If you had asked me a year ago whether I would ever consider self publishing, I would have turned my nose up at you and scoffed.
“Self publishing?” I would have said. “Self publishing is for writers who aren’t good enough to be published legitimately.”
I’m sure many of you would hold a similar view. However, my opinion has changed.
At the start of 2010, after years of sending out manuscript submissions, I was finally offered a contract with a small independent publisher in the U.S. I was ecstatic. But after a year of occasional editing and long silences, they told me that they would not be able to publish me after all. A few months after that, the publisher declared bankruptcy.
So now I had an edited and highly polished manuscript ready for publishing, but no publisher. I made some attempts at finding a new one, but I was running out of patience and suitable publishers. Very few publishers will look at your work if you don’t have an agent, and very few agents will look at your work if you haven’t already been published. It didn’t help either that my manuscript doesn’t fit neatly into any one genre.
“You’ll love it! It’s a young adult fantasy sci fi horror surrealist mind fuck that is absolutely nothing like Harry Potter or Twilight or Lord of the Rings and I can’t really tell you what it IS like because I don’t really know what else there is like it and it is quite possible that most people will read it and feel very confused and emotionally exhausted by the end of it, but in a really awesome way. Gimme a lot of money!”
Yeah, not likely to happen. Especially when there aren’t any vampires in it.
While all of this was happening, ebook sales began to overtake physical book sales on Amazon. iPads and Kindles multiplied like rabbits while Borders and other brick and mortar stores shut their doors for good. Suddenly the idea of creating my own ebook didn’t seem like such a bad idea. I wouldn’t have to compromise in order to please a publisher. I wouldn’t have to worry about being stuck with dodgy photoshop cover artwork. I could do everything my way.
So now I am hard at work editing, formatting and creating cover art. I won’t publish it until I’m certain that the quality is equivalent to anything you would find in stores. I’ll make it available in as many formats as possible. I’ll promote as much as possible through websites, social networking, podcasting, merchandise etc. I will do everything I possibly can to make this book a self published success.
I might fail. My little book might go out into the world and be instantly buried by the giant slush pile that is the world wide web. But I have to at least try.
There are always other stories to be written