Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Self-Publish Lifestyle

Today I've brought in Heather Thurmeier, who has graciously decided to share with us, the reason she self-published! After all, as writers we should keep all our options open and dive in when we feel the timing and opportunity is right!

Heather has it all, from agented to published to self-published. She can tell you what each phase feels like and why she's recently taken the road to self-publish town.

Take it away Heather!!

Why I Self-Published

No it wasn’t for the fame and fortune of it. LOL. Do those things exist for people who are new to the business and go it alone? I don’t know. Ask me in a year and maybe I’ll have an answer. So far I can buy a fancy coffee at Starbucks, but not a fancy car. ;)

There’s been a lot of chatter around the web about self-publishing and whether it’s bad or good or great or will end the publishing world as we know it. Mwhahahaha! (Evil laugh.) I don’t know the answer to that. All I can offer is why I decided on this route for this book.

I’ll give you a hint… It’s not because I can’t sell my work to publishers or because it’s too crappy to land me an agent.

I am agented. I am published with an epublisher. I am actively perusing traditional publishing with New York. And I just self-published a novel. Why?

Because I can.

Amazon, Nook, and Smashwords are available options for authors looking to get their books into the hands of readers. Not every book written will get picked up by an agent and then picked up by a big publisher—that’s a fact. But does it mean that particular book is garbage? Nope. Well, I’m sure agents and publishers see their fair share of not-so-good manuscripts in the slush pile. But it could also be as simple as that particular book not fitting a specific mold. Is it possible that book still has a market and a readership out there somewhere? Yep. And you might be able to find it on your own.

I’m not a die-hard self-publisher on a mission to convert you. I’m not a die-hard traditionalist either. Heck, I haven’t been around long enough to have a solid opinion on either of them! Since I’m new to this whole writing and publishing business, I figured why not try out all the options available. The fact is self-publishing is an accessible, viable, and sometimes a lucrative option. And it’s definitely one that’s worth exploring.

Pros: You have full control over content, cover, price, and distribution. And you have potential to earn high royalties.

Cons: You have to do the work to polish that content, produce a good cover, monitor your price in the marketplace, and spend the HOURS it takes to format, upload and distribute your book. And you have to put up the cost for those things out of your own pocket.

Now that I’ve self-published one book, I’m not sure if I’ll do it again or not. It was hard and time consuming but also satisfying and rewarding. For me, exploring all options in publishing is important so that I can make the most educated decision for my books, for my career, and ultimately for my readers.

What you have to consider now is what’s best for your books, your career, and your readers. What option will you choose? Or will try them all?

Heather Thurmeier
~Heart, humor and a happily ever after

Twitter: @hthurmeier
Facebook: Heather Thurmeier, author


Amelia Brooks agrees to a weekend retreat in California, thinking it will be held in sunny Malibu only to find out she’s stuck in chilly Lake Tahoe for four long days—just what a girl from Minnesota wants to hear in the middle of winter. Now instead of wiggling her toes in the sand, her feet are squeezed into her new manufactured-by-Satan-himself-uncomfortable boots. If that’s not enough, Amelia’s obnoxious colleague William has decided this is the weekend they'll finally be together and he won't keep his thoughts—or his hands—to himself.

Amelia’s ready to kick off those boots and peel off her wooly sweater once she meets Nate Miller—the workshop’s hunky presenter. But Nate's not ready to settle down. He's seen his workshop buddies fall in love then fall out of the running for being promoted to the big city workshop circuit and he's not about to let that happen to his life's dream—until he gets involved with Amelia. Now he's not so sure he can walk away at the end of the weekend with his heart intact and his promotion in hand.

Now Amelia's got four days to stave off William's persistent advances long enough to fall in love with Nate and possibly…learn to ski the bunny hill.

Available at: -- --

Go check out Heather! She's amazing!


Anna Banks said...

I loved this post. It's so valid right now, with the publishing market changing radically day to day. Heather you touched on a major reason for even traditionally published authors to self-pub. I recently considered self-pubbing one of my own titles, because it didn't fit the specific genre formula. I am agented, my debut novel comes out in May through Macmillan, but sometimes, it's not about that. Sometimes it's about loving what you've written and wanting to share it, and believing that people will want to read it. I honestly don't know why self-pubbing gets a bad rep sometimes. If you wanted to start your own catering business, you'd have to invest money up front and time and sweat and tears. Same with self-pubbing. You're investing in yourself.

