Oh boy, aren't there already tons of posts like this? Everywhere you look, authors are raving (or, as others are saying, justifying) why they decided to self-publish and why it's been a great option for them. Critics say, perhaps they had no other options. Perhaps they weren't good enough for a large publisher. Perhaps they rushed too fast.
Hear me out.
I am not all pro self-publishing in expense of other options. In fact, I have a contract with a publisher to release my contemporary romance novel Under The Scrubs, so I suppose I am what people call a "hybrid" author.
But I do understand the benefits of self-publishing, and going into hitting the "publish" button on The Corner Office in June of this year, I knew what I was getting into and why.
Of numerous advantages big publishers can provide to starting authors, there are as many disadvantages and obstacles a not-so-good publisher can put in your way. Taken away flexibility is one of them. As a self-published author, I have complete freedom to lower my book price whenever I want, to post any chapter or an excerpt without publisher's consent, update my book with the link to my mailing list and so forth. Say, I wake up and decide I really love a half-a-page excerpt from my chapter 11 and want to publish it on my blog? I can do it in a flash. If I had a contract with a publisher, I couldn't do it without clearing it with them first, and they might not like to provide too much free content. They might like to be involved with "teaser" creations and other quotes from the book. And forget about lowering the price of my book on a whim or, god forbid, make it available for free.
What I don't have is access to big advertisement dollars, "serious" reviewers and journalists, and the stamp of approval of that big five publisher brand name on my book. I am not as likely to climb in the charts just because of the publisher of my book or to have my book appear next to a famous author who already made it, just because we share the same publisher. Those are great disadvantages, you might say. Those are prohibitive to a book's success.
Maybe, or maybe not.
Making it in publishing business is a long-term goal. It takes time to build your readership, your mailing list, your brand name. These things have nothing to do with the publisher who released your first book. But these things are easier to work toward is you have flexibility to post whatever you want about your book, whenever you want.
Self-publishing is not for everyone. It requires times and dedication, and you have to treat it like a business. Remember that saying, "Nevertheless, she persisted?" It couldn't be truer of self-publishing. You have to move past your self-doubt and ignore the days when everything goes wrong. You have to move forward toward your long-term goal, no matter how daunting it seems. You have to look past daily failures and celebrate them as learning opportunities (think you can do that when your read that one-star review?) You have to team up with other authors and lift each other up when things are tough (drinking memes are fair game).
I love this business. Authors are in it for the creative aspect, but they end up realizing they are turning into true entrepreneurs. And that's pretty darn amazing.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Katerina Baker is a contemporary romance author whose recent novel The Corner Office received numerous honorable mentions on many prominent romance blogs. When she isn't working or writing, she is blogging to help other authors succeed.