published?” They ask.
That question is hard for me to answer. I know they’re expecting to hear the name of a famous publishing house.
Sometimes they ask, “Who published it?”
That one is easier. I just smile and reply, “I did!”
Their reactions are either confusion or awe: confusion because they didn’t know a person could do that, or awe because they can’t imagine being gutsy enough to do that.
Strangely enough, I always expect them to react with pity, as in “too bad you’re not good enough to have gotten traditionally published.”
That’s the line authors hear in the writing community.
The farther down the self-published track I go, the more I think that awe is the correct response.
Self-publishing is hard.
I’m not saying that getting traditionally published is easy; we all know it’s really hard to get noticed, to get an agent or a publisher. But, once you’ve landed that agent, editor and contract with a big house, there are people working FOR you. They have the same goal you do: to sell a gazillion copies of your book and have the world SQUEE! over how fabulous it is.
It’s in their best interest (and yours) to put their formatting, editing, sales and marketing expertise to work. They polish, present and distribute the book for you all over the world.
The self-published author has to do everything alone, or contract out various parts to experts, whom you have to find and pay for prior to any sales.
The self-published author also doesn’t have the bookstore distribution channels available to those who’ve been traditionally published.
The large bookstore chains are not interested in carrying crate loads of your book and depending on the service you use to publish, they couldn’t stock the book even if they wanted to!
And, even with reviewers there are closed doors. Many bloggers note in their review policy that they don’t accept self-published works. If you have gone the solo route, whatever your reasons were, you will find it to be a tough road.
Does that mean it’s not worth it?
Hell, no! If the choice is to leave your beloved story in the proverbial nightstand drawer where no one will ever see it or to go it alone, then by all means, self-publish!
It’s possible that your story doesn’t fit a particular genre or would be hard for an editor to sell for a dozen other reasons. Those reasons may have nothing at all to do with the quality of the story or your writing. You have a choice now where you didn’t before, and that is worth celebrating!
Using resources like Createspace, Pubit!, Lightning Source, Smashwords, Kindle Direct Publishing and more, you can now share your story with the world YOUR WAY. Take the time to polish it. Get outside assistance on that if at all possible because you want it to be the best it can be. But do it! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or that your book is somehow less because you did all the work yourself.
Then, one day, when you’re showing it off to your co-workers and acquaintances and they say, “Wow! You got published?” You can answer, as I do, “Yes! And I’m proud to say I published it myself.”
What have you experienced around actually or possibly publishing independently?
Between is a young adult paranormal romance between a girl who dies in a car accident and the 18th century Scottish Highlander who comes to take her to heaven.