How long would it take you to count how many people have uttered those four words to you over the last year? And how many fingers would you need to count how many of those people will actually succeed in writing a book? Could you name off the top of your head the amount of writers that you know who are already published, or close to getting there?
I am writing a book. And I know that it won’t be easy. The writing, as laborious as it seems sometimes, is actually the easy part. And when I say laborious, I don’t mean that I don’t enjoy it, of course I do, I’m a writer, I love to be creative, I love to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and let myself write, only stopping at the end of the day to go back and read what magic has materialised in front of me. I mean that writing a book is time-consuming, it can be frustrating, it can be infuriating, and it can be confusing. There are no many questions, so many problems, and so many re-writes until you are actually satisfied with your work that sometimes I wonder if it is worth it at all.
But the writing is not the hard part. Publishing; that will be the hard part. A friend of mine self-published a short story last year and every now and then she receives a bright and cheery email from Amazon informing her that she just made $2.37 on the sale of one of her books. And that is great. But I’m writing a book for an audience. I’m writing a book for people to read it en masse, not for one person to stumble across it once or twice a month and download a free sample before actually choosing to read my book.
So my choices are as follows: I can spend a year, or more, chasing traditional publishers and agents, hoping against hope that somebody will take a chance on me and decide to pay me for my book, or I can take my own chance on a self-publishing firm such as Mereo where I know that my book will get out there. As much as I believe in myself, I know that those feelings will not always be reciprocated throughout the traditional publishing world, and so recruiting the help of a company of experts will certainly help me to get my book to where I want it to go. On the shelves, on the e-readers, and most importantly, into people’s hands.