Last Week’s Freak Out Gives Way to This Week’s Plan

Last week I was unsure of my next step after completing the current revisions to my manuscript (which I did complete on Sunday!). Luckily, my habit of putting things out to the universe worked as always, and led to situations that pushed me toward the start of a plan. First, I ask my husband “What do you think about self-publishing?” His answer, “I don’t have a problem with it, but I think you do.” That was eye opener. What he said was true. I’ve grown up hearing that any jack-in-the-box that strings two sentences together can self publish and call themself an author. I’ve always read/heard that only traditionally published authors were true writers, so I believed it. I can’t remember the specific people or places where that thought came from, but it stuck. It’s been a mental hang up of mine that self publishing is only for those who can’t “make it”. I’ve since learned that is completely untrue. Yes, there are some crappy self published books out there, but there are also some crappy traditionally published books too. Self published authors are earning more respect for the true difficulty it takes to self-publish and be successful. So there isn’t any shame with being a self published author.

My second moment came after discussing my book with a friend. She asked how things were coming with my book, and I told her I finished this round of revisions and was on the lookout for critique partners and beta readers (let me know if you know of any good sources) and then I told her that I was unsure of my next steps. I did a rundown of pros and cons of both. If I query, and lets say it’s a perfect world, and find and agent to represent me and a publishing house to buy my book within a short time frame, it would still be 18 months before my book hit the store shelves. It would only be on the store shelves for a few months and I would get little or no help with marketing it. I would still have to hustle to increase book sales. Plus, I better make sure that it’s pretty well polished before submitting, because there’s no guarantee that I’ll get one-on-one editing help. But, I could say that I was traditionally published, for whatever that is worth.

If I self publish, I still have to hustle to market it, I still need to make sure it’s polished, but I would get it out much sooner and I could keep it out for longer. I would also be able to control my e-book prices. As a new convert to e-books, I hate to see a hard copy book for $10 and the e-book is also $10. Because I don’t have anything tangible, I don’t want to pay that much. Any books I’ll use/read repeatedly I’ll purchase. For example, I loved Before you Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans. I’ll buy that in hard copy before shucking up $12.99 for the e-book because I’ll read the stories repeatedly. After telling my friend this and ending with an “I still don’t know what’s best” she said “It sounds like you already know what you want to do.” Her very simple sentence offered a very simple moment of clarity. I’m a control freak and constant worrier. I want control over my destiny, at least the part that God puts in my hands. So I am researching what’s involved with self publishing. In my overly anal way, I’ve even developed a spreadsheet to track what I would have to do, associated costs and potential time lines. I’m not saying that I won’t query. My mind flows like water, maybe it’s the Aquarian in me, but I know me, and I’m curious about what agents would say. Any feedback is good feedback. But in the mean time, I will move forward with the idea that I plan to self publish and work on polishing my manuscript.

So tell me, what do you think about self published authors?