The Self Publishing Conundrum Continued

Some people ask why I chose to self-publish. Well, here’s the scoop!

I’ve been actively seeking agents for my books for the past five years and in that time the industry has had a huge shift. When I first began to take a wary step into the world of being an author, I did so with great trepidation. At the time, I had only written one book and like most first time writers I thought that I’d become the next J.K. Rowlings on my first attempt. Once realism settled in and I attended my first writer’s conference I realized that reworking my first book for the 400th time was not the answer. I needed to move forward. I needed to learn more.

Since then I’ve written four more books (that was two years ago) and I have to say I’ve learned quite a bit. I’ve continued the disappointing task of querying agents and following the “prescribed” plan for a new author. I got a lot of positive feedback and lot of empty rejections. What I took from that experience was, however, the comments I kept hearing over and over again. “We love your work, but with the shift in the publishing industry we’re having to be more selective of the titles we take on.” On several occasions I received words to that effect, including one rejection that encouraged me to self-publish my title. What I’ve taken from this is that in order for me to have my dream of my books being in the hands of readers, I would just have to take the initiative and put it there. I hired an editor and spent due time on polishing my work. I have since taken the plunge into self-publishing.

Sally Singletary's Curiosity Book Cover

Is it going to be easy? Will my book become a bestseller? Of course not, I don’t expect either of these things to be true. I’m not naive. I know that the road to success is filled with many hurdles, but for me, success isn’t measured in how many books I sell. It’s measured in how happy my readers are. If my book makes it into the hands of a small number of readers who really enjoy my work, then that’s worth it for me. Sure, I’d love to make writing my full time career, but I also know that the odds of that happening are slim to none. Still, would I rather spend what little time I have writing or begging agents to take my work. I chose to write. I chose to take advantage of the unique opportunity modern technology affords us. Sometimes it isn’t about being a millionaire. Even the best authors who are traditionally published don’t make millions. They too have to write and write and write some more. And even then some of them fail to stay on top.

My advice to you, if you’re considering self-publishing, is to carefully consider what it is you hope to accomplish with your work. If you’re looking for an easy way to get your books out there, then take a step back. Whatever you do, don’t just throw your books to the masses and hope they’ll stick. Take the time to research, have your books read by many beta readers, hire an editor and spend the time and money necessary to make it the best you can. If after all that, you still feel like your book is ready for the world, then I encourage you to put it out there. Just be prepared for the time it takes to market and sell your book. It can be both challenging and rewarding. For me, the rewards come in fans who give my work praise.

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