Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Reasons

My Reasons.

Hello. Welcome to my blog post. And Happy New Year to you all. Hmmm, since it's the 12th of January, is it too late to say Happy New Year? What's the cut off? What's the proper Happy New Year etiquette?

Anyway, grab a chair, a cup of coffee or tea, and take a load off.

Today I would like to talk about my decision to self publish. Are some of you thinking I'm making a mistake? I'm sure there are a few of you who do. That's okay. I do understand. As much as self publishing has changed and come a long way, it still has a certain stigma attached, but that is changing. Some of the best books I've read this past year were from indie authors.

Back in October, I polished my query and my synopsis, and did another once over on my manuscript before I sent them out to the e-publishers on my list. The expected wait time was 12--14 weeks. After much debate with myself late last summer, I had decided to forgo querying agents. Not that I doubt my story, but because I realized the publishing world has changed so much my chances of getting an agent were pretty slim. I didn't care for my odds. And since I'm a new writer who hasn't proven myself yet, I sort of reasoned that I wouldn't get chosen. Also, my story likes to stray outside of the box now and then.

So like I said, I decided e-publishers were for me. But in the back of my mind, self publishing kept coming up. I turned from that idea, but the thought never went away. My critter partners convinced me that I should at least try to query e-publishers before I go the self pub route. Their arguments as for why I should seek publication through a publisher were very convincing.

I took their advice and sent out queries. I received one rejection, and to date, I still haven't heard back from the others--and it is over the 14 week mark.

Again the desire to self publish rose to the surface. It never did go away. I simply put the thought on the back burner. I sat down and had a serious talk with myself--yes, I talk to myself, LOL.

I weighed the pros and cons. And there were a lot of cons for self publishing, but I'll only list a few here.

The bad and the ugly:

A) Editing. Hiring an editor is expensive.

B) Cover. I have no clue how to make a cover--a good one--so hiring a cover designer is another expense.

C) Promoting. All promoting will be up to me--and I'm not much of a promoter. I self pubbed a short story--Zomboro Virus--back in September. The only promoting I did was post on facebook, twitter and I wrote one shameless self promotion blog post. That's it. The sales weren't huge, but I'm good with that. I know since I dropped the ball on getting the story out there in the public's face, it was my fault. That taught me just how important promoting is.

D) I have only myself to rely on--and that scares me. I know how lazy I can be.

E) Formatting. Can you say, pain in the arse?

The good:

A) Book pricing. I can price my book myself. What I mean is, since I'm essentially an unheard of author, I can price my book at a fair and low enough price to maybe entice readers to take a chance on me and my story.

B) Money. The money I make is mine. Since I'm the author and publisher, I take most of it.

C) Cover control. I work with the designer, making sure the cover is what I want.

D) I have final say on everything.

As the weeks flew by and Christmas drew closer, I was still undecided in which direction I wanted to go. I read up on everything I could find on self publishing. And man, there is a lot of great info out there for those interested in becoming an indie author. Most of what I read was what a writer should do in order to be successful when self publishing. And there is a lot we can do to help our story become a success. Question is, do I have what it takes?

Yes, I do have what it takes. I'm going to give this my all--my story deserves it.

So, to sum up this post, I have decided to go the self-pub route. Love's Prophecy is due to be released on February 1st.

Next month, I'll talk about my experience with self publishing.

Happy writing everyone--and please, wish me luck. I'm going to need it, LOL.


christine warner said...

YOU ROCK! Good Luck Brenda! I've read a lot about self publishing too and I think a lot of it boils down to promotion and your cover.

I have also been reading about self publishing because I'm toying with the idea as well. I see nothing wrong in having your hands in several cookie jars where writing is concerned. Self pub, epubs, try for an agent or a big 6...spread yourself out there and learn all you can.

Good Luck with your book....the first is right around the fun!!

You have a Sunshiny Day!hehehehe (sorry, I can't resist)

Lia Davis said...

