After much thought, I’ve decided not to publish “The Choice” on Amazon and work to publish my story traditionally. I am going to try to find an agent to represent my work.
Why am I doing this?
Deep down, I have a desire to publish traditionally. It would be amazing to have my story on the bookshelves of brick and mortar stores. While Amazon has been a great way for me to get my stories into reader’s hands, it’s not the same as a traditional publisher.
I have learned how to write a story, suffering through MANY edits on my own, manage obtaining cover art, format my book to work for Amazon and Smashwords, and plan a release strategy. All of this information is not lost and will help me as I work to be a stronger writer.
While self-publishing is certainly rewarding, the key issue I see in the process is that unless an author is willing and able to hire professionals (cover artists, book formatting, editors, marketers), the amount of work it takes to make a self-published novel reach many with the chance of being paid, is slim. Sure, an author can hold a free drive and give away thousands of copies of their work for free, the chances of doing the same, but paid, for many Amazon authors is small. My story, “Conduit: The Beginning” was downloaded 10,000+ on a free drive I had. It was gratifying knowing that so many people downloaded my story, but I would have loved if I got a buck for each download. Greedy? Maybe – but hey, I put a ton of work into it.
My major flaw in self-publishing has been the inability to hire a professional editor. The cost of an editor on a novel of 65,000 words would run roughly $1,200+. Add in a professional cover, $200. Throw in book formatting, $200. Don’t forget another $400 or so for marketing. So, on the low side, the cost of self-publishing falls around $2,000. Now, I didn’t hire for formatting, and I did a lot of marketing myself. I admit, I didn’t have enough for a professional editor – unless you’re an established author, who does? Again, $2,000 to self-publish – why is this a factor? Because this is what publishing traditionally will do for an author. Unless an author is willing to shell out AT LEAST that amount of money on a book for self-publishing, he or she will not have as good a product as a traditionally published book.
Am I never going to self-publish again? No, I will. Self-publishing has it’s advantages – the biggest being: complete freedom. I will go about self-publishing a story differently though. I will make sure I have the capital for professional editing (yes, I admit, it has to be done), cover design, and marketing. I’ve pat myself on the back for starting with no understanding of the self-publishing business to learning each step of the process. It’s unrealistic for me to take on all aspects of the industry, all while raising two kids, and holding a full-time job. Publishers have teams dedicated to every piece of the puzzle.
So, onward for me and into the slushpile. My story rocks though. 🙂