Thursday, June 26, 2014

5 GREAT reasons to self-publish (plus... my own!)

We've already gone over a few not-so-brilliant reasons to choose self-publishing (not in and of themselves, anyway.)

So I thought I'd give some GREAT reasons to self-publish.

1.) FUN! This is quite a bit different than the "Just because..." reason on the not-so-brilliant reason. Maybe you just love to write, but publishing? Eh, that'd be cool, but really isn't a huge-huge goal of yours. Just icing on the cake. And it'd be fun to see your book on Amazon. You can epub a book pretty cheap these days. If the process sounds fun to you, you aren't in it for ( and don't really want) to make much of any money, just want to cross it off your bucket list, then ya know? More power to you! Don't stress, just have fun and enjoy it.

2.) FAMILY! Have a great memoir that you want your kids and grand kids to have to remember your legacy? Self-publishing is a GREAT option. Sure, you could print off that word document, but having it book bound and available to family and friends is pretty cool. EVERYONE has a story, and self-publishing is a great way to share it with the ones you love.

3.) FINANCIALLY-SOUND-CAREER MOVE for the traditionally published. I've seen more than one article out lately quoting statistics that state the hybrid author, one who self-pubs on top of traditionally publishing, is the one making the most money these days. This is the current state that I'm in right now... but I'll share more about MY story at the end.

4.) FISH ARE BITING but not getting hooked. You're a great writer. You might even have a great agent. Your book is excellent, and you've been to pub board a few times. But something about your book is not pushing you over the edge. Maybe it's a niche market that a publisher is nervous about taking the risk on. Maybe you write just a little edgier than some CBA publishers are willing to tackle. (I'm seeing that as less of an excuse these days, though.) This might be a good book to self-publish then.

5.) FAN-BASE: ACQUIRED! Do you already have a great platform as well as a great book? Do you love marketing? Does selling your books make you giddy with excitement? Do you have lots of technological talent? Do you have funds to invest into things like professional editing/cover design? Do you have time to devote to learning? Then you might totally want to go this whole publishing thing alone! GO FOR IT!

Me?

I always said I'd never self-publish.

- It didn't sound like fun.
- My story was not for my family (my family, for the most part, aren't really romance novel readers)
- I fished enough as a kid to know that when you get nibbles... if you're patient enough... the bite will come at some point.
- And I definitely don't have all the qualifications of #5!

My first novel was released in 2012. I was SO excited!

But what some know (but others might not know) is that during the previous 2 years, my life had been a big huge chaotic mess. I gave birth to daughter #4 in 2010. She was born with a severe heart defect and spent TEN months in the hospital, then was in and out of the hospital for the next year. During that time, I signed with an agent, contracted my first book, and then the next year, I released it.

I also had to let go of my day job as my daughter required full-time intensive care at home. She was on a feeding tube/oxygen and needed an unreal amount of therapy. She also came home on TWENTY different medications.

It wasn't an easy time. I struggled through the editing and marketing process of releasing that first book, as I was also struggling with trying to figure out how to be a nurse to my daughter, worrying about how to pay bills without a job (my husband had always been a stay-at-home-dad, but Annabelle's needs were beyond his ability.) And honestly? I deal with a lot of post-stress depression that I'm only recently "waking up" from.

Writing new stuff... well, I tried. I'd go in little spurts, but it was a struggle, both time wise and emotional wise.

So last year, things were starting to calm down a little. The biggest change is that my fuzzy, traumatized heart was beginning to mend.

I took a look at my writing career and was sad. That first book hadn't done as well as I'd wanted. And it was no wonder. It had a struggling author supporting it, and no follow-up books to help back-sell it either.

What was an author to do? I mean, the book hadn't been a total flop. People were asking when the next book was going to come out. Even if I did have something ready (and I almost did) it'd probably be a year to two years, even if I did immediately publish it.

So I talked to my agent at the time about the idea of self-pubbing a book, maybe a novella, to fill in the gap. She gave the idea a thumbs up, and even suggested I do more than one.

The more I prayed about it, the more excited and "right" it felt. So I started on the journey, doing researching and writing.

I'm almost there. I don't have an exact release date, but I hope to firm it up in the next week or two.

A Side of Faith will be the first book, a novella sequel to the first, Sandwich, With a Side of Romance.

The two that will follow will be A Side of Hope  and A Side of Love.

So, this was MY reasoning. A business move, and a way to bring books to my readers while I work on finishing my next full-length and attempting to start the process of pitching.

What about you? Have you ever thought about self-publishing? Are you approaching it as a business decision or a i-don't-know-what-else-to-do option?

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Krista is a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mother, and author of Sandwich, With a Side of Romance . She blogs about finding JOY in the journey of LIFE at http://www.kristaphillips.com.


3 comments:

Ashley Clark said...

Krista, what a great post and a wonderful resource for people who are interested in self-pubbing! I love what you said about your broken heart beginning to mend. That is powerful! I think sometimes people are afraid to take that leap into self-publication, especially in CBA, and it's great to have a post like this to provide a sort of roadmap. Can't wait to see your novella!

RainbowWriter said...

Self-Publishing has been great for me. I was offered a deal by a publisher a few months back but they had so many demands that I tried to fulfill but it ended up being so frustrated; I dropped the deal and returned to self publishing. At this point in my life its perfect and flexible for me and allows me to sell the way I see fit and is easiest and doesn't cost very much.

Krista Phillips said...

Ashley, thanks friend:-)

RainbowWriter-- yup, self-pubbing absolutely offers more flexibility! YOU decide when to publish. YOU put your deadlines (although that's one of the reasons I have against it personally... I need deadlines giving to me, ha ha ha ha!)

I've done the traditionally publishing route once and hope to do it again. With that publishing house, it was a NEW experience but I definitely didn't feel any unrealistic demands. They were all ones I would have needed to make of myself if I had self-published anyway. I'm sure it depends on the house though.