Originally, eight years ago, I wasn't interested in self-publishing. I knew only one gal who'd gone that road. At that time, she was a pioneer fiction writer. Most self-published authors were non-fiction, niche writers. She did not sell, not like you want a book to sell, making the bestseller list [ANY bestseller list!]. Also, ebooks had only just begun having growing pains. She published in a paperback world. [cha-ching] Not an inexpensive endeavor. During those early years, it was pounded into our heads, money ALWAYS flows toward the author! More on that in my next post...
I'd read a few self-published titles. Not enough to be an expert, but enough to get frustrated by the incompetence. It was assumed an author only went that route when all other options had been played. They didn't write well enough to catch someone's eye therefore, they would publish their own work. This approach screams second best! What I'd read so far did not negate this perspective. Beginner mistakes--grammar, head-hopping, formatting.
It was about three to six years of writing and learning and crafting and learning some more before e-publishing really came into young adulthood. Forget erotic, sex focused stories with nudies on the front... the book market had opened up to everyone. Publishers wanted it all, romance--short, medium, and long stories. They wanted stories that didn't fit the traditional market. Kindle hit stores as did BN's Nook. The best thing about all these wonderfully e-published books? Pricing. They were cheap. I did not have to spend at least eight dollars to own a book anymore. Music to my ears.
As an author, I loved how fast the process became and I loved the contact. From submission to response, the longest wait seemed to be about twelve weeks. I'd been waiting that long just to hear from an agent! Forget the NY publisher, they were not accessible to the author, ever. Get an agent was the only way into NY. Suddenly, I could talk to editors, network with them, appeal to them with stories they were looking for. Submission calls within e-publishing allowed me to consider new stories or dig up already written ones. And I continued to submit, getting a few hits, nibbles of interest, over the past few years.
[side note: still writing, still learning, btw. It never stops, especially when you belong to a crit group like Passionate Critters]
I was [am] still a little nervous about e-publishing. A few years ago the reasons were twofold. Good publishers were hard to find. There seemed to be no telling who would stick around, who had good editors and GREAT leadership, but as a few years have passed, the well-managed ones have made a name for themselves and stand out as worthwhile. Good covers were[are] hard to find. I know we should never judge a book by its cover, but there are a couple of companies I hesitate to submit to because their covers are crappy--and I don't mean half naked people! I mean cut and pasted images... distorted figures, no symmetry, no appeal. :P Don't be fooled...a cover can make or break your book! Nakedness is still often an issue that I set on a scale and weigh, but overall, the good e-publishers don't just throw a naked couple on the front of their books in hopes of appealing to someone's libido.
Wow, I'm chatty today. I haven't even touched on Self-Publishing yet...
Eight years is a long time, and I won't be able to do it in one blog post.
Bottom line for today...in five years, I pretty much gave up on traditional publishing. I do have a book for young people that I will start subbing through traditional routes, but I will definitely be more selective about how long I try for and who I target. Something tells me that within another 5 years, juvenile fiction could very well go the same way as Romance and Mainstream.
Have a great week, Friends!