Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Why Self-Publish?

Sam Cheever

To varying degrees, big and small publishing houses are worried about the Indie Publishing trend. I say to varying degrees because some of the larger or more arrogant ones think they can ignore or bully their way past the threat of losing more and more talented, ambitious authors to the siren song of Indie Publishing. As Indie grows, submissions to small press/traditional publishers have slowed. The submissions pubs receive are more and more weighted toward brand new authors, which means they bring more risk and less in the way of an established readership to fill the publisher's coffers. In addition, more and more established authors are asking for their rights back on older books so they can republish the books themselves.
It's definitely a brave new world.
I'm not going to pretend this is a simple issue. It's not. There are many factors in the swing away from traditional publishing, but there are things publishers can do to soften that swing...if they'll do them.
What are the largest complaints authors have against their publishing houses? Lack of communication? Absence of payment? Lack of control? Slow response times and even ignoring authors' concerns entirely? Yes, yes, and yes. These are all problems. I don't know too many authors who decide to publish their own work because of the money. Of course we're all working for money...we need to buy food, gas, and electricity right? But money isn't the biggest concern in this decision.
It's control.
Publishers who refuse to respond to emails sent by their authors (and then deny it!) will continue to lose talented authors to Indie. Publishers who have the "my way or the highway" attitude will continue to lose talented authors to Indie. Also part of the control issue are things like inflexible and/or overreaching contracts, long delays in adding books to third party sites, prohibitive pricing, and extended time-frames getting books to market once they've been submitted. These are all my reasons for opting, more and more, to Indie publish rather than follow a more traditional publishing route.
Control is the key. An author who publishes independently can decide the time-frame for writing/publishing the book. She can select her own cover artist and an editor who fits her style. She can set the price, control the market her book is part of and create her own marketing plan. And she can make adjustments as the book moves through its shelf life to ensure ongoing success. The only way a publisher can compete with this is to work more closely with the author as a partner, being flexible and open to doing things a different way. Easier said than done, I know. When a publisher is working with hundreds of authors, trying to meet the needs of every author can be very difficult. But that's the only way today's publisher can compete in a marketplace where organizations like Amazon make it so easy for an author to gain control over her precious products.
Indie publishing certainly isn't for everyone. If you don't have name recognition, you might want to stay with a traditional publisher until you've created a large enough platform that you can sell books on the strength of your name. If you're afraid to delve into new things, or you're technically challenged, you might want to hold off on going it alone until you have a better comfort level with the tasks involved. And if you'd rather spend all your time writing and let someone else do the back office work, you're probably better off going a more traditional route. But if you're an entrepreneurial spirit with a dedicated reader base, you go girl(boy)! Indie publishing is a bowl of sweet, juicy cherries. If you're like me, you're never happier than when your mouth is full!
Happy publishing everybody!
These Honeybuns are sugar free, but hot enough to burn!
Surprised into hiding in a men's room stall at work, Angie Peterson, owner of the Dunk and Run Coffee Shoppe, overhears two men talking about killing someone named Alastair Honeybun. Picturing a frail, helpless old Englishman, Angie rushes to warn him. There’s only one, small problem, Alastair Honeybun is six foot two inches of yummy man, who's perfectly capable of taking care of himself. But when the thugs show up while Angie's still there, they soon figure out they'll need to take care of each other.

USA Today Bestselling Author Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.
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