What made you decide on the self-publishing route?
After two years of searching for an agent, and receiving a few close calls (to no benefit), I almost gave up on the idea of anyone ever reading my work.
When I noticed a couple of my fellow writers had taken the self-publishing route, it was like a light bulb began to glow over my head. Why can’t I self-publish? Is it really as bad as everyone makes it out to be? Am I really ready to fling my work into the worldwide nether to get torn to bits by readers?
The answer was yes, I am ready.
Even though many readers may hate my stories, be disgusted with my writing, or even tell me I should just give up, I don’t do it for them; I do it for me. And I’m very, very proud of my characters and stories. So proud, in fact, that I’m more than happy to share with people from one corner of the globe to the other. ;)
your document into something ready and available for your readers?
A few months ago, if you had asked this question, I wouldn’t have been able to answer. I had absolutely no idea how much time goes into creating a book for the general public. (Hint: It’s a lot.)
First and foremost would be the formatting. I convert my Word documents to HTML and then upload them onto Amazon and Barnes & Noble for the e-readers (Kindle and NOOK). The actual paperback copies available on Amazon use .pdf files, and are uploaded in the same way. I’m able to choose what price I want to sell my books (I like to keep them cheap!) and what the target audience is. Also, I need a blurb and a cover. Definitely these last two, as they are what readers look for most.
I know a lot of fellow indie authors who employ graphic designers to create their covers, but I design my own. I’m already in school for graphic design and have the tools at my fingertips (mainly Photoshop). Plus, my artistic side absolutely loves this. For me, it’s an escape, and I’m all about escapes (reading, writing, gaming).
Once these tasks are complete, the process of approving the documents and launching them online takes between 24-48 hours; longer for Amazon, though, who also has Amazon UK and Amazon Germany. Voila! My book is available for the world to read. Now, I have to sit back. Relax. Think happy thoughts. Oh, and have chocolate ready. :)
There are a lot more pros than cons, in my opinion. You’re able to control everything—your royalties, what your book looks like, how much promoting is involved. You don’t have to be pressured by deadlines, or worry whether your story will change drastically in the hands of your agent and/or editor (I know some people who fret over this). You’re pretty much free to do what you want, how you want.
One of the main cons is how people view you as a self-published author. I know a lot of people tend to look down upon those who don’t follow the traditional route, and they go into reading an indie book with the idea that it totally sucks. While there can be spelling/grammar errors (this happens with traditional publishers, too), I think the main thing is to read with an open mind, and for the story. With all books, not just indies. I’ve read both sides, and both have books I’m not fond of. But both also have books I absolutely adore. Personally, I treat all books as equals. They’re all out there for one purpose and one only: To entertain readers.
In the end, I believe you have to listen to your heart. Mine chose to travel this road in hopes that, eventually, I’ll be playing with the big dogs and have a book (or ten) published the traditional way. But right now I’m having too much fun!
Rebecca's books, Silver Moon and Under the Stars are available in paperback or kindle format on Amazon.com.