The decision to self-publish

At the beginning of 2012, I finished writing my first book, Radiant. All 113,000+ words of it.

It was an odd feeling – deeply satisfying and euphoric…yet unsettling.

Because that’s when I realised the hard work had only just begun. Since then, I’ve edited. Then edited some more. Had a few close people I trust read it. Then edited it again. Then had an editor take a look at it, as well a professional proofreader. More edits. Finally I let Tech Support (my husband) read it. Oh yeah, and did I mention, I edited some more?

During last year, as well as editing, I started to plot the sequel. And started writing another book entirely. Pretty exciting, but also disturbing at the same time because that’s when I realised that this writing bug I seem to have had since I was old enough to read and write, WILL NEVER LEAVE ME ALONE.

The other project I’ve been working on is getting published. Apparently harder than writing the actual book. Deep breath.

To my surprise, during the journey of researching my publishing options,  I decided that self publishing was the way to go.

Why? Because I’m impatient and can’t wait for a traditional publisher to pick me up? Perhaps initially, but upon further research, not so much.

Here’s my rationale for deciding to take the self-publishing route:

  • Digital is the future. We’ve all watched the evolution of the music industry during the last decade and now publishing is changing at a rapid rate too. Traditional publishers are only just beginning to catch up to the ebook revolution, particularly in Australia. Whilst not everyone has a Kindle or ebook reader, in marketing terms when you compare your reach between traditional vs. digital, digital wins hands down in my mind. Interesting fact: I was stunned to learn recently that when published in Australia, your book stays on the ‘new release’ stand for 6 – 8 weeks. Then it’s off to the regular fiction shelves for a limited time. That’s it. Game over. An ebook on the other hand has no shelf life.
  • I want to join the revolution. At first I was somewhat sceptical of my ‘surprise’ Kindle (a gift from Tech Support) a couple of years ago. But soon I was a convert. It removed the need for the clutter of all non-essential books, a necessity with a three year old taking over the house. It also meant the discovery of some great new authors that I just simply wouldn’t have come across otherwise. And I still read hard copy books. I even go to the library. Who knew?!
  • Marketing is my day job. Self-publishing gives me complete control over how I market the book and it also means the rights remain mine. Does that make me a control freak? Probably.
  • A worldwide audience and the benefits of technology. I’m genuinely excited about options like Amazon and Smashwords which will enable me to get my book out there to a worldwide audience. Paired with my marketing background,  love of WordPress and the benefits of social media to help me to promote it, I’m ready to get started.

So whilst it’s the end of my first book, this is really just the beginning…

Does my self-publishing rationale resonate with any other writers out there? Or are you still aiming for a traditional publisher to pick you up?

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