Well well well! Another year older and deeper in debt. Actually I’m not in debt, thanks to God and a good bit of common sense in the form of my family! I wrote about the New Year of 2011 and now I’m doing so again for 2012. Once more I’ve been busy, more so I imagine due to making writing presentations to other authors and writing groups; attending my writing associations’ meetings more often; and finally finally trying the self-publishing route instead of a publishing house. My baby, Isadora DayStar, finally came together as a real novel and putting it out there myself taught me several lessons about the self-publishing aspect of the industry. One thing I learned after being absolutely terrified of the enormous instructions on formatting: literally pages and pages and pictures and pictures that made me procrastinate after reading them over and over. That is until I realized that I’d already formatted it in Word and that I knew the formatting after the requirements of my publishers! They were basically the same and incredibly simple!!
However, not so simple was taking on the job of complete self promotion not because my pub houses did it for me previously but because I did not have the mental and emotional security of having a publisher behind me regardless how much or little their participation in promotion was. Pretty much publishers are scant with promotion these days due to budget constrictions and/or being e-pubs with virtually no budget whatsoever so authors are one their own for the most part. Remember that when you fly into a dizzy tailspin trying to keep up requests for reviews of your novel! I also was responsible for the editing and grammar of my book; normally something I relied on my editors to do in the final sequence of publishing my novels.
Finally, as if sent from above, I found the perfect book cover art and artist for Isadora! I’d tell you the price but you would never believe me. It was perfect right to the font used!! That was probably the most fun of my self-publishing experience. Now I’m not saying you’ll have the same experience. Yours might be better or worse or at least the same relatively speaking. I didn’t make a million dollars in one month, I didn’t expect to. I did get damn good reviews and that I did not expect either! Isadora DayStar is an odd sort of a novel…dark but hopeful…gritty and grim though not too explicit…but she somehow worked her way into reviewers’ hearts just as she did mine.
Was self publishing the right path for me? Yes and no. I learned a lot. I worked a hell of a lot harder. I found formatting a lot less intimidating but editing more difficult. Do I regret it? Again, yes and no. If I’d known the wonderful response that Isadora DayStar would receive, I’d probably have submitted it to a publisher if not an agent. But then again, I retain all the rights which, if you don’t know by now, is a big deal in more than one way. Especially since more than one reviewer wished for a series of Isadora DayStar.
Is self-publishing right for you? That’s something you have to answer for yourself. No one can accurately decide or advise you on that but yourself.
My situation was slightly different because I self-pubbed after being published by several publishing houses (e-book and print formats) so my experience level was several notches up from a novice. What will your experience be? Hopefully good. Wishfully great. But whatever it may be take something positive from it: learning. It certainly can’t hurt!
Here’s to a successful 2012 for you, me and all those hard working authors! May this be the best experience yet!