Traditional Publishing to Self-Publishing
Two years ago, I thought all my prayers had been answered after landing a traditional publishing deal for my uplifting trilogy of novels.
However, upon regular bouts of pulling my hair out and eye rolls a-plenty, I quickly felt the siren call of self-publishing. I took the leap earlier this year.
Why would I do such a thing? Read on . . .
1) Creative control
You won’t be surprised to learn that, as an author, I am a creative beast. Emphasis on the word ‘beast’. Even though my previous publisher was a huge advocate for new writers, I realised fairly early on that I didn’t want to ever be told what I can and can’t publish. I’ve got ideas about ideas about ideas and self-publishing gives me the freedom to explore those at my own risk / delight. I tried, but the beast just wouldn’t be tamed.
2) Buddy up
Writing is a solitary job which is lovely sometimes. Occasionally though, I do emerge from the land of custard cream crumbs and existential inner-crises to find buddies in my field. Writers in general are a very friendly bunch but I have to admit that the self-publishing posse hooked me good and proper. With their never-ending sharing of support, advice, expertise and wisdom, there is always somebody waving metaphorical pom-poms for me, and I’m glad to do the same for them.
I’m also discovering that readers of self-published books are equally as awesome and I’ve even started weekly Facebook Live videos just so I can connect with them. Does sitting in front of a screen waving at people on the other side take me out of my comfort zone? Absolutely. But it’s worth it. And I explain why in my recent blog post.
3) Show me the money
I’m yet to buy that cottage by the sea or even that outstanding pair of leopard-print biker boots from M&S. But I now sleep better at night knowing that any pennies my slaved-over stories might make, go to me and just me.
As artists, we’re meant to say that we don’t do it for the money, and maybe that’s not where the initial spark comes from. But come on, folks – art is work, right? And if you’re on a budget like I am, there will be even more work ahead. Try this article on Strategies for Publishing on a Budget.
4) Winds of change
A good friend of mine likes to say, ‘the one thing you can rely on in life is change’. This is astoundingly true. Ideas change, stories change, appetites change. In my new-found world of self-publishing, I can adapt and mould what I’m putting out into the world accordingly. I don’t need to ask anyone’s permission. I don’t need to get it past any red tape or wait until it fits someone else’s timescale. The very possibility of this makes me very, very happy, and I’m fairly sure happy writers make for better writers.
5) Waving pom-poms
I’m bringing those metaphorical pom-poms back out. Honestly, I know a traditional publisher has expertise, experience, funds and contacts (I’m still building those things up) … But nobody – and I mean NOBODY – believes in my books as much as I do.
As a self-published author I can hold my work up to the world and absolutely insist that people take notice. I am not distracted by other projects, other people, other promises. I will wave my pom-poms tirelessly and will learn some kind of complex cheerleading somersault if I have to. I’m not scared.
Maybe you’re thinking of making the leap from traditional publishing to self-publishing? It’s a lot of hard work but it’s so worth it for all of the reasons listed above.
It completes the #LifeIsYoursTrilogy and is a sassy, soulful novel about love, courage and the power of forgiveness.
To find out more about Abigail and get a FREE book of her poems, visit: www.abigailyardimci.com