People often ask me why I went the self-published route rather than traditional publishing. Sometimes, on the difficult days, I even wonder myself.
Part of it was control. I’ve heard horror stories of authors hating the covers that the publishers have given them and having no recourse to change them. Or they’ve been asked to take out some element of the book that they feel is important.
In self-publishing, I have all of the control. I also have all the risk and the burden, so it’s a trade-off. But for now it is working for me. While I am relatively unknown, there isn’t as much risk.
I also like having all the information. I can see how many sales I am having per day, and adjust accordingly. I can see what is working, and what’s not. I can see how many copies I’m selling for what price, which makes estimating the amount of money I will make in a given period a lot easier.
Another reason was the freedom. I have a hero that’s pansexual. My next heroine is demisexual. I can write about any topic I like, in any way I choose. And I don’t even have to think twice or try to second-guess a publisher as to what they might want.
Again, this is not always a good thing. Sometimes the gatekeepers are right. You need a lot of trust in yourself, your work, and your choices when you’re a self-publisher. The support system you get from publishers can also be an amazing advantage, both morally and financially.
Money is another factor. I don’t think that I’ll necessarily earn ‘more’ as a self-publisher, (despite a number of authors saying that’s why they chose self-publishing) since I’ll probably sell less than if I had been trad published. But a higher percentage of each book sold will be going to me, and that’s a nice feeling. Though there are more costs, too, so again it’s a trade-off. Maybe, if and when I get popular, I can say that it was the smarter financial move, too.
I also like the idea that I can write to my own schedule. I’ve always been a quick writer, so being able to put out as many new releases as I like and only be dependent on how fast I can get the words down is a big bonus. They say that success in self-publishing is quite dependent on regular releasing, so I knew that I had that on my side when I made the decision.
I also figured that I’m smart. I learn quickly. I could make this self-publishing thing work for me. I spent a lot of time researching the best way to do things before jumping in. That’s not to say that I haven’t made mistakes. I have, and will continue to do so. But I had confidence that I could make a success of it.
Whether this is true is yet to be seen. Maybe eventually I’ll go hybrid. It does seem to be a popular option. But for now I am happy with self-publishing. I think I made the right choice.