Good luck! I thought about, and still consider, self publishing. I also queried to agents with a couple of thanks, but no and plenty of nothing. So I stopped looking for one. I read contracts at work and understand the language. Since I was heavily considering self publishing, ePublishers didn't bother me. Plus the formatting scares me. lol. But I may give it a try some day and I completely promote and support indie authors!

Congrats on your release! I wishing you many sales.

caseamajor said...

I'm proud of you! You have a great story that many people will enjoy and hopfully makes you some money in the process.

Congrats on the release date.

Daryl Devore said...

Bet you're excited for Feb 1 - an early Valentine gift - your book published.

Martha Ramirez said...

So very proud of you, girl! As you already know. So excited for you!! May you be blessed with much success and lots of happiness. xo

Brenda said...

Hey, Christine. Guess what? It is a sunshiny day, LOL. And everybody is laughing--sunshine day. Everybody is smiling--so happy to beeeeee, in a shinshine day.

Sorry, I couldn't resist either.
Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate it.
And yes, you're so right. It is wise for an author to have his/her fingers in several cookie jars these days--and there are a lot of different cookie jars we can try. We have more freedom than we did a few years ago.

Brenda said...

Hey, Lia. I'm so glad you stopped by.
Formatting is a huge pain. I think I have it down, but we'll see what the formatting looks like when I publish. I've been following formatting guides, and so far, it doesn't seem to be too bad--yet.

Brenda said...

Hi, Casea! I'm so happy you came by.
And thank you for your kind words--they help calm the nerves a bit.
I'm also hoping I make some money.

Brenda said...

Daryl. Glad you came by. Thank you.
I'm excited yet sooooo nervous for Feb 1st to roll around. A big part of me just wants it to hurry up so I can get this over with. LOL, not a very good attitude, but hey.

Brenda said...

Mart, you are such a doll. Thank you for your sweet words. I'm hoping Love's Prophecy will be a hit, but that is out of my control. It will be what it is...right?

Sheri Fredricks said...

Which way to take your career is as individual a decision as the writer who makes it. YOU are a talented writer WHO HAS WHAT IT TAKES. I refer to not just creating the novel, but promoting, selling, and inspiring readers to buy.

February 1st will mark a corner stone in your life, Brendan. Enjoy the journey.

Brenda said...

Mike, you have been a driving force behind me for so long now--I don't know what I'd do without you--crap, I don't want to find out!!!
Keep whipping my butt. You know I can get lazy.

Carrie Ann Ryan said...

Good luck hon!

You know from the crit group I went the self-pub route as well. I love reading published work - no matter who published it. This is just another avenue.

And if you EVER need help - don't hesitate to ask.

I've been through it all before and want to help.

I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Jennifer Lowery (Kamptner) said...

Good luck!! Keep us updated on how self-pubbing works for you :)

Brenda said...

Carrie--THANK YOU. And I will for sure be asking you for help and advice--you have done extremely well. You are an inspiration to me.
LOL, expect a lot of emails from me.

Brenda said...

Jennifer, thank you, and I will for sure keep you guys updated.

Tabitha Blake said...

Can't wait to see your book on Amazon. We have been friends forever now and I know your story inside and out and there is not doubt it will sale like crazy. I have faith in you and your gifted writing. If you need help getting the word out you know Im pretty good at the whole promo thing. But you have no worries. You've got this girl. Readers are going to fall head over heels in love with Mel and that is half the battle right there. Hold your head up high and keep moving forward. I'm here if you need anything.

Nikki said...

You've got some very good reasons there, Brenda, and I congratulate you on taking the plunge. While I haven't actually read your work yet, I have no doubt it will do well because I'm sure it shines just like your personality. You have a lot of support from your writer friends and you will go far. Good luck and can't wait to see how this journey turns out for you.

Lisa Kumar said...

Congrats on taking this step, Brenda! I think you'll be glad you did. I'm all for self-publishing as long as an author knows the pitfalls and benefits. You do, so I'm sure you'll have much success.

Brenda said...

Carey. You are such a love. I will for sure need your help with promotions.

Brenda said...

