10 Reasons Why You Should Take the Self Publishing Plunge #Writers #Writer

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Guest Post by Sarah Potter.

10 Reasons for Taking the Self Publishing Plunge

First I would like to thank Lucy, otherwise known as Blondeusk, for inviting me to guest on her fabulous blog of which I’m an avid follower. She has proved herself a person of utmost patience; I’ve kept her waiting for two months, maybe three, for this post. In response to my umpteenth apology for my tardiness, she said, with her usual wry humour, that the Blondewritemore Team is willing to wait until 2017.

This post is about an exceedingly stubborn person – me – who has dug her heels in for far too long and wishes she’d given up on getting a traditional publishing deal a long time ago.

Traditional publishers reject most of the novels submitted to them, even well written ones if they don’t fit with what they’re looking for at that moment. I’ve had full reads from publishers and plenty of praise from them, except there’s always been a ‘but’ related to difficulty in defining the novel’s market.

The list below is my way of saying that writers mustn’t let rejection discourage them or lose belief in their work. Don’t chase a fading rainbow, just find a bright new one and follow that one instead. You never know, there might even be a pot of gold at the end of it, or at least some silver.

So here’s my personal path to enlightenment.

  1. My bookshelves had started to buckle under the weight of hardcopy books, so I overcame my prejudice against eBooks to prevent a catastrophe e.g. brain damage caused by bookfall.
  2. I’m from a generation taught that self-published novels were always inferior to traditionally published ones, but recently I’ve read some awesome eBooks by indie authors, which indicates to me that the state of play has changed.
  3. I wrote my first novel 25 years ago. A quarter of a century is an unacceptable length of time to remain unpublished. If I carry on seeking traditional publication, there’s a danger I’ll be lying with my toes curled up in a box and not have achieved my writing dream.
  4. Each rejection from a publisher or literary agent gives me an excuse to footle with the novel in question. Usually it takes 10 rejections before I give up submitting a manuscript. Hence the 25 years and 5 unpublished novels situation. Recently, I outlawed footling and declared on my blog that I intended to self-publish my urban fantasy novel, Desiccation, early in December, so now I’ll have egg on my face if I chicken out.
  5. Yesterday’s cross-genre sometimes becomes an accepted genre or sub-genre further down the line. Four of my five novels fit into a genre now (albeit, loosely so) when they didn’t fit any at all before. The fifth one is plain weird but might slot into a category called ‘Mash-up’ that I’ve just stumbled upon on Amazon.
  6. I’m writing for readers, not publishers. This is my chance to know if people want to read my novels. If they do, I’ll carry on investing my time in novel writing. If they don’t, I’ll just enjoy posting flash fiction and haiku on my blog and enter the occasional competition to see where that takes me. It’s the uncertainty that’s driving me crazy.
  7. The gift of public speaking evades me and I’m a bit of a recluse by nature. One day, about six months ago, it suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t want a literary agent or publisher putting pressure on me to do book signing tours and give talks; that I’d much rather hide behind my computer in the comfort of my own home promoting my novels.
  8. Further to the above, I hate the whole superficiality of the celebrity culture. As an indie author lurking in the Amazon Marketplace, I am free of censure by the fashion gurus and the paparazzi. I can have a bad-hair day and go without make-up, wear my jeans, T-shirts, oversized jumpers, and Birkenstock sandals: do all of these things in peace.
  9. Getting a traditional publishing deal for your first novel, does not guarantee getting one for subsequent novels. This means one of two things for dumped writers: either they’ll have to find another publisher for their latest novel, which isn’t going to be easy if their sales figures were no good on the first novel, or they’ll have to self-publish, which they might as well have done in the first place. Far better to self-publish novel number one, two, and three, then receive an offer for a traditional publishing deal.
  10. Create Space and Kindle authors earn a higher percentage from sales than traditionally published authors would, although it’s fair to say that they might not sell as many books without all the marketing machinery behind them. But hey, I like challenges, so here’s to my new publishing and marketing career!

Sarah Potter is author of the blog ‘Sarah Potter Writes’. She is also a fantasy fiction author and a Haiku & Tanka poet.

I am huge fan of her work and I think she’s amazing. The Blondewritemore team would like to thank Sarah for keeping her guest blogging promises – we got there in the end. Sigh!

