I’ve been meaning to do this, to recap how things have gone for me in self-publishing. I know I’m new, I know that I have one book to my name (and a short story, which you can buy, right here!!), but I also remember what it was like trying to decide what to do.
I started looking at getting published three or four years ago. I had two thirds of Sorcerer Rising written and I thought, maybe, I would do something with it eventually. When my son was born, it started getting serious. I set myself on finishing it, once and for all, and much to my surprise, I actually did.
So then what?
As I got feedback, edited, polished, edited, researched, edited, waited, edited, edited, edited, I began to lean more toward self-publishing. The main thing to me was the state of the industry and the attitude of those in it. Authors are employees for publishing houses, for agents even. All the traditional publishing resources just gave advice on how to navigate the rules they’d set up.
The message was clear, we don’t need you. If you don’t do this exactly as we want (learn to write a query letter, spend money and time to go to conferences, be willing to write novel after novel, thinking “maybe this time”) all the while grinning and bearing it and thanking them the whole way through, then you won’t get published.
Because we don’t need you.
So, frankly, I thought to myself, I don’t need them.
And so far, that’s worked pretty good for me.
I’m not quitting my job over this, but I am very happy. I have sold 142 books, have three positive reviews, a number of people signed up for the mailing list, and I get more and more people coming to this blog every week. I’ve paid off the investment I put into it, put my book in people’s hands, and maintained control of my work. I’m working on the second and enjoying this side business.
I have nothing to compare it to, so my perspective is still slanted. I wish I could provide a perfectly objective opinion or analysis, but I don’t think that’s possible. So many look at the big names like Joe Konrath or Dean Wesley Smith and say their success doesn’t count because they were already published and already had a fan base. I thought that too, and still think there’s some truth to that. But at the same time, those who’ve never been traditionally published just have horror stories and years of rejection fueling their analysis.
I have never looked at this from the perspective of someone who is going to make a living writing. I have a family and a full time job because I need a regular paycheck with benefits. This is all gravy for me, icing on the cake. But if that were my perspective, I don’t know that it would be vastly different since those traditional author houses aren’t exactly forking over the dough either.
But there it is. I’m making money, small as it is. More than my first job (so far). People are reading it, even enjoying it.
Hope this helps in your decision.