Completing your manuscript is only the first step in getting your writing recognised, and deciding how to publish it is perhaps the most important stage that you will go through. Whether you would prefer to self-publish, or you want to go down the traditional route, it’s important that you are fully informed when you make your decision.
You might think that self-publishing is a little less lucrative than the traditional method, but on the other hand you are likely to get your words in print a lot quicker if you do it yourself. We had a look at what some other self-published authors said about their self-publishing experience to help you make your mind up.
Griselda Heppel self-published her rewriting of Dante’s Inferno for young adults, titled Ante’s Inferno. She explained that despite trying to get her work published traditionally, she actually found that publishers got the wrong idea about her book and her aims for her target audience, and felt that she would be better off publishing it herself and finding her own audience. She explained “Most publishers felt that young people wouldn’t be able to cope with such disparate themes as Greek mythology and the First World War – but I knew this wouldn’t be a problem!” Heppel went on to say that it is not uncommon for traditional publishers to underestimate their readership, which makes it up to the writer to make sure they get the opportunity to give it a go.
Crime writer John Pye self-published his best-selling eBook Cathedral of Lies, and turned to self-publishing after two years of rejections from traditional publishers. Explaining his decision to do it himself, Pye said that the biggest advantage of self-publishing is actually being a published writer. Without having gone down this route, it is likely that he would never have seen his book in print. “I am in control of my book,” he continued. “I can change the price; change the cover and the content if the need occurs. I can even view my sales hour by hour.” Having the freedom to do as you wish with your book is surely one of the most attractive aspects of self-publishing; being that many traditional publishers will take control of these aspects for you.
Heppel agrees with Pye in that the freedom and control are the biggest advantages of self-publishing, however both authors concur that the marketing of your novel is the biggest headache and often takes longer than the actual writing of your book. It can be a stressful task, and both Heppel and Pye insist that getting to know social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and even Goodreads are invaluable for spreading publicity of your book.
Both authors agree that they wouldn’t hesitate before self-publishing again, with Pye noting that there is no point in waiting for a publisher to realise how good you are, when you already know it yourself!