Guys! I am featuring Kelley York for the Hollowed book tour! I am so excited for her to be stopping by today!
Samantha asked if I'd talk a little about self-publishing today. I've gotten a lot of questions about it. This is only my first time self-pubbing, which means I am by no means a pro, and I'm still stumbling my way through a lot of it.
The Highs of Self-Publishing
When working with an editor, what you write has to pass their inspection. Now, if you're paired with an editor who loves your story and shares your vision, that's great! I was lucky enough to have this connection with my editors for HUSHED and MADE OF STARS.
But I like being in control. I like plotting, developing characters, building worlds and relationships...without input from others. Now and again I reach out to a crit partner or my wife to brainstorm something I can't quite figure out, but I like having that final say.
These are another big thing for me. I love, love, love designing my own covers. Am I as good as a designer from a pub house? No way. But I've had positive responses for the cover of HOLLOWED, so I know I'm on the right track. I enjoy doing it, and it takes the stress off of me that I might get a cover that I hate.
Marketing and Money.
Money is good and great. But with a traditional publisher, it's going to be a long while before you see any money from your book, unless you were fortunate to land a hefty advance. Not only do you have to wait for your book to release, you wait another 4 or 5 months before your royalties start coming in. With self-publishing, you see sales and your funds rolling in a lot faster.
I also enjoy connecting with bloggers and readers without a third party between us. It's more personal, and I like being able to express how sincerely grateful I am to all these people who step up to help me.
The Lows of Self-Publishing
See all that stuff I mentioned as good things?
They're all bad things, too.
Everything an editor normally does for you—the content editing, the copy editing, pointing out your character left the house without getting dressed...—now falls on the shoulders of the author. No matter the amount of editing I do, I know someone will still stumble across a hiccup, because without a good, professional editing, being perfect just isn't possible.
Making a good cover is hard. Making a bad cover is really, really easy, and detrimental to your book's success. A good cover is a step that cannot be skipped. Your cover and title are extremely important. If these fail, no one is going to pick up your book to read the summary and see how amazing it is!
Marketing and Money.
Sure, you get your money faster...but do you get as much? I would love to see a study on this, and I'm sure they exist. Undoubtedly, traditionally pubbed books bring in more fundage because of distribution.
It's a lot of effort to do your own marketing! I'm learning this after having set up my own blog tour and cover reveal and getting out ARCs, and trying to spread word about my book without being obnoxious about it. I've never been more grateful to all the work my publicists did for HUSHED, because doing it myself is so exhausting.
And there you have it. Self-publishing, and continuing to do it, really is a full-time job with all the effort involved if you plan on putting out several books a year. To anyone thinking about trying it: make sure you do your research and know the reality of how much energy, time, and patience it takes to do it right.
Thanks for having me!
Thanks for being here! :)