Why self publishing?

First of all, sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  When I started this blog I intended to write on it at least once a week but obviously that didn’t happen.  This little thing called ‘life’ seemed to get in the way.  Well, that and the fact that I’ve been pretty busy.  We’re still editing The Inheritance and I’ve been writing like crazy on my new book, The Leviticus Enforcer.  I’m almost done with the first draft of the new novel.  This has been a really exciting time for me.

When I talk to people about my writing and my plans to self-publish they always ask me why I’m not submitting my work to a traditional publisher.  The short answer is: I don’t want to. 

Okay, now for the long answer.  When you submit to a publisher without an agent you are almost certainly doomed to failure.  Your manuscript is consigned to the ‘slush pile’ and if you are extremely lucky someone at the company might read it.  Getting an agent also seems like a difficult task based on what I’ve learned and even with an agent there is no guarantee that a publisher will take your work.  In self-publishing you don’t have to jump through those hoops.  You can get your work out there and let the readers decide if its worthwhile or not. 

Thanks to advanced in technology and the rise of the Internet there is no longer a financial risk involved.  About twenty years ago I shopped a manuscript to a self-publishing service that said they’d put it out if I paid them $35,000! (or something like that).  I politely told them no and got my manuscript back.  Today thanks to ebook services like Smashwords and ‘print-on-demand’ publishing for traditional paper books that financial risk has gone away, which is a good thing since I don’t have thousands of spare dollars lying around!

Also in self-publishing you get to present your work, your way.  I don’t have to answer to an editor, a publisher, an agent, or anybody except the readers and those are the people I’m really interested in.  If the readers reject my work, so be it.  I will rise or fall on their judgment.

What this also means, though, is that I’m going to have to do something I’m not too crazy about and that’s marketing.  I’ve launched a Facebook author’s page.  Hopefully all you have to do is type my name in the search field and it will come up.  If not, oops.  I’ll figure it out eventually.  What I’m hoping is that 1.) this book will be pleasing to readers and 2.) those readers will post positive reviews and tell all their friends.  I might also do some specials on the price but I haven’t worked out those details yet. 

That’s another thing I like about Smashwords, I get to set the price.  I’m going to price The Inheritance at $2.99 per ebook copy.  Since I’m new to the game people aren’t going to want to pony up a lot of money the way they would for an established author and I respect that.  I would probably feel the same way.  When I first launch it I might put out a special e-coupon for my Facebook followers so if you haven’t ‘liked’ my author’s page now would be a good time to do it.

Okay, I think that will do it for now.  I have to get ready for my daughter’s 9th birthday party.  It’s a sleepover so wish me luck!

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