A Case for Self Publishing by Sheron Wood McCartha

So you’re thinking about it? Right? You just read that list of those authors who have made more than a million sales at Amazon.

You know that most likely it won’t be you…but why put up obstacles? Who really knows? I would settle for just a nice living from my writing. I would love to do what I am passionate about and have fun every day…well almost every day.

Still, you run into them, you know, the writers who angst about not getting a response from their 200 query letters and can’t imagine not formatting and sending in a killer synopsis, and first three chapters all doubled spaced in Times Roman font. All following big publishing rules for submission. And then they wait.

Or, the person who mumbles, “Oh you’re just self-published”, and the others who don’t consider you really published if there isn’t a stamp of approval by a known publisher. “Self-publishers write terrible books”, they say…as if they had statistics and accurate knowledge that would validate such a conclusion. As if there has never been any poor books put out by legacy publishers.

Millions of readers say otherwise. Millions of readers are reading ebooks and ordering paperbacks. I doubt they check who is publishing every book they read? Does a publisher’s name influence your choice? Is that how books are bought?

You’ve heard the naysayers who cling to the old ways like a drowning man onto a plank of wood in a tossing storm.

So why should you self publish?

  1. Times are tight and publishers are even tighter. It’s getting hard to get in with a fictional novel unless you’re Amanda Hockings with a million books sold, or Steve Jobs, and he’s dead. Reality check time. Big publishing houses have missed the boat sometimes on figuring out blockbuster hits. Scholastic picked up Harry Potter for crying out loud after big publishing houses turned it down, or didn’t bid it up.
  2. You’ve tried for ten years to publish and you know you have a book that people will like. Get it out there. Let the readers decide rather than a few gatekeepers who often choose at a given moment and then never reconsider their decision. No second chances in that game. And the rejection may be not because it wasn’t good, but just because they accepted a similar one last week and that slot is now filled.
  3. People ask me if I’m making money. I answer, “More than gathering dust on the shelf” that made me $0. What have you got to lose? Just be wary of the scams. Yes, another blog for another day, but so far all revenues have covered any expenses. So it can be done. It does take work.
  4. Maybe you are retired, currently unemployed, or have time on your hands. Or have room for a part time side job. I worked full time for years and wrote on the side. Then, they closed down the art gallery where I worked and the economy was terrible. Finding a new job where I wanted to work wasn’t easy. Okay, I was picky. Now, instead of depression and feeling useless, I’m learning exciting new skills and getting paid for the experience. My life has purpose and I’m having fun. There is a psychological side to it—a sense of purpose…a sense of accomplishment.
  5. You are your own boss and set your own schedule. You decide on the cover, what your write, how you price it and no one else tells you what to do.  I don’t have big gas bills and I have a short commute. No stop lights.
  6. You have exciting conversations at parties about your book and you give speeches and show what you have written. Long lost college roommates e-mail you and tell you how much they liked your work. You amaze your mother who is astounded that her own child has written a novel, or two, or more.
  7. You love to write and your dream is to see you book in hand. Now.

Facts: It takes a long time to get published. It took eighteen months to get Baen books to ask for my entire manuscript after countless other queries to other publishers and then a year after that they said, “No thanks”. I wasted two years because they said, “No simultaneous submissions.” They make up all these rules and like sheep, wannabe authors follow them afraid to rock the boat or ruin their chances.

Even if you were accepted right this second, acceptance in hand today, it takes a year or more to hit the shelf. Most likely two. Will those shelves be there in two years?

What is everyone getting for Christmas? Most likely a Kindle Fire, an Ipad2, a Nook, or an iphone. Why am I a self-published, Indie author? It just makes sense for me in my place and at this time. Why not? Why wait any longer?

And if you are successful, didn’t a big publishing house offer Amanda Hockings an amazing contract? You can put both oars in the water if you want. You can do both and no one will arrest you. Ask Dean Wesley Smith about that. It isn’t an “either, or” situation.

If you’re smart about it, you have nothing to lose. Hey! Don’t these babies look great and fun to read? Why don’t you try one? An ebook is $2.99-$3.99. Less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

Find my books at Amazon Also at Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Smashwords multiplatform formats, Kindle.

Caught In Time: an exciting time travel adventure about Rowyna Grae, a clone who goes back in time a thousand years to her medieval past in order to save the future, not to change it. But does.

A Dangerous Talent for Time: What if you could control events and change time? What if you were that future and whoever was changing time, changed your now? What would you do to stop him or her?

Also at Amazon, Smashword, Kindle, Apple ibookstore, Kobo, B&N.

 And coming in December: Cosmic Entanglement: An alien probe crash lands on the planet Alysia.  What do they do? Outer space is no longer safe.

Will be everywhere online and paperback at Amazon.

My Blog at www.scifibookreview.com to discuss all things in science fiction and fantasy.

And http://www.AlysianUniverse.com for further information on my books and the world of Alysia.

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13 Responses to A Case for Self Publishing by Sheron Wood McCartha

  1. Sheron, thank you for doing this. You are bang on.

  2. You are so right, my self pubbed books are making a lot more money than my piles of rejection letters or my years of keeping the post office in business. Thanks so much for a great post, now to check out those books of yours….

  3. Great post, good luck with your books. Christmas is a great season to have more time, so a Dangerous Talent for Time would be a good choice!

  4. Great job, couldn’t have said it better myself. The only thing I would add is that even if DO get “published” by someone, they keep the majority of what the book earns and there is absolutely no guarantee they will buy your next work or publish it in a timely manner.
    Now back to writing!

  5. Beverley says:

    I Enjoyed your article. Very encouraging as a matter of fact. :0)

  6. Very well put, and superb points! One other point worth mentioning is the wholeness one’s novel can retain if it’s not been put through hoops to meet perceived publisher’s desires. Your books sound great, Sheron–I’m looking forward to reading them. Which is the “first” of these time books?

    • Sheron says:

      Paula Hey! First is “Caught In Time” because it goes back the furthest in time. (Medieval like) However, while each is in the same universe, entertwined by time, every novel can be read as a stand alone. each has a complete story.

  7. I keep a foot steadily in both camps. (I was born in October, see?) The result is a very valid basis of comparison. One day I might write a book about it!

  8. rasanaatreya says:

    Great post, Sheron & Yvonne. You know times are a changin’ when publishers like Penguin get into subsidy/vanity publishing.

  9. Great article; we need to get the word out that self-publishing is not the dead-end it was once considered. I’ve been traditionally published by both a big NY house and small presses, and I still love self-publishing. Having total control is awesome.

  10. I’m cutting this out for future reference – GREAT stuff!