I finished my first book of historical fiction, a story pulled from my own family’s history, a theme likely obvious to those following this blog. The book chronicles the life of a young woman, Mary Hutton, who struggles with frontier life as our nation pushes into Ohio territory. At the same time it explores her connection to an older woman, in this century, searching for Mary in the annals of history. (The autobiographical part, I guess.)
My point is this: I want to publish the book. I like it. It matters to me. I want to share it. But the question is how? Do I take the traditional route (agents, publishing companies, etc.) or opt to self-publish. I’ve talked with my writing friends, scoured the Internet, and soul searched. I am now leaning to self-publishing. There are cons to self-publishing, of course, but here are three reasons I’m considering it.
First reason to self-publish? I’ve waded into the publishing waters already. While not at a level I anticipate with my novel, I have written a family history and a history of our home, both for personal consumption only (though much of the family history is available on the pages of my website.) I used Bookemon for the first book. http://www.bookemon.com I chose that company because it accepted my formatting, no reformatting necessary. It worked well and I was happy with the results. With the second book, I used Blurb and was able to include an e-book with a simple click of a button. http://www.blurb.com This book was primarily a picture book, and I particularly liked the fact that I was not tied to any template but could create as I went.
Another reason to self-publish? I do this mostly out of love and want to publish for the joy and accomplishment of it. Yes, I’d take recognition if it came, and money certainly, but that isn’t the rational for my writing. I don’t need a publishing company’s stamp of approval, nor do I need to see the book in a bookstore.
Final reason? I’m impatient. The process of finding an agent and then a publisher, excluding the publication process, is multi-year. Can I wait that long? Life is short.
I thought there might be interested in the sites I’ve found to be useful in my research. Here are three of the best of them.
Amazon is the king (and queen) of self-publishing due the breadth of its marketing coverage. It is foolish to ignore them. (They even opened a brick and mortar bookstore recently.) Deborah Jacobs wrote a detailed article on the world of Amazon self-publishing. It is a worthy read.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahljacobs/2014/04/25/how-to-self-publish-your-book-through-amazon/ Note: I tried using this link but Forbes very cleverly sends you to a home page rather than going directly to the article. I recommend you use either their search engine or another like Google and input the title and author listed in the link.
Amazon is not the only big fish in the self-publishing world. In fact, it pays to be strategic. Jane Friedman published an article on her site recently that outlined key player. I consider it excellent, as are most of her articles. I subscribe and recommend it for anyone who dares to write. https://janefriedman.com/self-publish-your-book/
The Alliance of Independent Authors is a global non-profit for writers who self-publish. It shares advice ranging from editing to marketing, and everything in between. I’ve yet to even skim the surface of the site. http://www.selfpublishingadvice.org
Whether you envision a readership that can fit around the Thanksgiving table or plan a tome for the masses, resources abound. Other self-publishing issues need consideration including quality in editing, cover design, and formatting. And what about going local with publishing, or building readership? The information is out there, lots of it, but I’ll leave you with the sites listed above for now. As I wade deeper in, I’ll share more.