When I started writing my first book, still not officially titled mind you, I debated with myself if I would try to do it the old fashioned way and find an agent, or try my hand at self-publishing online. For months in my spare time I did a lot of research and while I started with the conventional thinking of 'I'll find an agent and then get a publisher and then get an advance', my views have swung completely to the opposite side. When my book is ready to publish, hopefully early this summer, I'll be doing it myself online. I decided today I'm going to talk about why I changed my mind.
To say it's not about money would be a bold faced lie, so we'll get that out of the way first. I'm well aware that there is a huge risk you wont make any money. At least with a small advance if your book doesn't do well you've gotten some money for all your hard work. The thing is, you need to risk it to get the biscuit and the chances of reward are much, much higher with self-publishing. This post over at E-Book Formatting Fairies was a real eyeopener at just how well one can really do with e-publishing, and it shows a balanced look at the sales, rather than only publishing success stories. Highly recommended reading and very motivational!
Another important reason was marketing. My initial belief was that when you go to an agent and a publisher they do the marketing work for you. This may have been the case years ago, and is still the case with established sellers and hit books, but for someone just starting out today, especially in my genre of romance? Forget it. You do all the work yourself I discovered. You need to get out there and do blog tours, get on social networking (follow my twitter), be active in the community, and use your own leg work to sell your book and that's with a publisher! You might as well e-publish independently and still do the work yourself because at least then the reward is all yours!
Lastly, control. I get to control what my cover looks like. I get to control what goes in to my book and how it's presented. No one has a real say other than me. I get to be my own boss and if I succeed it's all on me. Of course, if I fail it's all my fault too, but that's a risk worth taking.
I hope to have my book available from all the major online book shops early this summer. Still needs a title though...