I want to talk about Self Publishing. At the beginning of the year, I hinted that I had a plan with regards to getting some of my work out there by way of self publishing. Because these stories are either flash (up to 1k words) or short (no more than 15k words) its difficult to find anybody interested in publishing them, unless I submit to anthologies. So I wondered about the viability of putting together my own collection of stories and marketing that along the Self Publishing route.
Lol, notice that I keep capitalising ‘Self Publishing?’ Its because in my recent research, I’ve found ‘It’ to be a big, scary bug bear, full of pit falls and traps into which an author can fall and languish should they not be prepared.
It was this post that frightened me. Odd, because I know full well that what this chap is saying is true (to some degree). However I can think of very few people out there who have £500 (and more) lying around that they can use to hire an editor. Hiring an editor is all well and good and it will, of course improve the quality of your writing beyond your wildest dreams. But if you don’t have that money – and I don’t mean if you have other things to buy with it, I mean if you just don’t have that kind of money spare, nor will you ever! – then what are you supposed to do? Not self publish?
From a personal point of view, every scrap of spare change I have right now is going into a savings account for my kids. There isn’t even much of that because there’s shit-loads I’m going to need to buy for when they arrive (you think having a baby is expensive, try having twins!). So does that mean that I have to give up any thoughts I had of self publishing until my babies (not even born yet!) are old enough to fend for themselves?
However… after reading that and panicking for a half hour or so, I read this blog post. Which helped me to realise that wanting to Self Publish does not meet leaping onto a leaky raft by yourself and casting yourself out to sea. There really are people out there who understand that the industry is changing and that, believe it or not, there are quality authors who are forced down the Self Publishing route, because traditional publishers are too hot on making money to take a ‘risk.’
In my opinion, there is a market for everything, you just need to know where to look for it. And I also feel that traditional publishers are missing out, because of their stubborn stance. More fool them to be honest; because with eBook sales roaring there’s loads of money that they just won’t get any more.
With Self Publishing becoming so easy to do, yes, of course, there are going to be some authors who just don’t give it the professional effort it needs. These are the people who have helped to develop the stigma around the practice. But there are also authors who do everything they should, come up with work of incredible quality, with clear, individual voices and fabulous stories, who get skipped because they struck out on their own.
Hmm. I think I’ve talked myself in a big circle there – I do that a lot. My final assessment/thought/decision however, is that Self Publishing is not as big and scary a beast as I initially thought, and so long as I treat anything I might one day self publish, as if it were being sent to a traditional publisher, there is no reason why my work cannot be as polished and enjoyable as anything released by the Big Six.