Tuesday, 12 October 2010
To Self Publish or Not to Self Publish...
...that is the question.
OK, so is it viable? I've been pondering over the idea for a while and have come up with a few pros and cons.
Well...IT CAN WORK – and here are a few name s to prove it...
William Blake, Lord Byron, T.S. Eliot, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, D.H. Lawrence, Beatrix Potter, George Bernard Shaw, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Virginia Woolf.
Okay, okay, so they're not very recent, but Stephen King is self published, and that’s got to be a positive, surely. Plus there have been several recent successes that I know of William P. Young, Jeremy Robinson and J.A. Konrath for example.
And of course on-line self-publishing is huge, with sites like LULU and the options to upload your novel onto the Amazon Kindle. And with print on demand sites like Blurb you could have your novel in your excited mitts before you could say, ‘Harry Potter’. You could even print a few copies and see how your book is greeted. Perhaps promote it on your own website, on You Tube (if you know a clever person who could make a mini-film plug for your book), and through social networking. Then, if it goes down a storm, you may even nab yourself a publishing deal for any reprints. All sounds pretty brilliant to me! Easy peasy!
It has to be said, publishers and agents have the skills needed to take what you have written and turn it into a marketable book. As they look at your original manuscript they are immediately aware of the many changes needed before it can be slipped on the best seller shelves at Waterstones or WH Smith. I’m certain if I was EVER lucky enough to get an agent, they would make many changes to my novel. A definite reason for going down the traditional route if at all possible.
You have to be BRILLIANT at selling yourself with self-publishing. It won't be easy convincing people to open your book if you haven’t got a publishing company behind you.
I have to admit, I may one day self-publish, as my sister loves my book. ;-) But I'm only going to do the self-publishing walk, if/when the agent/publisher route fails. And with odds like 14,400 – 2 chance of getting an agent stacked against me - it probably will. So, for that very reason, I see nothing wrong with a writer who has spent years writing a book, having the opportunity to see their work in print - even if they only sell twenty copies.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom on the getting an agent front. I know from having my full MS read by Darley Anderson that it is possible to get agents interested in our work (or perhaps that was just a fluke).
For the moment, I'm still praying for an agent to notice me. I’ve even had my book Bubblecow-ed especially. Ooh, and I must tell you, the lovely editor at Bubblecow cried while reading my book (in a good way...well at least I think it was in a good way).
Currently, my chapters are winging their way to four agents. I'm not excited. I’m expecting absolutely NOTHING. As I know, if all else fails – I WILL SELF PUBLISH.
Ooh, and here's a couple of interesting posts on the subject...
Nathan Bransford - Should you self publish? (Thanks due to Karen for pointing me Nathan's way :-))
The Blood Red Pencil - Self publishing numbers game.