My platform is growing. As it does, and I get more reviews, I’m also getting asked to do a few interviews on blogs. One question I’ve been asked in various forms, and I’m sure I’ll continue to be asked, is why do I self-pub?
The answer involves lots of points:
- I got fed up waiting for the whole query/submission process to grind through its motions, only to get no response or rejections. (I have four rejection letters I now keep in a file above my desk. They were for Golden Mane. I didn’t bother submitting Renegades or Kitchen.)
- I believe that while traditional publishing will continue to have a market presence, it’s no longer the only option for writers who wish to be taken seriously. I was urged to do it myself for a good two years before I did eventually self-pub. I waited until I heard the dogs barking about the gatekeepers falling and began seeing self-pubbed writers being lauded alongside their trad-pubbed contemporaries.
- Time. Once I’m happy with my book, I can pub it in ten minutes. One of my new favourite authors has to wait until next September for her publisher to release her next work. That’s appalling.
- Money. I’m not paying an agent and I’m getting more per book than any trad-pubber would pay me. If my work is good enough, (and judging by the reviews I’m getting, which are good and coming in more frequently now), and I think it is, if a trad-pubber was interested, and if I decide to go down that route (as you can tell by this post, there will be a lot of deal-breakers for me before I ever sign anything), I sure as hell won’t need to pay an agent 15% of my cut. That said, as my sales increase, there’s now a very real possibility that sometime in the foreseeable future, I’ll be able to ditch the day-job and write full-time. Once that happens, there won’t any discussion. I’ll keep self-pubbing and only consider the trad-pub route if there are a fucking lot of zeroes after the $ symbol on the offer.
- Control. I control how my book looks. Another author I like once tweeted she wept when she saw the cover for one of her books. I’m not going to have that happen to me. I also decide what goes and what stays as far as content and style. Granted all writers need editors — something I believe in most firmly — I’m not going to have someone else tell me how to tell my story. Also, I have almost complete (Amazon does keep some secrets) live access to all my sales information.
Now these five reasons are the main points. I should also point out that having worked in the publishing industry many years ago, and having witnessed the arrogance of publishers and the disdain with which they view writers, I have a pretty dim view of them. I’m sure the industry (and its attitudes) will change. It has to. When it does, my attitude towards it will change also. But until then; schadenfreude. The gatekeepers are falling and it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of bastards.