I have already finished a novel and decided to post my second novel on a blog and give people something to read while I decide on publishing.
My question for you is do I self publish my book or try and find a literary agent. I have sent my work out to a few but I am slightly impatient and want to know if they like it or not. I know it will take time but I wanted to get your thoughts on self publishing.
The publishing aspect of writing seems to be a recurrent theme for me. Well the easy answer would be to refer you to my post: Getting Published, the Basics…
Fortunately for you, I’m a notorious work-a-holic when it comes to writing (just ask my wife). Well in my previous post about getting published I went over the pros and cons. Though it sounds like you’ve already tried taking steps towards traditional publishing. You say you’ve sent your work out to them, I sincerely hope by that you mean that you sent out a literary query. If not, I suggest you start writing one.
For help writing literary queries, I’d suggest this link.
They have some wonderful examples of successful queries.
If I seem blunt, It’s just because I’m saying this for your own good… LEARN TO BE MORE PATIENT! Getting published is an exacting task and it takes a long time and a lot of work not matter which route you take. Literary agents literally get bombarded with queries, and they can take 4-8 months to respond. If you email them queries, they may not respond at all. Also, just because they don’t like your work, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not publish-worthy, it simply means that it’s not the type of thing they’re looking for, so be sure to research whom you’re sending them to.
Honestly if you’re hoping that self publishing is a quicker and easier path, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Self publishing is a great way to get yourself out there if you have the time, money, and know-how to navigate the waters. The problem is that you are responsible for EVERYTHING, and when I say everything, I mean it.
You can’t simply type something up, publish it, and then sit back and watch the $$ and praise come rolling in. It doesn’t work that way. A few big things you need to remember…
1. You have to come up with a cover. I don’t care if it’s digital or hard copy, in my experience, without an attractive cover, a book rarely does well in this market. The absence of a cover or a poorly done one is indicative of a lack of pride in your workmanship, something someone who is shopping around for a new book to read will pick up on. Remember, people are looking for something to immerse themselves in. Time is money and people these days are pick on how it’s used. A good cover done by a professional artist can run from $200-500. The latter if you don’t have a working relationship with your artist.
2. Copyrighting… Now I’m not just talking about a copyright or an ISBN#. EVERYTHING is copyrighted right down to the type of font you use. Using images in your book? Make sure you have the rights to them. Fonts? Buy a copyright or make sure they’re public domain. Also, make sure NOTHING in your book is copyrighted elsewhere, including song lyrics, direct quotes, etc. Even things that are considered public domain may have their versions copyrighted, so be careful.
3. Editing. There is nothing more damaging to a writer’s reputation than a book that’s chock-full of errors (grammar, spelling, and plot holes). You’ll want to have someone do your editing for you… and your mom or a close friend who doesn’t want to offend you isn’t the right person for the job… and professional editors charge by the word they’re never cheap, especially for lengthy novels.
4. Advertising. You are responsible for your own advertising. This is insanely difficult because everyone is trying to advertise theirs as well. Personally, I do mine by blogging, and social media. Twitter, Facebook, etc. There are also several pay services, but given how little authors usually get for their books, I recommend against it.
So hopefully I haven’t scared you off of self publishing, it’s a fine way to get your work out there to people. Just be warned, you’re trading wait time for footwork. There are obvious advantages to self publishing, including have complete creative control over your work, just remember, it is by no means easier than the traditional route if you factor in the amount of effort you need to put in.
Be mindful of which route you take and research everything BEFORE agreeing to anything or you could wind up signing your hard work away.
Readers, what are your thoughts on self publishing?
Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.
I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.
Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:
Catch you on the flip side!