Deciding to Self Publish
When I began working on ‘Paranormal Intruder’ it was important to me that I get it right first time. Deciding to self publish my book was a decision I did not take lightly. I originally expected to go down the traditional route, but after six months of considering my options I decided to self publish. Three weeks into my launch I’m so glad I did. Here are my reasons why.
It’s always been about having full control. Yes I can be a bit of a control freak. I wanted to keep the name Neil and I chose, we both wanted to pick the cover, decide who was writing our foreword and the layout. We had been through so much together already, it made sense that we would follow through with the book in the same way. I hired my own editors, proof-reader, cover artist and formatters. I owed it to my readers to be as professional as I could be, and doing it myself has really helped me learn about the industry from the bottom up. We also wanted to stay true to our story, and doing it ourselves seemed the best way of doing this.
Normally I’m a quiet person and I have a tendency to keep to myself. Writing this book has been life changing and I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. I also wanted to make contact with other people who have experienced the paranormal. I know I could have done this if I was traditionally published, but making 70% royalties (instead of industry standard of 15%) on my earnings and knowing all the marketing was up to me was a great incentive to work hard and promote my book. I read somewhere that the minute you publish your book you stop being an author and become a marketer. It’s so true. Speaking to people via social media is an aspect of promoting that I enjoy the most.
I admit it was a dream of mine to see my book on the shelves of Waterstones. However true paranormal is a very difficult genre to break into and as it was pointed out to me, go into any bookshop and it will be a struggle to find it. Amazon has been an excellent way of showcasing my book both as a download and paperback. Download sales are outselling my paperback hands down (so far), although I have spoken to several readers who told me they loved the download so much they bought the physical book for their book shelves. I do that too, there’s nothing like the feel of a read book is there?
Unfortunately I am not equipped with a lot of patience and I just couldn’t wait any longer to have it published. Sending your manuscript for review is brain numbingly slow. After six months I had four requests for my full manuscript which is very good. However the closer I came to a traditional publishing deal the more I wondered if it was right for me. The agents I spoke with told me they loved my manuscript and writing style, but had concerns about the genre. I understood their reservations and decided not to wait any longer while they thought about it. Traditional publishing could take another year. Christmas was looming and I just wanted to get my book out there.
I love Amazon! Self publishing has been a massive learning curve for me and I’ve had to start from scratch. However there are so many guides, blogs and how-to kindle books on the subject there’s no excuse. Once your book is ready and formatted it’s so easy to upload to Amazon. Their customer service is amazing and I love the excitement of checking on my sales to see how my book is doing. I get paid my royalties every six weeks and I love seeing how many books I’m selling in different countries. I still get to hold a physical copy of my book in my hand thanks to Createspace and their print on demand means I don’t have to hold any stock.
Proud to be an Indie Author
I think all writers should self publish a book once just for the experience. It’s truly amazing. I am continuing with my writing as I don’t want to stop here, however my next book is fiction. I would love a traditional publishing deal one day, but right now I am very proud to be flying the flag as an indie author.
Are you thinking of self publishing? Have you any questions, tips or comments? We would love to hear from you.