- I'm kind of old to have started on this journey, and I sincerely worry that I could die before I have a chance to publish traditionally.
- I'm not in this for a new career. Because I'm older, I've already got one I like just fine, and I can retire in less than ten years.
- This is supposed to be fun for me. I worry that the whole query/rejection process will suck all the joy out of what I'm learning and doing--recognizing that if I put my stuff out there before it's ready, there will be plenty of people who will be happy to help suck all the joy out of what I'm doing--but that's true even of people who publish traditionally.
- A lot of people believe self-publication is the way to go, including David Farland, who's spoken to this issue in several of his Daily Kicks.
On the other hand, there are some compelling reasons not to self-publish.
- You have to do all your own marketing. I can't tell you how much I hate sales. I realize authors are the true salespeople for their work. Readers don't come to book signings to meet the publisher or the agent or the printer; they come to meet the author. It's just hard for me to consider trying to pimp my own work.
- At LTUE, self-published author Anna del C. cautioned writers considering self-publication to get a lot of books written before beginning. She said she spends so much time now marketing her books that she has little time to write. Considering I have a full-time job and limited time available for writing already, this is a huge concern for me.
- As Marsha mentions in her blog, she thinks she's had success so far without marketing because she has so many finished works and could get them out there quickly, that having several books for readers to select from is a big advantage. I don't have a bunch of books to throw out there. I have one WIP close to being "ready" (I know, define ready), two partial WIPs, and lots of ideas. I've spent a ton of time on this first book because it's my on-the-job training, so to speak.
- Many people who, for good reason, haven't made it out of the slush pile are now publishing and flooding the ebook market with dross. Readers could become jaded about the quality of self-published books, and (assuming my book is not just more dross) mine could get lost in the trash.
My friend Laura Josephsen just bravely self-published her book Confessions from the Realm of the Underworld (Also Known as High School (I read it this weekend and loved it, but I'll write more about it on Friday). She's already published traditionally and had a publisher interested in this book, and she opted to self publish. Does it help that she's already published and has a fan base? Is it better for someone like Laura than it is for fledgling beginners?
A comment from the LDSStorymaker conference really struck me. Someone reported that author Larry Brooks said writers are too worried about getting published. What we should be worrying about is getting read. When I heard that, it gave me pause.
So what's a girl to do?
- What are your thoughts on self publication?
- Have you ever considered it? If so, what did you decide and why?
- Do you feel like you'll be taken more seriously as a writer if you have the endorsement of the gatekeepers and stick with traditional publishing?
- Or do you think self-publication is the wave of the future?