Monday, November 28, 2011

Why Self-Publishing Appeals to Me

I've always been a DIY type of person. Not the drilling-holes-and-hammering-nails-and-building-cupboards kind of DIY, but more "craft project" DIY.

For example...


I see a necklace I like and think, I can make that for half the price (beads + fastening bits + really cute little tools + minimal creative skills = whatever necklace you want)






I needed an armband for my iPod and after Googling them online I thought, I can totally do that myself (material shop + super cheap piece of faux leather + amateur sewing skills = DIY iPod armband)




When I was little I made a mini "hardcover" book (as in, the cover was made of thick cardboard and the pages were paper) and actually sewed it together along the spine!


Then I decided I wanted to try to make a book cover so I offered to help out Kittie Howard and, voila (look to the left. Duh) (non-fancy camera + free-for-commercial-use fonts + PowerPoint = clothes for Remy)








So I've come to the conclusion that my DIY nature is the reason self-publishing has been growing on me over the past few months (that and my super-control-freak nature).

Confession: I used to kinda turn my nose up at the idea of self-publishing. I mean, that's what "loser" writers do, right? The ones who aren't able to get the stamp of approval from a "real" publisher.

WRONG! (well, in my humble, control-freak opinion)

More and more people are doing it - and doing it well! Joe Konrath, Amanda Hocking, John Locke... <other names I can't remember right now and don't feel like looking up>... Did you know that THE SHACK was self-published? Did you know that ERAGON was originally self-published? I'm not saying that you're going to end up like these authors. I'm just saying IT'S POSSIBLE to be a respectable self-published author! And the more I think about it, from just about every angle, being in control of my own stories seems like a smart move...

Thoughts? Opinions? Rotten tomatoes you want to throw?


16 comments:

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Beautiful cover you did for Kittie! I, of course, believe in self-publishing. Alice, the Victorian ghoul, and her scrappy human lover, Victor Standish, are my knights in cyber-armor testing the waters for me.

Let me know if I can help you in any way, Roland

erica and christy said...

Traditional publishing, for me, used to be the ONLY way I'd EVER publish a book. I'm still on that track, but more and more bloggers (friends) are talking about self-publishing and I can see that down the road a (long) ways, I could consider that option. I think I'm still looking for that "validation" that I'm a REAL writer and that my writing is worth it. Worth being a REAL BOOK. christy

Rachel Morgan said...

Roland - you must be quite the expert now :-)

Christy - I hear what you're saying. I was there a few months ago, but now... I'm not so sure. I still have The Dream (the one you're talking about), but now it's kind of mixed up in other unexpected dreams!

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I used to be strictly pro-traditional publishing too. But with the publishing industry in a state of flux right now, publishers are retaining more rights than they used to while reducing author payments. I recommend following Dean Wesley Smith's and Kristine Kathryn Rusch's blogs to learn more. I believe in my writing, I believe readers provide the best validation, and I believe my best chance of supporting myself with my writing is by self-publishing. That's why I chose to self-publish my novella, Lyon's Legacy, last month. I also like that self-publishing provides a way to put short or quirky, non-commercial stories into the hands of readers.

David P. King said...

Self publishing is one of several avenues, one that I haven't decided to try yet. I'm young, so either I get my wish to publish traditionally within the next few years or self publish 12 well-polished novels later (don't have 12 yet, but I'm working on it). :)

The Golden Eagle said...

I agree--there are a lot of self-published authors who write well and are well-known. I'd rather try traditional publishing before self-publishing, just to see what would happen . . . but I could see doing it myself years from now, if nothing happened by then.

L'Aussie said...

Hi Rachel. Congrats on the gorgeous cover on Kittie's book. Covers are such fun. I'm working on one or a few ATM.

I've warmed to the idea of self pub too. Not that I've ever had mss rejected - I haven't even tried the print pub route but I may still put my toes in the water. But I plan to start by publishing a series of short stories. Apparently you need quite a body of work to self pub, as this helps to sell more...

I like to do things properly so I spent last weekend at an e-pub bootcamp. I learned so many things I haven't seen in blog posts, things that will make it easier so I can't wait to finish NaNo and get started!

Good luck to you!

Denise

Madeleine said...

LOL! So well put and I can so empathise with that. I like to DIM (do it myself)too. Good luck and let us know in detail how it goes...

Sarah McCabe said...

Good for you!

I really hope people get to the point though when they're no longer thinking that trad publishing is still the way you absolutely have to go first, and only self publish if that doesn't work out. People really need to weigh their options equally. You need to say to yourself "What can traditionally publishing offer me?" and "What can self publishing offer me?" They are two equally valid paths and people need to think about it logically not just from the "I need to follow my dream first!" attitude.

Kittie Howard said...

Remy's cover is gorgeous, Rachel! His Mama's proud of you!! I still wish we'd put 'Cover Design by Rachel Morgan' out front (and thingies inside) - next time!

You're extremely talented - go for it!

Laura Josephsen said...

That is a lovely cover!

You know, a year ago, I never would have considered self-publishing. But this summer, I self-published my book "Confessions from the Realm of the Underworld (Also Known as High School)". I think self-publishing and traditional publishing both have their merits, and I've done both. I have a traditional publisher who is publishing the series my co-author and I are writing. My publisher offered me a contract on "Confessions," and after a long process, tons of thinking and praying and weighing my options, I decided to self-publish it instead, and I'm planning on self-publishing again next year.

I don't think there's a set right or wrong for everybody. What works well for one person might not work well for another. In my case, I go on a book-by-book basis. What do I want for this book? What do I want for the next one? There are pros and cons to both routes.

I can't wait to see what you decide to do--I'm sure whatever path you choose, it will be fantastic. :D

Talli Roland said...

Lovely cover for Kitty!

Well, there are pluses and minuses for both, but my experience has been very good so far!

Cally Jackson said...

You're obviously far more crafty than me! But I agree about the control factor of self publishing being appealing. I'm thinking I'll give traditional publishing a crack but expect I will probably self publish The Big Smoke. Time will tell... :-)

Arlee Bird said...

I can see lots of advantages to going the self-pub route, but I also know it would take a lot of self-motivated promotion as well. It's the dreaded "I'd rather just write" syndrome. I kind of like the promotional aspects as long as I've got either funding or finances to float me through until money starts coming it--if it does.
It's a risk for sure.

Lee
A Faraway View

Nas Dean said...

Hi Rachel,

Lovely cover! I'd say go for it, I don't think it's for losers. It's for business minded people. You have total control over your sales and after all you'll do your own promotions. So why give a percentage away?

Kari Marie said...

Self-publication isn't what it used to be. It's been growing on me too, although I still want to try the traditional route.

I'm a DIY'er too when it comes to crafty projects. I have learned to prioritize those projects though. I found that sometimes it's actually fun to buy it. Sometimes I get in over my head and by the time I finish the project, I never want to look at it again. LOL