Here we go again…the topic of publication and self-publication. I started the blog so sure I was going to self-publish, it’s not even funny. Then I reconsidered. Then I reconsidered again. And again. Now I’m just as undecided as I ever was.
It’s not the “stigma” some people put on self-publication that bothers me. I know there are some real dogs out there in the self-pub universe, but there are plenty of excellent writers doing well for themselves, too. When it comes down to it, there are two things that give me pause when it comes to self-publication: money and promotion.
I was totally ignorant to how much money it took to self-publish a quality product. Between editing and cover design, it adds up quick. Now that I’ve started making my own little network of friends (however small it may be) in the blogosphere, maybe I can find some quality folks out there who don’t charge an arm and a leg for their services. But the money involved isn’t even what seems like the hardest part to conquer.
There are so many books on Amazon and Smashwords, how do you separate yourself from the pack? I know there are marketing guides out there, and they offer a multitude of helpful tips, but I’m hesitant. I think of how much work it will take to promote and market myself and my books (I know no one said it would be easy; quite the opposite, in fact), and I know I would probably have to work just as hard if a publisher put my work out, too.
What keeps lingering in the back of my mind is that a publisher has a built in audience, a reputation that their books meet a certain standard. With self-publishing, I’m counting on people willing to take a chance on something with no real point of reference. I know I can put samples out and set my own price to make my work more tempting, but it’s hard.
I don’t have an answer to this debate, I hope you didn’t think I did going in. I was looking for anyone’s own recommendations or experiences out in the world. As my novella approaches being 100% finished, I have to decide what the heck to do with it. A little help here?