Why self-publish?

P1060265Over the years I’ve made some attempts to get published and have amassed a fairly respectable collection of rejection letters. I sought professional advice and as a result my writing improved and I gained the reassurance that I wasn’t kidding myself about my ability, but success still remained elusive.

It became apparent that no matter how good I was, landing a publishing deal was still largely a matter of luck. I understood that I could only improve my chances so far; I still had to get my manuscript onto the right desk at the right time. This, of course, should then be just a matter of time – an exercise in patience, but it still seemed too much like relying on luck.

Also, I came to understand how little publishers do to promote and market anything less than their top grossing authors. As a new author, flung in at the deep end, I would be expected to fend for myself anyway. Whereas, self-publishing was once the illegitimate runt of the publishing family, these days it has gained respectability, and is being seen less as the last resort of the desperate but more as the wise choice of the savvy. And, if I’m honest, going it alone appeals to me, it suits my personality.

I also want to publish across genres. As far as I can tell, if I was with a publisher, this would be difficult because book stockists tend to like to keep authors pigeon holed by genre. Authors who publish across genres tend to do it under pseudonyms, and publishers don’t like that because they effectively have to launch and market a new author each time.

The only real disadvantage I can see to self-publishing is having to sort out the editing and cover design stuff myself. The editing is obviously an extra expense but I think doing the cover might be quite fun. All the rest of it, the marketing and the networking, I’d have to do myself anyway.

I want to be widely read, and this seems like the perfect way to do it…

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