So, last week I posted about why I am self publishing.
This isn't something I've considered lightly. There are reasons that waiting and stalking agents, and going on submission forever, and all that junk might be worth the wait.
Here's the other side of the story: a list of the reasons I've considered AGAINST self publishing.
1) Marketing and Self Promotion AKA I really love myself so much and that's not skeezy at all!
I hate talking about myself. Especially if I'm trying to convince people that I'm cool or something, because I'm really not. I'm much better at self-deprecation. Also, I don't really get marketing (although I have started some research on marketing e-books and I'm wading through it. This is a good one: 10 Tips On Self Publishing By Indie Authors and Books) I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to reach my target audience, unless it's by stupid luck or complete accident. And I don't want to be running around making people follow a Facebook author page or tweeting about my books a million times a day, that's just annoying :(
But then again, this is probably just me being lazy. I'm SURE there's ways to promote your book without coming off like a car salesman, I just have to figure it out. Also, I understand that even publishing companies rely on the writers to promote their own work. It just feels so...blerg.
2) Published Authors have professionals on their side...for FREE!
I'm really excited to work with the aforementioned (in prior blog post) Regina Wamba, because she is totally amazing, but I have to pay for it with a not-insignificant chunk of change. I also have to rely on the editing skills of people I know, or people I meet that are writers/readers, etc. I could hire a professional editor, but that's another big chunk of change, and since I don't personally know any professional editors, if I were to hire someone, I would have to hope that they get me and my work and what I'm trying to accomplish.
Published writers don't have these same concerns. They've already won over their agent, editor, etc. and found a home where professionals are committed to their book's success. As a self-published writer, you have to give that up. The only person working for you, is you and you have to get used to the idea of flying solo.
And remember how I'm terrified of marketing myself? While publishing companies do put a chunk of that in the writer's hands, at least you have professionals available to guide and assist you.
3) For the self-publisher, there will be no exciting phone calls or responses from agents, no hype, no Publisher's Marketplace blurb, no "I am represented by..." in your bio
Ah, the sweet, sweet, smell of public recognition. I can imagine it's a heady feeling, finally finding that one person that gets your book and your writing and who wants to go to bat for you. Then finally selling your book(s) and seeing your name in print next to "sold in a good deal to..." Having industry people tell you nice things about your book (aka your baby), and having people get excited about when it's being released.
For the self published writer, that's not going to happen. Especially if it's your first book. Maybe, with subsequent novels - if you're lucky - you'll have developed a fan base and you'll get to experience at least a little hype. Otherwise, say goodbye to that dream.
(SIDEBAR: Okay, okay, I know that there are writers out there who self-published and went on to get big deals with traditional publishers and all that, but let's get real, guys. That's the exception, not the rule, and I am not that impressed with myself to think that will ever happen for me.)
4) There will be no walking into Barnes and Noble and seeing your book on the shelf
This is sort of an extension of the last one. As a self-published writer, the majority of your sales will be e-books. Sure, you will be able to hold a printed copy, and you may even sell some, but...from the limited research I've done, getting your self-published PRINT books into major retailers is like opening a pickle jar after you've just put on lotion.
Which doesn't mean I'm not going to try. Maybe I'll just purchase a few of my own copies and put them on a shelf in B&N and take a few pictures. No one will notice, right?
So despite all the points mentioned above, I'm still going to pursue my dream of self-publishing. I think the pros outweigh the cons, at least for this writer.
As I learn about marketing and how to, you know, do all of this self pubbing business, I will be posting some tips, the things I find out, and the the things I eff up. It will happen. I just hope that it's humorous enough to share.
The point of this blog has always been, and will always be, to help fellow writers along their writerly journey, and that will not change. I look forward to sharing all of the ups and downs and tears and laughs. ;)
Now, I'm going to go tweet this and wallow in my own self-loathing for marketing myself :(