Head or Heart? Does it make sense to Self-Publish your novel?
Imagine that you had thousands of cardboard puzzle pieces spread out across your floor, all in a muddle, but you have lost the box with the picture on the front.
Photo Credit: Flickr/VelkrO
That is what I felt like when I decided to self-publish my mystery single title novel which is now called ‘Deadly Secrets’ but at the time was a draft of a manuscript which had been impatiently waiting for a break in my work as a romance writer.
Like many other published or aspiring authors, I had struggled to keep up to date with how the publishing world is shifting and reshaping like sand beneath our feet.
We know how much our publishers are paying in royalty rates and how that compares to the royalty schedules the online retailers are offering to authors who self-publish with them.
We are all writer entrepreneurs who should think of ourselves as running our own small home business. Like any other business owner we have to become educated on how to create and distribute the products that we make [our books] to our customers [our readers] in the most efficient and effective ways possible.
Photo Credit: R. Lutener
And there is one common problem most writers share.
We want to spend our precious time writing more books.
Not experimenting with new technology and skill sets we do not understand and feel that we will never quite master.
The idea of spending weeks or months learning the new skills we need to create and self-publish our books freezes us.
What if we make the wrong decision and this is all a horrible mistake?
What if we spend the little money we have learning new skills and paying for professional services without any guarantees that we will get a return on our investment?
I know. I have been in that place and the fear of the unknown is scary.
After 18 books in print and multiple formats from 2009 to 2014 and publishing in over 28 countries and 23 languages with Harlequin, I have combined sales of over one million copies of my books.
In 2013 I worked with digital first publisher Carina UK to release my romantic mystery book, ‘Recipe for Disaster’ in eBook format only. It was a single title length book and my first light crime novel.
Along the way I have learnt a huge amount about how the publishing world is changing and shifting and formed some strong opinions about:
-What works and what doesn’t work. Especially the later.
-What are the biggest wastes of time and money.
-What authors can do to share their stories and help readers find them.
-What opportunities are there to create new outlets for your work.
BUT like any other business owner, before I make any decision about changing my business model, I wanted to be clear about one thing.
*Was my heart ruling my head when it came to this crime novel which I had enjoyed researching and writing so much?
*Would self-publishing my novel make me money? Or cost me money?
My experience in Digital Publishing convinced me that it was worth spending the time learning about the how and why and what in self-publishing.
Starting tomorrow I want to share with you the key information I needed to make informed choices and decisions about the best publishing model for this book. Not every book, but this crime novel, Deadly Secrets, which is released this week.
I hope that you will find the articles useful and informative.