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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 A quarter of a century is an unacceptable length of time to remain unpublished.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.
- 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 Hence the 25 years and 5 unpublished novels situation.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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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’ ! 🙂