Monday, 10 November 2014

My Journey of Many Halves 1: Self Publishing

This is my journey through self publishing and traditional publishing spanning the last three years. It is edited for content to cut out the boring parts, but each key decision is there: Good or bad. Hopefully it will help you understand me, and perhaps guide you in considering your own choices moving forward. I have largely kept names out because it is all about the choice of the author. Me.

It is all on me.

There are many advocates for both sides of the publishing coin. I know personally many people who have self published, swear by it, and have no consideration for traditional publishing. On the flip side I know just as many people who wouldn't shake a stick at self publishing. Well, I've tried them both.

I'm not going to say which I think is better. Not here. I'm just going to share my experiences. You can decide.

I take my first steps after I had some success in short stories, anthologies in print work mostly, all through traditional small presses. I had submitted my work and been judged on it.

I thought I knew what I was doing.

Boy, was I wrong...

The Devil's Hand, Novella Series, Part 1, written and ready.

Planned and plotted, The Hand was always going to be my "baby". I had always intended to self publish it periodically, and take full responsibility for everything (and I mean everything) in the process.

This was my first stumbling block.

When self publishing I had to arrange editing, covers, formatting, etc. All myself. Okay. Fine. I'm more than IT literate. I'm smart. I'm artistic. No problem.

I have worked with an editor, Eden Royce, many times, and scored a "free" edit.

Lesson One: Expect nothing for free. No matter how well you know someone, you cannot (read: shouldn't) ask people with talents (especially when in the same boat as you) to work for free.

However, exchange is no robbery.

I can proof read, format, etc. I exchange work where I have to.

Having friends when self publishing is a really good idea. I cannot emphasis this enough.

So, editing done, formatting done, I need to put down a cover. So I did.

I arted.

Problem. With my lack of experience, not necessarily a lack of artistic skills, I had no idea what I was doing. Nor how important a book cover was.

"NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER" IS A LIE.

So, The Hand, e-booked out. Opinion dictates that it is an awesome little story, written and edited well. Cover? Bit shit.

Then the hard work starts, for me at least.

Marketing.

I know people who market themselves really well. I mean, really well. And I've found that marketing yourself is half of the marketing with a self published book. I'm not that person. I struggle to market myself. To "get out there". But I try.

So the book's out. The marketing has begun.

This endeavour:

Pro's:
I maintain artist control; I know where sales are at; I keep "ownership" of my work; The money is all mine.

Con's:
I maintain artist control with no one to tell me I'm doing it wrong; I have no support from a brand or company; I have to pay for everything myself;

So basically: It's all on me.

At this point, I have learned nothing from my attempt. The road less travelled just has my foot firmly upon it.

At this point I have other things in the works. The Human Condition, a collection of short stories is sitting with a Publishing House, my first novel Shutter Speed is half way through first draft, and a novella collection I have written with another author is complete.

Tomorrow: First quarter sales are in and a publishing house slides a contract across the table...



***




One is a killer. One is the right hand of the Devil. Which is worse?

Angela Mitchell hates her life. When debonair stranger, Marcel, turns up in her library one night things look to be on the up. But neither of them saw Darin in the shadows.

Angela certainly never saw Hell coming to earth. 

When Marcel and Darin clash, Angela is dragged through the sulfur stench of Hades, has to fight for her life, and drinks wine. Lots of wine.

Crossing Guard is part one of the Hell Noir series: The Devil’s Hand, a dark fantasy with spatters of humor and a dash of inter-dimensional romance.




No comments:

Post a Comment