Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Why I Self-Published

In 2012, when I was preparing to write Balor Reborn, I had to make a decision - write and prepare a book for publication in a week, or do the whole thing by myself. The first option would have only been exciting if (a) I had written a full-length novel that (b) was accepted by a publisher in (c) a short period of time after the writing.

The second option at least allowed me to publish by the end of week.

But that wasn't the only reason I decided to self-publish. It wasn't just a time issue. It was also a case that there weren't, at the time, many publishers of novellas that excited me. There was no one there to take my book seriously, that I knew of, because of its length.

I was aiming for short and snappy, and I could only provide that publishing service myself.

The same reason stands for why I continue to self-publish some books, and why I don't self-publish others. At the end of the day, I still want my first full-length novel to reach publication to be through a traditional publisher.

However, self-publishing, for the time and books that are in it, is ideal for me. It gives me complete control over everything I want to do with particular stories, and allows me to figure out what does and does not work in an actual marketplace - not just in terms of what books sell and what books don't, but also which marketing methods I can pull off, how I can run a business, that sort of thing.

All in all, I like the control I can get from self-publishing, and I like that I can bring certain stories into the world without going through a gateway.

This isn't to say I don't appreciate the work of publishers, because I do appreciate it, but when it comes to new projects that require particular care in terms of pacing and publication, I'd like the risk of not meeting publication deadlines to be entirely on me, and not down to a department in a company not being ready to deliver, or doubting the decision to publish at a particular time.

(Some context: I plan on releasing a series of books with publication dates at very particular times of the year - several books per year. Only big-name authors can get away with that in the traditional publishing field, because of the cost involved in printing the books. This is why I'm sticking with ebooks, for the time being, too, because I don't have to worry about finding the right price from a printer, while trying to balance several other aspects of life.)

All in all, the decision to self-publish comes down to my lifestyle. I work three days a week, and mind my niece every week, too, and this is on the back of spending my entire week either in college or working. I have a limited amount of hours free in the week, one way or another, and that's all about to happen again - I need to know that the deadlines are mine to impose, around everything else I've had to do in my life for the past few years. To be perfectly honest, I'm still striving for the right balance in my life. I'm not ashamed to admit that. But I'm getting there. I'm figuring things out. And at least I get to do it on my own time.

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