Great post, and thanks for shedding new light on the subject!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for having me on the blog today, Jen!! It's a pleasure to be here again!

Hi Anna, thanks for your thoughts! I know if you start any business, it's dicey at first. But if you want it bad enough, you put in the necessary work to make it happen. It's no different with self-publishing your writing. Good luck on your upcoming release!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I admire those who set out to do it themselves. If I were a prolific writer, I might consider it.

April Plummer said...

Great post! Since I've chosen to self-publish, I'm eating up everything I can regarding the new industry. My reasons are different - I'm not doing it for fame or fortune either. I'm doing it because I want my books to be read. I tried to hook an agent, and I will probably try again. But in the meantime, I want this. I want to be in control of it all even though I'm learning it's a second full-time job. It's exciting.

Thank you!

Unknown said...

There's been so much on self-publishing lately. I love hearing about it. I keep leaning towards this side of it. I'm not quite ready to begin, but definitely thinking this is the way to go when I am.

Great post. Thank you!

Diana Mieczan said...

I loved reading this post. So interesting. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, darling. xo

Shelley Sly said...

Thanks, Jen and Heather, for this post. Like others have said, self-publishing is talked about everywhere these days. I'm reading up on it as much as I can to see if it's for me. Thanks for sharing, and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Sarah Ahiers said...

ooh this post was great! So much to think about

Juliette Sobanet said...

Wonderful post Heather and Jen! I am in a very similar boat to Heather - I have an agent and decided to self-pub my first novel. It's been a fun, wild, and sometimes exhausting experience, but I wouldn't change a thing. It's amazing that after all of the hard work of writing and editing a novel, authors don't have to let their story sit on their computer for the rest of their lives if it doesn't get picked up in New York. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Alex Mullarky said...

What a good post! I self-publish my books, but I think I'm of the exact same mindset as Heather.

Ian Anderson said...

Hey, thanks for the comments on self-publishing. It's good to hear a perspective like yours.

Rachael Johns said...

I can't believe I just found your blog Jen!!! And thanks Heather for the great insight into self-pubbing :)

Wendy S Marcus said...

Hi Jen!
Hi Heather!
I'm published with a traditional publisher. I love my editor but have had some frustrations with the publishing process. Sooooo many people are involved with getting my book into the hands of readers.

But I am a borderline techno-idiot and am not sure if the time it would take me to self publish a book would be worth it. But I've never let fear of a challenge stop me!!

Congrats on your successes Heather. (And Jen!!!!!)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Liz said...

Hi Heather - nice post. I love the control over -well - everything. I decided that instead of going to the RWA conference with the money saved I could afford someone to do the cover for me and the formatting. So I went for it.

Anonymous said...

The control aspect is so favourable to the writer. Great article.

ExpatDiaries said...

Well done Heather (and everyone else who is self-publishing) - I too joined the self-publishing ranks a month ago in the US. Like Heather, I've got an agent (in London where I live) and have been published (Penguin). Last year my debut, Single in the City, was a best-seller in the UK, also selling well in many other countries. Yet I'm self-publishing in the US, because I have more faith in American women than NYC publishers do. I was surprised to be told by those we approached that American women wouldn't 'get' the cultural humour in a book set in London, because most Americans had never been to London. I disagreed with their judgment (of the women and the book). After all, Single in the City is about an American women who moves to London on a whim, and then has to fit into her new life. We've all done that, in a new city, new country, starting college, a new job or fitting in with a boyfriend or husband's family. So I ignored the NY publishers and self-published. It's hard, as Heather rightly points out, but it's rewarding. I'd encourage any writer who believes in their books more than agents/publishers do to consider self-publishing. Sometimes the traditional 'experts' don't know best.

Stacy S. Jensen said...

Thanks Heather for the self-pub perspective. I've kept my mind open to all options, especially as so many things have changed in the last year. It's always interesting to see how others are "working" right now. (Thanks Jen)

Joss said...

I'm always interested to hear about people who have taken the self publishing root, so thank you for sharing

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Anonymous said...

I also decided to self-publishing even when I had an agent. Sometimes it's better, sometimes it's not. In our case I couldn't have made a better decision... but I know for some people traditional is still the best way to go too!