The Long and Twisting Road of Self Publishing

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Nothing is ever accomplished without hard work. Anyone who has written a novel knows that as hard as the writing in itself can be, the journey to publication is oft the most challenging. When people ask me, how did you find the time and energy to write a book, I now say to them, “The writing was easy, that’s my passion and what I want to do with most free seconds that I have. Getting it out there and available for sale was the real nightmare.”

Like most new authors I tried the traditional publisher route. Most writers dream of having one of the big six publishing houses picking up their novel and jet setting them to stardom. To walk into the local bookshop and see their name on a shelf. Yet like so many new authors that was not a reality for me. After unsuccessful attempts to sell my manuscript I turned to the ever emerging indie self publishing world.

The relative ease in which someone can now publish their own work is amazing. I say ‘ease’ with caution in that it is easy to get it up onto a website and for sale. Doing it properly is a different story. I did my research and looked at many self published books available. I looked at the successful ones and the ones that were obviously failing. And I saw a massive gap.

If you peruse writing forums you will find endless debate on the merits of ebooks and the digital age of publishing, which has given birth to indie self publication. Some argue that it is a blessing which allows more authors to reach readers and provides consumers with lower prices and in a lot of cases authors with higher royalties per book. Then you have the opposing side that argues that due to the ease in which a book can be submitted for publication, essentially at nil cost other than time, the market is full of drivel.

To some extent I have to agree. I have come across my fair share of books that have been rushed to publication with little or no editing. Coming across these books tarnishes the indie industry as a whole. However the other side needs to be seen. The fact that readers now have access to much more affordable books and larger choice is a good thing. And for authors like myself who have taken the time to create a work of art, it is satisfying to be able to share this with the public. An avenue that a decade ago was a highly expensive endeavour.

Thanks to smashwords and services such as createspace and lulu I am able to bring my book to my friends and family professionally. That journey was one of long nights and a sore back. Sitting for hours formatting and filling out information on forms can be enough to drive many authors away from self publishing. However once it is all done and dusted and you see the finished product selling to consumers, you realise that your toil has been worthwhile. For me I consider the road travelled one of success. But I look back and realise it was a long and very tough journey.

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