Monday, March 10, 2014

To self publish or not, that is the question...

I was going to blog about how rude people are, but this came up on Facebook, so I changed my mind.

You all have seen me talk about my friend Gae for like the last 7 years, right? Well, she has a friend that just received her 1st rejection from an agent. I guess people immediately offered the suggestion of self publishing.

As you know, I'm all on board for indie publishing, but truly, I don't see it as a first option. Especially after ONE REJECTION?!?!? Really? Is that what the industry is coming to?  Do we really need gratification that quickly that we don't want to put the hard work in to at least TRY to get a publishing contract with a traditional house any more?

My first book was a middle grade superhero series. I received over 100 rejection letters on it. It is now a file in my computer. It will not be published in its current form. I am however rewriting it and turning it into something very different.

My second book happened to be Never Eighteen. I went through many rigorous rounds of editing and rewrites before sending it out. I received about 25 rejections before it got picked up.

Before I decided to indie publish Dissected I sent it to my former agent, who didn't want ti. I sent it to my editor at HMH. I then sent it out to 5 agents, all who rejected it. Without an agent, without a house, I knew I'd be looking at least two years down the road at a release date. With a traditionally published book under my belt, and fans asking me for the next one, I didn't want to wait that long.

I researched, talked to friends that had self published, and thought about it long and hard before deciding to go that way.

Was it worth it? I'm not sure. Probably? Maybe? Am I glad I did it? Yes. However, I've
not had much time to market the book as I've had many family and personal things come up. But, it does no damage to have the book sit there and wait until I do. And though the sales haven't been great as of yet because of that, there have still been sales pretty steadily.  I don't have to answer to anyone, I write what I want to write, I don't have to wait and I don't have to share royalties with everyone under the sun, making my chunk much bigger.

On the other hand, there's no advance, no books sent to reviewers and media, the editing process is way harder and if I do want reviews from legit sources for instance, Kirkus, etc, I have to pay out the nose for them.

I'd like to be traditionally published again. I'd like to self publish again. I like both ways. But I don't think it's wise to just jump on the self pub bandwagon without trying the traditional route first. It's very rewarding having someone choose you, your work to make their list and put on bookshelves. It's still hard work, don't get me wrong, but to be selected from all the candidates out there from a pool of so many is gratifying.
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My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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