Why I Preferred to Self-Publish

I don’t want to leave a false impression. When I say ‘preferred’ to self-publish, I’m not suggesting I had disappointed the expectations of an unspecified number of literary agents who were counting on adding me to their client list.

did meet an agent who gave me her card and said I could email her my finished novel – she stressed finished and that she wasn’t interested in reading a first draft – but by the time I was ready, her web site indicated she wasn’t looking for new clients.

Instead of being disappointed, I was relieved. At least I wouldn’t have to wait for someone else to get excited about my first novel before it could be published. To be honest, I wasn’t sure there was all that much to be excited about.

I had done my best; liked the story. As I handed it around to a few people for initial reaction, they gave positive feedback. And I was proud of myself for finishing it. I looked forward to reactions from readers who weren’t friends or family. But I’m realistic; no other author is going to read Death on a Dig and scrabble for their anti-anxiety medication because I  have now arrived on the scene.

I’m continuing to write, slowly but steadily, and I expect to get better at it.

If some of that sounds self-serving – making lemonade out of a lemon, the lemon being the lack of an agent or publisher – something happened to reinforce my initial reaction.  I had waffled about using a professional editor and at the last minute decided to look for one. That lead to a surprise offer of a contract from a small publisher. But after reading the contract, and thinking about time lines, looking at their social media presence and that of other books they had published, I rejected it.

I came to the conclusion that having a print edition would be a distraction rather than a help, given everything else I would still have to do for myself. For new authors looking at the medium and long term, who with or without a publishing contract have to learn to promote themselves and their books, there’s a real danger of getting so caught up in the process that you don’t have time to write.

I’ve learned a lot doing it on my own and I expect it will serve me well later.  And I like being in control.  #indiebook

Does any of this resonate with you? Leave a comment below.
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