Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Pros and Cons of Going Rogue
Are you ready to self-publish? Despite what you might’ve heard about books selling like hotcakes and push-button publishing, it’s a little more complicated than that.
If anything, self-publishing requires MORE discipline and dedication than taking a traditional route. Everywhere you go, people will snub you, or worse, disparage your career choices.
There’s a definite rogue quality assigned to self-publishing and it chafes the status quo. Although the rude behavior is not as prevalent (or as belligerent) as it once was, it still exists, especially by those stoically hanging on to the vestiges of traditional publishing. It’s not personal. Any time you rock a boat, those with the best seats are going to get nervous.
As this is the first stop of my Indie Roadshow I’ll start with a balanced look at the good and not-so-good side of self-publishing to give you an overview of what you’ll encounter should you take this step as well.
• You are totally in control. Creative control. Administrative control. Editing control. You’re an Oprah microcosm.
• You set the time table. No more rushing and rearranging schedules to meet an editor’s deadlines. All your deadlines are self-imposed.
• Write what’s in your heart. There’s no editor or agent to nix your project because they feel they can’t sell it to the marketing committee.
• Most of the money is yours. This is my favorite part, and probably my biggest reason for trying on the rogue coat. Depending on your price point, you can earn up to 70% of your cover price.
• Remember that control part? With that and a side of fries, you also get all the responsibility. Trust me. It’s a lot more work than it looks from the sidelines—that is, if you don’t fudge on any of the details.
• It costs money. Other than the writing, you can hire someone to edit, design the cover, format, advertise, schedule blog tours, and send your book out to reviewers. The more you can do for yourself, the more money in your pocket.
• The stigma. Honestly, you’d think there was a giant, honking wart on your nose by the way some people react to self-publishing. Don’t feed the beast by putting out a bad book. Get it professionally edited by someone who does not have a vested interest in it.
• It’s lonely. Sure there are self-publishing communities, but in the end, you’re still in this alone. You will LOVE every nameless soul who buys your book because those are the people who had faith in you, and that’s something money can’t buy.
Should you decide to go rogue, go in with your eyes open. Don’t count on luck or the kindness of strangers. Expect all the work to be on your shoulders—most of it will be. Farm out what you can’t do and roll up your sleeves and do the rest yourself.
Just remember there are just as many benefits as there are pitfalls. If you have a little of the entrepreneurial spirit in you, this might be a road worth taking.
Are there any pitfalls in self-publishing that worry you? Let’s discuss.
Bio: Maria Zannini used to save the world from bad advertising, but now she spends her time wrangling chickens, and fighting for a piece of the bed against dogs of epic proportions. Occasionally, she writes novels.
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THE DEVIL TO PAY: Shannon McKee just made the worst deal of her life and has offered her soul in trade. She never expected they’d come to collect so soon.