Flip. Flop.

That’s the sound of my thoughts when it comes to the good old ‘traditional’ vs ‘self-publishing’ thing. Every time I think I’m decided that yes, I want to self publish, someone makes a passing comment to me.

“It’s too good to self publish.”. “You should at least send it to a couple of places.”. “I really think you could find somewhere for it.” 

But the thing is, I wouldn’t self publish it if I didn’t feel like it was good enough to be traditionally published. What would be the point of that? I certainly don’t want to add more crappy writing to the world. Self published authors already have an uphill struggle when it comes to the number of writers putting substandard work out into the world. The perceptions are there for a reason – there are a lot of badly written, under edited, novels around.

I guess when it comes down to it though, even after doing all the numbers, and loving the idea of creative freedom and control over my own work – I still want to get published traditionally. Even though it seems nigh on impossible at times, even though I will most likely never make a full time living out of it. I still want to give it a go.

I didn’t want to be one of those authors who self-published only because they hadn’t found a publisher who wanted their work. I guess I thought it would feel better if I just went that way straight of the bat, knowing the reasons why, loving that I could have my say in all parts of the process and do things the way I wanted.

Self-publishing is incredibly exciting. It really is. But I’ll be the first to admit I’m a rookie when it comes to some things involved in the process. None of the steps are things I can’t learn, given the time. I’m fairly sure I will soak up all the information I need at the time, and learn as I go with ease, it’s something I am good at.

But the bottom line is that I want to submit my novella places. I think that if I don’t, I will always wonder whether maybe, someone might have accepted it. I don’t have a need for validation but I am incredibly curious as to whether I *could* get a publishing contract. And if I’m curious, then I should give it a go. I have nothing to lose; I can always self publish. I don’t want to have regrets, or forever be wondering whether I made the right choice.

So there we have it. I guess I’m submitting this novella (well, when it’s ready, and when I have a new title for it). I would rather try, and fail, than forever wonder.

Indie Reading, two months in

(well, almost)

We’re getting close to the end of February, and so far I have read six indie pieces for my reading challenge. I have a couple more novels lined up, and still need to review one, but all in all am making excellent progress.

When I signed up for this challenge over at Anna’s blog, I thought it would do two things for me. A) it would make me read at least 24 books this year and B) it would expose me to self published works again.

Some of you might remember that awhile back now, gee, 2009 I think? I was part of the group of readers at the e-fiction book club. We were exposed to quite a variety of work, but mostly? It wasn’t great. It left me thinking that indie reads sucked. That the people who were self publishing were in some instances delusional about the quality of their work – and ultimately, that the gatekeepers of the traditional publishing industry were NEEDED.

Skip forward in time to 2010/11 – I know things have changed. I’ve read traditionally published books that I thought were complete rubbish. I know that there are a lot of good writers going the Indie route, but I really needed to dive in and explore what was out there for myself. Which is where this challenge has come in handy.

So far I have been pleasantly surprised. Only 1/6 of the stories has been really not great, in my opinion, the rest have ranged from good to fantastic. This is probably about the same ratio I have found in the traditionally published books I’ve read over the same period of time. Hell there was one trad published book I couldn’t even finish because it was so bad – I’ve not stopped reading any of the indie books.

I think it is this – this similarity of quality – which has really pushed me closer to going indie myself. Up until now I have been planning to release the novella myself, and other novellas, but haven’t committed to self publishing a novel (let’s be honest here – I don’t know what novel I will be working on in the near future. I have so many options, and right now, I just can’t make up my mind!). But you know what? When I figure out what it is, chances are very high that I won’t even bother submitting it to agents/publishers. It makes way more sense to me to release things myself, to retain control and ultimately be responsible for my own success or lack of.

Even a year ago I would have been scared by that, but not now. There is so much positive energy going around at the moment, and it’s impossible not to want to be a part of that. I feel empowered, and encouraged – something I never felt when I was sure I had to do this the traditional way.

Just because something is traditionally published, it doesn’t mean it’s good. Just because something is indie published, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. There are amazing books out there, waiting to be read, and I am thankful that those indie authors I know and are becoming familiar with are working so hard to raise the bar. Professional covers, well edited books, and a wider range of stories available. Great stuff!

Anyways, better get back to my own writing huh? If I want to get this novella done and out into the world, I need to work hard and make sure it’s the VERY BEST that it can be! Exciting times, folks. Exciting times.

Mocha Nihilism – my intentions

I’m about halfway through my rewrite of Mocha Nihilism (still, but getting back to it now!), and after reading this post by the lovely Linda, I’ve made a decision and I wanted to publicly declare it.

I’m going to self publish the novella.

It’s something I’ve contemplated for awhile, and I think a novella is the perfect way to dip my toes into the self publishing world. Very soon I am going to have a really fun, enjoyable novella complete and ready for an audience. Initially I’d planned simply to give this to some of my friends and family for a Christmas present,  but it seems like an awful waste to limit it’s audience like that.

So I read Linda’s post, then had a look around at e-publishers and print markets to see if there was anywhere it might fit. The markets are limited, and really? Most E-publishers aren’t offering great royalties, you have to do the bulk of the marketing yourself anyways, I might as well retain full creative control and do it all. I am not afraid of being accountable for the outcome, whether it’s positive or negative – in fact, either way, it’s a learning curve and I’ll get SOMETHING out of the process.

So there we have it. I’m excited by the prospect of having something more substantial than a short story out in the world, available to the masses. I’ve got a lot of work to do before it’s ready to launch, but the pieces seem to be falling into place. I have ideas for the cover, and a willing model to help me bring it to life, ideas about promotion and marketing – it really is exciting. I’ve made the decision to go e-book only, and realize I am thereby cutting out many friends and family who only do print books – but that’s a choice I can live with.

What about you? Ever thought of self pubbing? I am still going to try the traditional route with my next novel, but in the meantime, it’s really very exciting to be doing something towards getting my words in the hands of others.