Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Me and Self Publishing?!

Despite the naysayers and the wary warners, at the end of last year, I decided that I was going to publish something this year, even if that meant self-publishing. I'd done my research, but the venture still seemed daunting... [thanks to Starving Author for the word choice!] The hardest part...promotion and marketing. How to get a book out to reviewers? to book websites? to READERS?

[understatement of the year alert] Without readers, my book won't sell.

This issue, even now, makes a publisher ideal. Even the smaller presses have connections it would take me twice as long to make only because I'd have to do the research first. It's hard to write and promo/market at the same time. I've watched authors do this and I've seen them get dragged down by the process.

Really, we all just want to write.

For eight years, I've been writing. Now, I have several manuscripts. Yes, I'll keep writing, but I don't mind the thought of slowing down in order to put my work out there.

What did I do first?

I picked a manuscript and hired an editor. Why this manuscript?

Because it was different than most of my other work, a contemporary romance when I'd been writing romantic suspense for years. It had been through my crit group and a few beta readers already. I was happy with this story and had gotten some decent, positive feedback already.

Why hire an editor?

Because the biggest complaint about self published work is crappy writing, typos, misused words, overused words, incorrect grammar/punctuation... Overall, stuff that should be easily found by an editor or critique group. I picked someone I knew of, but wasn't friends with. I checked her reviews and feedback. I sent her a five page sample so I could see her work. All my dealings with her at this point had been professional, business-like. Her price wasn't the cheapest, but I found it to be reasonable and within my budget. That's when I hired Rhonda Helms. I don't mind putting a shout out to Rhonda. She did a great job on line edits... on my next manuscript, I'll put her through her paces for content edits.

What next? [besides revisions]

Where to publish. This might seem inane, but there are several means of self-publishing out there--not to mention digital vs hard copy. There's direct, going straight to the book seller, like Barnes and Noble [Pub it] or Amazon [Kindle]. Or through third party distributors, like Smashwords. Smashwords will take your [formatted]ms and distribute it to a number of book sellers, including BN and Amazon. Tempting as that is, you have to be sure you're willing to hold out on the money end. Word is that there is some delay in seeing your proceeds. I imagine this would be true for most third party distributors.

Me?

I decided a good while ago that digital was the only answer anymore. With all the technology out there, people want digital--unless they don't, and in those cases, I find they are living with their heads in the sand. All that aside, I love to hold a book, too! But I like my ereader for practical reasons... Now, there is my grandmother, and I might concede a POD [print on demand] publishing strategy [like Createspace or Lulu] so I can get a book in her hands. But that, I still have to look into. :) I also think that if formatting is my job anyway, I might as well publish directly through the big two [BN and A]. And upload to Smashwords for the more obscure sellers. Maybe I'm crazy!! If you've done this before, let me know your thoughts. I'm interested.

Apparently, I've done some thinking in the past several months.
Now that I know what direction I'm taking, next blog post I'll touch on the actual book. After that, perhaps my thoughts on promotion??? Am I boring you yet?! Let me know if you have any questions...

And have a great week!
With Love,
Bethanne



5 comments:

  1. Hi Bethanne,

    Congrats on your decision! I chose the self-publishing route as well and I'm working on POD right now, which is so much more frustrating to me than e-publishing ever was.

    Depending on how much you know about formatting for e-publishing, I recommend reading Mark Coker's ebook about formatting for Smashwords. I think it's the ultimate how-to guide and it'll get you started for publishing to Amazon and B&N as well, although they're horses of very different colors compared to SW.

    Good luck and if you ever need formatting help, I'm more than happy to answer any questions!

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    1. Thanks Allison! You could probably answer a few questions about POD and publishing rights. :D THanks for the recommendation. I think that is the book I have! That'll be my next step after I polish it up.

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  2. I've only had one brief brush with self-publishing, when I got a code from National Novel Writing Month to get one copy of my NaNo Novel plublished last year. To say the least it was stressful, even when I didn't have to think of editing or money!

    I'm really interested to see how you get on with this. Good luck!

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  3. First of all, I wanted to say that you're not boring us (or me, at least) since this is an area many beginning writers need to learn about.

    But I wanted to ask if you've encountered any potential conflict with publishing rights if you go with Barnes & Noble / Amazon and also a POD like Lulu.

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  4. I have the same questions about the POD, Avery. I don't have those answers yet. I don't see exactly how I'd have an issue...at least, not with Createspace, because i'm the only one with rights--as far as I know. Lulu, I'm not sure about.

    As I dig into that, I'll have to come back and revisit the topic. :) I do hear the POD is not typically worth the expense. And right now, I have what most would consider a very small book...or not even a book size ms. That's one of the reasons I'm on the fence about POD, even just for grandma. I would have to pay my coverartist for another cover as the digital and print covers are two different ball games all together. So...it's a thought and one I take seriously, but we'll see if it comes to fruition.

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