Bits About Books, Part II
Posted Mon, 04/25/11
I've been weighing the pros and cons of traditional publishing against doing it on my own for many months. I've kept my eye on current trends, researched facts and figures, and read blogs and testimonials by dozens of authors who have achieved success with self-publishing. In particular, I've paid close attention to well-known writers, reading their comments and opinions about the phenomenal surge of e-books thanks to Amazon and the Kindle reader, and their thoughts on the business of publishing in general.
Two of the most amazing examples of success are Amanda Hocking and John Locke. While they are probably exceptions to the rule, the fact that relative unknowns can make traditional publishers sit up and take notice is encouraging.
Another author who has enjoyed success is Jack Konrath, who has sold more than 275,000 copies of his thriller books. He also writes about self-publishing in his blog Newbie's Guide. One of his most informative blog posts is Are You Dense?, in which he answers often-asked questions about self-publishing. His response to "Publishers are essential" is: No, they're not. Editing and good covers are essential, and these can be procured for set costs. They aren't worth the 52.5% a publisher takes, forever. Or "If I self-publish, agents or editors won't want me": Lazy research. Agents and editors are actively looking at self-pub success stories, then snapping those authors and books up.
That being said, I'm sure there are just as many author experiences that reflect the downside to doing it on your own. It might seem like being lost in a vast fish tank with everyone else trying to do the same thing at the same time. At the end of the day, however, what's there to lose? As Jack Konrath advised: Each day you don't self-publish is a day you could have earned money but didn't. Every minute of every day, there are new writers jumping on the self-publishing bandwagon, beginning to make money. Every minute you waste is a minute gone forever.
Contemplating all the pros and cons has led me to a rather momentous decision (at least for me, anyway). On May 1st, Celtic Remnants will be released on Amazon as a Kindle book. Thanks to programs like Calibre and Mobipocket Creator, I was able to pre-format the book in accepted Kindle design prior to uploading it to my Amazon author's page. The cover was put together long ago, with a few tweaks here and there. For the curious among you, the woman depicted on the book cover is not me but rather my look-alike cousin Sheila. Thanks, Sheed!
More surprising still, I was offered a contract for Celtic Remnants recently and turned it down (gulp!). Surely, I must be crazy. However, I just know I'll kick myself if I don't try it on my own first.
When Celtic Remnants goes live next week, I'll post the news front and center. Stay tuned!
*Related Post: Bits About Books (02/13/11).