Below is a photo of Sarah posing outside the ‘Blondewritemore office’ !  🙂

Sarah Potter

Photo: Upsplash

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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

40 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why You Should Take the Self Publishing Plunge #Writers #Writer

  1. I’m waiting for a response from a final publisher who are considering my manuscript,so I read this with great interest. If that approach fails self-publishing is beginning to look a lot more tempting. Good luck to Sarah, and thanks for sharing on Blonde Write More, Lucy.

    1. Thanks for your good luck wishes, Marje. Wishing you all the best of luck, too, with the publisher. The waiting-game can be very lengthy and dispiriting, so thank goodness there’s a viable alternative available these days.

  2. I see the Blondewritemore Team has redecorated its office, Blondeusk. I like the clean white walls and the minimalist feel about it! Must check out the filing cabinets to see what posts I’ve missed over the last few days whilst I’ve been grappling with my beta-readers’ edits.

  3. “I’m writing for readers, not publishers. This is my chance to know if people want to read my novels.”

    To me, that sums up so beautifully the Indie world! Congrats on writing so many books and not giving up, and best of luck with the launch!

    Thanks for sharing, Blondeteam 🙂

    1. I often wonder how many amazing novels never saw the light of day in the past when self-publishing wasn’t considered a respectable alternative. It was a case of traditional publishers robbing readers of novels they would so much have enjoyed. Yes, I have given up on reading some self-published stuff in the past, but then I have given up on some traditionally published novels, too.

      Thank you, Nicholas, for your kind words of encouragement 🙂

  4. Like Sarah I often write stories which cross genres. I agree too with her other points. A friend of mine is a published author and dashes off all over England to promote her books. I am shy, hard-up and in my sixties, I don’t think I have the energy or money to do that. After reading this I am going to seriously consider publishing my novel as an e-book (when I eventually finish it!)

    1. Pauline, you might be interested to know, if you don’t already, that there’s a category called “mash-up” on Amazon, which is dedicated to cross genre titles. Type the category in on Amazon Search and you will feel very encouraged by what comes up. I’m so glad that my post has been of use to you. All the best with finishing your novel.

  5. I agree – 25 years is entirely too long to wait. Around my house, a person with that sort of patience would take on near mythical status. Ballads would be sung in your name, epic poetry would be composed, but at the end of the day no one would believe a person like yourself truly existed.

  6. Hi Kimberly, I’m hiring an illustrator to do my cover design but am lucky enough to have some wonderful beta readers to proof read and suggest edits. Re #6 — I’ve also tested my novel out on non-writing readers. Am so glad to know that you’re happy with your decision to self-publish. Thanks for your good luck wishes.

    1. Thanks, so much, William. I dreamed of writing novels at a young age, too. At school, I used to fill up exercise books with lengthy stories — usually sci-fi or pop star romances — instead of filling them with the work I was meant to be doing. These stories were written for the entertainment of my peers. Needless to say, my exam results were less than impressive.

  7. Thanks Sarah. This post comes at a time when I’m getting ready to query agents again. I’m still wondering whether it’s worth all the time and energy it requires. Maybe self-publishing is more progressive. Wish you lots of success.

  8. All the best with querying agents, Dionne, and here’s hoping you strike lucky. It’s all a question of timing and your book having the potential to fill a perceived gap in the market. Thanks for your good wishes.

  9. I, like Sarah have read incredible novels on Kindle that are clearly self-published and AMAZING. That being said, I have also read crap that was self-published. Sarah is amazing and I’m willing to wade through some bad literature to find the diamonds. I don’t need a publisher to tell me what to read. Rant over. We all want a publisher but there’s no disgrace in self- pub. That’s what I really wanted to say. I’ll be quiet now.

  10. Thank you Lucy for hosting this wonderfully honest and forthright post from the wonderfully honest and forthright Sarah, an excellent writer and friend very dear to me.
    Sarah…I admire you immensly, goodness, to think that you have pressed on following your writing/publishing dreams for so long, I am in awe, I really am. I feel like an interloper reading this! Seriously though, your reasons for self-publishing encourage all of us who vaciliate between the trad/self pub dilemma and give us much to ponder. I wish you every success with your upcoming publication and so look forward to reading your book…and sharing it with everyone else. Keep going, you’re almost there 🙂 xxxx

  11. Good luck, Sarah. If I ever get around to writing the book which has been lurking in my head for a few years, I will most probably go the same route. I’ve read and enjoyed quite a few eBooks recently. (My bookshelves are also threatening to collapse.) Love the photo of you! 🙂

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