I figured that it might be valuable to share some of my experiences in self-publishing a book. I will be hijacking the blog for a few posts and offer some tips, and more importantly, point out the pitfalls of publishing your own book. Keep in mind this feedback is entirely one-sided as I did not attempt the traditional path of publishing a book…. So take everything I say with a grain of salt.
Writing a book may be the least complicated part of this whole experience. When I began writing A Promise of Iron, I wasn’t sure I would publish the work. But once I finished the first draft, it seemed like an awful waste to keep it to myself… so I looked at what options were available.
Traditional publishing vs. self-publishing— this was the first real question. Do I send the manuscript to a dozen or more publishing houses in the hopes that I would get a book deal? Or do I foot the bill to professionally publish the book myself? I elected for the latter for a few reasons.
The main reason was the fear of rejection. What if they ALL say no? What if after six months of correspondence and emails and submissions, I was still without a book deal? I would have wasted a great deal of time (and paper) and would have been no closer to my goal. I had to rationalize that a “NO” was the most likely outcome for an unpublished author with no credible reason for writing a book, and I had to recognize what kind of toll that might have on my fledgling ego. At the end of that experience, I might have been left asking should I continue vs. could I continue. Stubborn as I was, I wasn’t going to give a “NO” the chance of stopping me.
The second reason was creative license. This is not to say I am incapable of receiving feedback or that I didn’t welcome it; quite the opposite. This was more or less that I didn’t want the buck to stop with an editor or publisher about what is in or not in MY story. Now I could be completely wrong here, but the concern I had was that sacrifices would be made to increase the financial viability of the book. Because this is less about making money to me and more about sharing (what I think is) a good story, I wasn’t comfortable risking the integrity of the story.
The third reason was the viability of the alternative. When I first explored the options between the popular online retailers, I saw a path to publish that was not only possible; it was highly accessible and transparent. I did some research and found myself on a couple of different websites that connect authors with industry professionals for editing and illustration services…. And that is when the dream of publishing a book became a reality.
Thanks for reading.
Salt and Ruin,