Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Adventure in Self-publishing

A couple years ago my journey into self-publishing started with a novella  that I wrote that was a little outside the box. I submitted it to a couple of publishers. One rejected it on content, and the other wanted a major rewrite that would have taken the whole purpose of the story away. I sat on it for a while wondering what to do with it. After much thinking I thought about self-publishing it.

At first I think I went into it with blinders on. Many authors of m/m and erotic romance had already done quite well publishing their own work. There was a certain allure about it that drew me in. I think it was the control. I would decide on the cover, work with my husband with the edits and formatting, and release it when I felt it was ready to be placed out there. It was an experiment.

My husband helped me a lot. He's brutal when it comes to giving me honest feedback with my writing. He's computer savvy and formatting came pretty easily for him. I did seek out a cover artist who did a great job. She took my suggestions and it really was exactly what I wanted.

When everything was done, I uploaded the book to various sales sites. Sales were decent, but nothing that I would go around bragging about. This was a couple years ago and sales have trickled since then. It's selling, but not hitting the bestseller charts.

After that I published another novella that again was a little bit outside the box. I also published a couple of short stories. Surprisingly, it was the short stories that sold really well. I expected my longer work to sell better than the short stuff. Go figure!

The last thing I self-published was a collection of my short stories that initially I was only going to put into print to use for promo purposes such as giveaways. That also led to an e edition. All of those stories were already available for individual sale.

Did self-publishing meet my expectations? Yes and no. I honestly expected to do better. Do I blame self-publishing? No. My work seems to be hit or miss with readers. Some really like it while others really hate it. Everything I have written can be found on Amazon, All Romance, Barnes & Noble, and Bookstrand(Shameless Plug).

Do I have advice for anyone wanting to self-publish? Yes. But don't release your work until you're sure it's absolutely ready. Don't rush it. It's better to put out a quality product first rather than suffer terrible reviews telling you on how you should have got an editor. And get a decent cover. It really is worth paying a talented artist to do it for you unless you are good at it yourself like some are. This is the first thing readers will see when they come across your book. First impressions matter.

Will I self-publish again? Yes. I plan on self-publishing more short stories along with some other works that are longer including a MMF menage. Overall, I enjoy the process.


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