Aw, Nikki, thank you. *raises a glass of chocolate milk* Here's hoping L.P is a huge success.

Brenda said...

Thank you for stopping by, Lisa K.
I've read so much about self publishing and what one can do to help their sales, but knowing and doing sometimes are very different, lol.
Self publishing is tough.

D'Ann said...

Hi, friend.
I'm going to say whast most won't. I think you quit querying too fast, too easy and too soon. That being said, if you're happy, then I'm happy for you.
I'll buy a copy.

Jenna said...

Big congrats on your decision to self-publish! It was a big decision and you went with your gut which writers sometimes have to do. So proud of you! :) It's a great story and I can't wait to read it. The best thing about it coming out on Feb 1 is it's the day after I get paid! LOL Hope you have a gazillion sales, lady!

Sara said...

I'm going to second D'Ann....

I think self-pubbing is a great option. But is it the right option for a first time author? Maybe I'm still old-fashioned about publishing, I don't know. I am considering (seriously considering) self-publishing my Cowboys of Colton series--but only if I can't get picked up by one of my dream e-pubs (Carina, Samhain or Entangled). I'd submit to The Wild Rose Press since I'm already an author there, but the series doesn't fit their guidelines. And only after I've published a few other books to develop a fan base.

But I agree about skipping the agent route if you already know your book won't fit NY, but there are plenty of e-pubs out there that think outside the box. In fact, I fired my agent partly because I wanted to control the submission process and submit where I would have a real chance of being picked up--the e-pubs.

Anyway, GOOD LUCK! Hope you have tons of sales. You deserve it!

Brenda said...

Hey, D'Ann. Thank you so much for stopping by.
And you may be right--I did stop querying pretty early in the game. But it feels right for me to go the self pub route. I can't explain it, it just does.
When I made the decision to forgo querying agents, I then made my list of the bigger e-publishers out there: Samhain, Carina, Avon, and then a list of my second choices. When I didn't get picked up by them, I then made a list of smaller e-publishers, but I didn't query to them. There are reasons for why I didn't, but I'll leave those out of this message, lol.
I totally appreciate you telling me your honest feelings--and I have thought these thoughts myself. I guess I'm happy I finally made up my mind.

Brenda said...

Jenna, thank you! I'm happy and excited too. Scared, but that's to be expected. I would be scared even if my release was through a publisher--maybe even more so, lol.

Brenda said...

Hey, Sara, I'm so glad you stopped by.
I very well could be shooting myself in the foot by self publishing, but it is a chance I'm going to take.
And yes, I knew LP wouldn't fit NY--not going the agent route was actually the easiest decision I made, LOL.

Zee Monodee said...


As long as you're getting in with your eyes wide open, I see no reason why we shouldn't be 100% behind you! That applies to any life situation too, btw.

Self-publishing is thriving out there, and if you can make it work for you, great. I have considred it too but have had to drop the idea because I live abroad and I'd make a pittance on sales for all the hard work involved. The best fit for me was to go with small epubs, and that's what I did.

You have to figure out what will work for you - no one knows this best but yourself. So go for it - we're all here to cheer along! :)


Allison Merritt said...

It's a tough decision to self-pub. I can't say that it's harder than going through a publisher, because obviously I don't know, but so far the huge amount of work it's taken has been scary, but in a lot of ways, very satisfying.

The market is tough and an author really has to shine to draw an agent or publisher's eye. And you're probably way better at querying that me, but I stink at explaining my work to the powers-that-be. I did a face-to-face pitch and completely bombed it. All my queries to agents either got ignored or rejected right off the bat.

I feel like I can do a better job just getting it into readers' hands than trying to convince an agent/publisher of what I have. And I'm a control-freak, so I love that I have all the decisions.

Brenda said...

Allison, your thoughts mirror mine. I too have a tough time explaining my work.
Thanks for stopping by. How much snow did you guys get?

Allison Merritt said...

We only got about an inch. It was pretty pathetic really, but I don't like driving on it. I'm a chicken.