Monday, October 24, 2011

Self-Pubbed: Scary or Inspiring

I know everyone's wondering. What's funny is I don't think as writers we ever used to consider it. So why now?

Lately a lot of my friends have gone the self-pub route. Several of them are chick lit authors just looking to make their mark in the world. Unfortunately a lot of them are having trouble interesting an agent with the current market not being well received because of the name.

So when do you call it quits in the agent world?

Simple answer: Go with your gut.

Hard time figuring out what your guts telling you? Gosh, if it were easy everyone would do it. For me I don't feel it's time. I'm still having fun writing, querying, and just trying to find out the perfect route for me. No method is a cake walk but I have to be honest, hearing my friends are self-publishing terrifies me. As if I'm in their shoes hoping not to drown.

I find them so inspiring. That might actually be the scariest part. Here I'm watching them take a leap of faith into a side of publishing that used to not be well received and I've yet to decide what's right for me. That's admirable, they're courageous and strong.

So what's your take on those who self-publish? Are you one stepping into the waters?

40 comments:

LynnRush said...

I'm not stepping into the waters, but I have a dear friend who is and I'm a tad bit jealous of her gumption. I just don't have it. Though that could change later on down the road. But we'll see. :)

Miranda Hardy said...

I may step into the waters, but here's the thing..I've never tried the traditional route. After extensive research, self publishing isn't as taboo as before. I may query one or two of the agents I admire most, but that's it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I admire them! I'm happy with my publisher, so not ready to venture out on my own yet.

Juliana said...

I'm with Lynn.
I admire people who choose it and are proud of the self-pub route ... but it's not for me, not yet at least.
It may change with time, of course, but for now I'm pursuing trad publishing ...

Vicki Rocho said...

It's a tough choice -- and I'm not ruling out the self-pub route but I really want to try it the traditional route first.

Katie Ganshert said...

I think it's just going to continue to become more and more popular and accepted. I think the people who succeed are going to be those who didn't rush into it because they were sick of rejection, but because they have a story that is as perfect as they can get it and make smart decisions as far as getting the word out. :)

Anne Gallagher said...

As you know, I did self-pub, and believe me it IS scary. I had no idea what I was doing, but I took the plunge because

--what I write is a niche unto itself, and like chick lit, which agents don't know what to do with, I found I had to find my own audience. Just like chick lit, there is an audience for my work.

--I couldn't wait 3 years for an agent to cut my ms. to shreds to be able to sell it to an undesirable market. Or not.

--and who knows, maybe I will be successful at it. I just had to try.

Kelly Polark said...

I am considering it. I love how you own your work and have control over it.
I'm still debating whether to do so, but I am enjoying watching other people's journeys in selfpubbing in the meantime!

DL Hammons said...

My situation is similar to yours, I'm too early into the process to consider alternative routes, but the landscape has changed over the last couple years regarding self-publishing (as well as e-pub) and the so called stigma attached to it. My only worry is that authors will explore that secondary route too quickly, not giving the traditional method a vigorous try. Impatience, in this business, can derail a writer.

Creepy Query Girl said...

I am definitely considering it. I really would like to see my urban fantasy out there and I've thought about self pubbing it. I'm going to give the agent route a little more time but if it doesn't work out- I feel like today's self pub authors are totally knocking down the taboos.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I feel the same way. I admire those individuals, but it's not a route I'm looking into yet. Heck, I just want to get my novel right before I even think of querying it (or self pubbing it).

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I love people who take control of their own dreams. I don't know that it is something I want to pursue, but have nothing but admiration for those who do. Great post, glad I found you.

REINHARDT! said...

You said it: go with your gut. It takes a measure of courage--a measure that I'm also trying to muster in myself--but there are so many out there that find the process as rewarding as they do challenging. It is really nice for a writer to at least have the option to get your story out there. I wish you luck in making the right choice for your story.

Christine Fonseca said...

I feel the same way about my friends - it is so brave. And while I am still playing in the query pond, I admire them completely

J. A. Bennett said...

My thoughts exactly!

Nicole Zoltack said...

I admire them. There's so much that yo have to do by yourself when you self-pub - pay for editing, cover art... all of the marketing falls on you. It's not easy, then again, nothing in publishing is easy.

Leigh Ann said...

I'm not scared...I'm just too LAZY. Seriously, there is so, so much work that goes into self-pubbing well...and I am a "Go big or go home" kind of lady. So I would be disappointed in myself if it didn't sell much because of my lack of time and resources I was able to sink into it.

So, right now the possibilities I'm comfortable with are: publish traditionally or the novels sit in a drawer (which I'm pretty sure is the fate of my own THE TRAVELERS too, sadly.)

Maybe when all the kids are in school I'll find the energy to self-pub. For now, I'll admire those authors from afar.

Tara said...

I just asked a friend who self-pubbed to guest post about it on my blog.

Not only have I noticed a lot of fellow bloggers going that way, but I've seen quite a few leaving their publishers to self-pub. To me, that speaks volumes.

