Thursday, January 19, 2012

Self-Publishing Forum Transcript Goodies

The other night I participated in an online forum that had been advertised on the Indelibles site, and I'm glad I did! I went because the topic piqued my interest, and fit in with the focus of my blog discussions this month - self publication.
Indelibles is a website that has brought together 25 YA and MG authors who are either Indie or self-published novelists. I didn't really understand what those terms meant until I attended the event. To learn more about these authors, and their books, please visit their website - it will be worth you time!
You can also access the whole transcript on their site. For interest sake (and mostly to remind myself) I have cut and pasted a few of the comments that best answered some of the questions that have been stirring in the back of my mind. At the end of January, I will revisit my own thoughts on this topic, but for now, here's what some of these experienced authors had to say:
as some of you may know - the indelibles is about 25 indie authors that have banned together. Our goal is to help each other and support the indie community.
Comment From Kris Asselin:
I'd love to hear how you all came to the decision to self-pub. Thanks!

Megg Jensen:
Fellow Indelible, Karly Kirkpatrick, told me about Konrath just over a year ago. I read up on epublishing and jumped in feet first. Love it!

Susan Kaye Quinn:
I decided to self-pub Open Minds because of: price, creative control, and writing diversification (I was prev. pubbed with a small press). And to get it out quickly!

G.P. Ching:
My books did not easily fit within a genre. Not Christian enough to be christian but more religious than mainstream was comfortable with. Megg Jensen convinced me to self-pub.
in a nutshell - i spent 2 years with agent and submitted the first 2 books I'm publishing now. they got to acquisitions but never were bought. I figured they were good enough and I was tired of having someone else run my destiny.

For me it was a no brainer. I'd already had BOUND under contract with a publisher (who has since gone under). I'd waited long enough and the book was ready. I was ready. So why not send it out into the world to be read and shared?

Sarra Cannon:
I had too many traditionally published friends who spent years trying to get agents and when they finally got published, they were unhappy because their books were changed so much by their editors. I wanted to keep control of my own work.
After five years of trying the traditional route, I heard agent April Eberhardt speak on how ebooks had changed the industry. I was researching the subject when I finally got an offer from a
small press. By that time I'd learned enough to know I wanted to do it myself, so I turned them down and went indie. Never regretted it for a second.

Comment From laurapauling
What started me thinking about it was Nathan Bransford's post that said midlisters could make more money self publishing. That and posts by kris Rusch who pointed out that authors were really getting a bum deal with ebook royalties.

Sarra Cannon:
Good point Sara! If you are Indie it's so much easier to experiment with genre, cover art, price, everything.
Comment From Mandi Thomson
You've mentioned the best part of self-publishing: the control. What is the common consensus on the worst aspect of self-publishing (or is the experience very different for everyone?
not really a worse side but a hard side - doing it all on your own. it gets lonely. sometimes I would love to have someone get y back if something slips.
Sarra Cannon:
Great questions Mandi! I think the experience is different for all, but for me the worst part is that it's ALL on my shoulders. I love the control, but sometimes it's just so hard to be responsible for every aspect of it and to know there's nowhere to blame but me if I fail.

Jessie Harrell:
@Mandi - it probably is diff for everyone. I am finding that marketing the book has sucked away months of my life. not that it hasn't been fun, but like Shelli says, it's hard work.

RaShelle Workman:
Mandi - I do believe it's different for everyone. As an indie, you work your strengths and hopefully have good people help with the weaknesses.

Stacey WB:
The feeling that you have to market yourself 24/7 or you're going to lose any readers you have. That is the worst. It's a crazy cycle b/c then you don't have time to write!

I'm a writer, not a marketer, not a publisher, not a graphic designer, not a business woman, A WRITER. But with self-pubbing you have to be all of those things and the worst part is that sometimes your writing has to take a back seat.

Susan Kaye Quinn:
@Mandi Worst is having so much on your shoulders - very hard to balance all the promoting with writing (not that I think this is much different for trad pubbed)

Comment From Kris Asselin
I'd love to know the difference between self pub and indie pub. Is there a difference or do you use the terms interchangeably?

Megg Jensen:
Indie pub means going through a small press. Self-pub is self-publishing

technically indie pub is an independent press

Karen Hooper:
Kris, I'm "Indie" pubbed meaning I'm published with a small press. So it's a little different than self-pub. I do have help with edits, cover, some marketing etc
ali: For me personally, I think I'm happy with self-publishing and won't attempt a traditional publishing path anymore/again.

i think trad pubbing is for some and indie is for others - you have to figure out what that is for you. I just dont think one is better than the other.

I think there are a lot of people who shouldn't self-publish. Those with demanding jobs, or who don't like to self-promote, or who only want to write.

Comment From Mandi Thomson
This may be a loaded question, but I'm just curious - if any of you were ever to make it real big, and I mean REALLY big through self-publishing, and got deals from major publishing houses to pick up your books, would you ever consider the switch? Have you ever contemplated this scenario?

Okay. One more. Mandi, it would take a LOT of money to make me go traditional. Bye now.
(Note - for whatever reason, I can't get the hyperlink thing to work. To see the forum on the site, go to the following):

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