Starting last year I began seriously looking into publishing book one. I did a tremendous amount of research and decided a couple of things…
– I wanted to find an agent
– I wanted to traditionally publish the book
I had wanted to go this route so I could have the agent, who gets paid off royalties, handle all the “stuff” such as finding a publisher, marketing, etc. I had read on numerous occasions where independent publishing meant more $ in your pocket off sales but it also meant a full time job doing your own marketing. I very quickly learned after numerous rejection letters (I’m told this is a normal part of the process), that finding an agent isn’t so simple. Even having an agent doesn’t guarantee you landing a publisher. And without an agent, you can pretty much forget traditional publishing altogether. Larger publishers will not accept unsolicited manuscripts or writers without agents.
After multiple strike outs on the agent front, I had decided I would still try the agent route again after I made major re-writes in the book to restructure the format. Once wrapping up the re-writes, I had heard more and more good things about indie publishing (you’ll also hear this called self-publishing and the argument between self-publishing vs indie-publishing….well there are oodles of websites and other blogs to hash out that topic…for the sake of simplicity, I’ll call it indie publishing) that didn’t just involve profits.
Most notably, indie publishing wasn’t the big bad bear I had thought it would be. YES, it is a major time sink for doing the leg work and marketing myself. But this is a good time sink that I find I enjoy. But finding a publisher doesn’t mean you have found a marketer too…unless you’re willing to pay for it. So you’re not really gaining anything unless you just want to spend bank to have someone else do the work. I had also understood that indie publishing would still cost a fortune, but this was not an accurate assessment either.
Thus far I have paid to set up the website and have paid the book cover artist. Both are well worth the expense and using elance.com I paid far less for the cover art than I would have using a publisher I found who offered to do it for me at a steep price. Plus by going the ebook route first, I can submit my book to Smashwords and Amazon independently and for FREE. The same publisher that offered to have me pay steeply for the cover art was going to charge a fee for this service too. Amazon distributes to Kindle, of course. Smashwords covers all other ebook formats (Sony, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, etc…and they will submit to Amazon after $2000 in sales…but I can submit directly to Amazon without the minimum sales requirement, so that’s what I’m going to do).
So if you are thinking of writing and possibly publishing, time spent researching options is never wasted! I will be posting more later on resources I have found helpful during this process that might help others opting to join the rest of us traveling the indie publishing road.