I'm still in the querying stages, but I'm open to anything for the future. :)

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I have done both and it has worked out really well. Everyone's path is so different, so I think it's inspiring if a writer just follows their heart no matter where that leads them. :)

Matthew MacNish said...

I think they're very brave. Personally I'm not ready for that route yet, because I don't think I could handle all the extra work involved.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

I'm with you on the scary part. Self-pubbing is brave! Having a niche market does help. I also think it's great for mid-listers who are unhappy with their publishers...they already have a fan base to work from, and now, with e-pubbing, they can take off on their own.

Janet Johnson said...

This whole thing has been fascinating to watch. A year ago, there weren't near as many taking the leap. I guess everyone has to go with their gut (like you said) for what feels right for them.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I have only the highest admiration for those who've chosen to self-publish. For now, they have far more courage than I do! :)

Johanna Garth said...

I think there are benefits to both routes (self-pubbed or traditional). The important thing is doing exactly what you're doing, making sure the shoe fits before you put it on.

Christina Lee said...

I think it IS brave because it is a lot of work!!! I'm not considering it (but never say never) b/c my *dream* is to be traditionally pubbed, so until I've exhausted those avenues I'm going to keep going that route!

Sarah Pearson said...

I'm just glad there are so many options open to us these days :-)

Wendy Jane said...

I have self-published one of my novels. So far, I am very happy with it. I wrote it with the goal to self-pub. I have others I am working on that I plan to reach out to agents and publishing houses with. I think as long as you enjoy what you do, work hard at it, and put your heart into it, either way will be just fine. Readers will find you either way.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I recently self-published a novella I've been working on for a long time. Yes, it was a lot of work (still is), but I love the freedom it allows. I don't have to worry about fitting my work into a specific word count or a trend. It's nice to be able to offer my work directly to readers. I will definitely do it again.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I've debated self-publishing a couple of times, I think it does partially depend on the genre. My crit partner is self-publishing (definitely one of the bravest people I know and a great writer) but I feel like for High Fantasy it might not work out as well. I don't know, I could be wrong, but I think I'll save self-publishing for later. I don't know if I have the courage for it, and I so admire those who do. :)

Laura said...

I have a ton of respect for them! I'm definitely going that way with some non-fiction work this autumn, and we'll have to see with the fiction... I've been totally freaked recently by reports of the over saturation of the chick-lit market... but that doesn't stop me wanting to snag an agent - it's just such a long-standing dream of mine!
Keep writing
Laura x

Carrie said...

I think it is inspiring. It is such a cool time to be an author. I'm not ready for self publishing. I'm not ready for that yet but I'm glad it is more of an option.

Mindy McGinnis said...

I know some agented authors who went self e-pub with their book b/c it wasn't getting editor attention. It's a brave new world, for sure!

Sarah Darlington said...

I'm considering doing it... If I can ever finish my dang book! I think the real reason I want to self-pub is because of the instant gratification of it. I mean going the traditional route can take ages to get published. If I self-pub I could literally have a book out there tomorrow. We'll see, in a couple week or months when I finish my book. :)

Cherie Reich said...

It definitely takes courage to self-publish. Then again, it probably takes courage to publish in general.

I'm not ready to self-pubbed any of my novels. I want to try the agent route first and see what happens. But for some of my shorter works, I'd definitely give self-publishing a go.

CNHolmberg said...

It's something I've thought about, but I'm trying my darndest to get traditionally published first. A lot of people don't make it self-pubbed. A lot of indie books I've looked at weren't ready to be published and needed a good editor. I'd hate to self-publish and have someone pick up my book and think, "Oh, another mediocre, wannabe novelist."

Indie-publishing might come my way if after years and years I can't get a break and I truly think my work is worth something. But for now, I'm stubbornly sticking to tradition.

Melissa Pearl said...

I have spent a couple of months researching the pros and cons. I'm waiting to hear back from one publisher. If they reject my manuscript, I'm going to take the plunge. Scary, but exciting in all in the same breath.

I think if writers are willing to take the time to make their work the best it can possibly be, there is nothing wrong with self publishing :)

Laura Pauling said...

Most writers I know self pub but aren't closing the door to trad. pub. They know they're ready and it's exciting to them. I'm def. not against it. I think it's a wonderful opportunity for writers....a lot of work. But anything to do with writing is a lot of work!

Jennifer Hillier said...

I don't know that I ever would have self-published, mainly because I suck at marketing and promotion (which I still have to do even though I got pubbed the traditional way). But I admire those who have the courage to go for it, because it does take a lot of guts. And a lot of smarts.

heatherthurmeier said...

I'm currently doing both. I have an agent for one project and I'm self-pubbing another. Why not try all avenues available and see which one fits me best?

Susanne Drazic said...

I think that each author has to do what they feel is right for them. Self-publishing doesn't have the stigma it once did. I know writers who have self-pubbed and writers who have gone the traditional route. They all did what they felt was right for them at the time.