Tag Archives: self-publishing

What To Do When All Else Fails? Succeed!

Most of my LCRW friends know how hard I’ve struggled to become a published author. I made it through all the hoops…went to writer’s conferences, had my work critiqued by professionals in the biz and by my peers, pursued agents and managed to hook one with a strong reputation, grabbed the interest of editors from “big” publishing houses. And then…things went downhill from there and my books never got published.

What went wrong? I ask myself that countless times. Was it bad timing? A difficult marketplace? Editors busy looking for that “best seller” and not seeing that possibility in my work?

In the end, I have no answers. But if there is anything we writers do in this business…it’s persevere. Because the truth is, the first person that needs to believe in me is…well…ME. And I do. I have to admit, every step up the mountain of success has surprised me. I dream big, but wait for that familiar moment of disappointment. That step onto crumbly stone that sends me going backwards instead of forwards. The climb is difficult. Painful. But the view every time I look back? Beautiful.

My next step, which feels like a step back but is really a huge leap forward, is to self-publish my book SEVEN LITTLE SECRETS. It’s a young adult novel about a high school cheerleading squad and the co-captain who takes her own life. I wrote it many years ago, and it had some close calls with publishers, but ended up a no-go. But with 13 REASONS WHY making headlines these days, this is a great time to market it (thanks, Lisa Scott, for pointing that out for me). So I intend to do so. And do it well. Because in the end, I haven’t failed. I’m just doing it different than how I envisioned ten years ago. I’m using different strategies, finding a way around rushing rivers and mudslides. But still moving forward.

That alone, makes me a success.

 

 

 

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Self-Publish or Traditionally Publish?

I know people who have signed with large publishing houses, small presses, and vanity presses. I also know people who have self-published their work. With all these different venues, it’s difficult to know which way to go with your novel.

First off, let me say that I have self-published a middle grade novel as well as an anthology written by my writer’s group. I also have an agent who has brought three different novels I’ve written to various major publishing houses. I have never worked with a vanity press or a small press. There. Full disclosure out of the way.

Here is what needs to be considered when deciding which way to go with your book.

Large Publishing House:

* They take a cut of your profits, and your agent takes a cut of what the publishing house pays out to you.

* They professionally edit your work without you paying any of the costs out of pocket.

* They give you a top-notch professional cover for your work.

* Your book is likely to be on bookshelves across the country and possibly overseas, and also in libraries.

* The publishing house may help with marketing and book signing opportunities.

* Your work will be offered both in hard copy and as an eBook.

* Can take up to two years for your book to become available

Vanity Press:

* You will possibly pay thousands of dollars in upfront costs.

* You can pay to have one of their editors work on your book, or use one of your own (or choose to edit the book yourself).

* Your book will be offered at on-line retailers, but most likely not in bookstores or libraries unless you do the work to get it in there.

* The company will print bound books for you, but you will pay a fee for those books.

* You will do the marketing of your book yourself.

* Your book will most likely be available to the public within a year.

Small Press:

* They will take a cut of your profits.

* They use their own editors, but don’t charge you an editing fee.

* Some small press houses can get your book into bookstores. Your book will be offered at on-line retailers.

* Some small presses are nothing more than a print-on-demand factory. They make profits on your books that you could be keeping for yourself.

* Depending on the press, your book may be available for purchase between a month to two years.

Self-Publishing:

* There are many venues to use including Amazon.com, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble’s PubIt.

* You decide the price, therefore decide the profit you will receive from each book.

* You have complete control over your work, including overseeing the cover and the edits.

* It will not likely be sold in bookstores unless you can convince local retailers to carry them.

* You either have to pay someone to format and upload your work to a self-publishing site, or figure it out for yourself. This includes producing a cover.

* You can have your work ready for sale within 48 hours.

 

There you have it, the pros and cons of four ways to go regarding publishing. As an aside, in order to find a large publishing house to purchase your book, unless you write picture books or have a way to get your foot in the door on your own, you will need a literary agent. And even if you have a literary agent, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll sell your book. Also, some people have no trouble marketing and selling their self-published books while others struggle and are fortunate to sell ten copies. You probably won’t get rich selling your book no matter what, which is why so many authors have day jobs. But hopefully this will give you an idea about which way you’d like to proceed. Feel free to add to this post if you know of other pros and cons.

 

 

 

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Now I Can Say I’m a (Self) Published Author

I bit the bullet. So hard, in fact, I made indentations in the metal. After years of hard work, I finally made my middle grade novel available to the masses. And on my own terms. How do I feel?

Relieved. Happy. Fulfilled. Freaked out of my ever-lovin’ mind. Why? Because now people will (hopefully) purchase my book and decide whether or not it was worth what they paid. And then they will let the world know in their reviews.

I know authors who say they never read reviews of their work. They don’t have the thick skin needed to deal with  negativity. Me? I don’t know yet. I might read them, I might not. Maybe no one will buy my book. Maybe no one will leave a review. So therefore, maybe I won’t have to know what people think.

But gosh darn it all, I sure will be curious! At any rate, I’m elated that I took the plunge. Got my feet wet. Okay, soaked myself silly. Because I’ve done what so many others have done, and I feel pretty good about it. Now it’s time for me to work on the next book in the series. Sure, I’ll work on the marketing aspect as well. But for me, I’ve already done the hard part.

I’ve written a book.

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