22 February 2012

Why Self-Publishing? (Part 1 of 3)

As I'm going to be away from the internet for a few weeks, I've decided to schedule some posts for folks to read in my absence. Go ahead and comment...I'll respond as soon as I'm able. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this post, the first of three discussing my take on self-publishing.

A little about my story

If I’m honest about it, I’ve been seriously writing for the last twenty years or so. Sadly, my first experience with “publishing” was a disaster, and soiled me on the idea of finding another publisher for several years (but thankfully, it didn’t keep me from writing more books). Then I was propositioned about moving that first book over to a small press publisher who primarily focused on e-books (as well as some print titles). I had some familiarity with those running the company, so I took the opportunity and my first book (Heroes Die Young) and then my second (Friends in Deed) were both published.

Along the way, I’d also gotten into short stories, having several published in various online magazines. One of the magazine publishers was also starting up a small press, and approached me about doing a collection of short stories. Jumping on the opportunity, my first collection (Dead or Alive) was published.

The Disturbance (or, how I started self-publishing in the first place)

I follow many blogs online, and one of them is Joe Konrath, a successful mid-list author who first decried self-publishing, until he soured on the publishing establishment. Once he converted, he began professing that any author who wasn’t self-publishing was a fool (and going into the multitude of reasons why). It was an interesting theory, but my mind was entrenched in the idea that going that route was for those who couldn’t hack it in the real world.

Back in the fall of 2010, I’d written a small novella for a submission call (for space opera, right up my alley) by a fairly popular romance e-publisher (not up my alley, by the way), which garnered a rejection (not the level of romance they were hoping for). So, I had this novella on my computer and was debating what to do with it. I’d enjoyed the story, and wanted to see it published, but was a bit concerned what sort of price point my other publishers would place on it (I’ve always been a bit antsy about pricing, likely stemming from my first sour experience in publishing).

So, I decided to try out self-publishing for Seeker, figuring it was a good throwaway novel if things turned out poorly. But lo and behold, I was selling about the same number of copies of this one as I was with my small press titles. I was hooked, and ended up self-publishing a full-length novel I’d created in 2011, The Cure (this one, I also went ahead and created a print-on-demand version of).

Tune in next week, for the second installment of the series!