‘With its authors starting to regularly hit the bestseller lists, the world of self-publishing no longer carries the negative connotations it used to.’ says the Writers and Artists website:
When my first historical novels were published some years ago by a small digital publisher, I was made aware by other authors at conferences and writer’s groups that I wasn’t a ‘real author’ and wouldn't be until I was published by a mainstream publisher.
Digital publishing was new and viewed with suspicion – a fad which would never last. Self-publishing was seen as vanity publishing by authors who couldn't attract the attention of a traditional publisher, and besides, everyone believed that once your novel was 'out there' no publisher would look at it.
The online writer community continued to send out query letters in the quest for an agent and/or a publisher, while some resorted to self-publishing when all other avenues had been exhausted. We wished them every success, but secretly believed being traditionally published was the better route - until it became clear that many were earning far more than their traditionally published counterparts.
Attitudes to self publishing have altered in the last five years, and recently my quiet superiority was swept away when I was told my current publisher has sold out to a larger concern who may, or may not continue with their current fiction list. Therefore they will not be publishing, albeit reluctantly, the second book in my cosy mystery series.
I am about to embark on another round of submissions, or rather my agent is, then someone asked me a question. ‘What is your publisher doing for you that you cannot do for yourself, other than take the lion’s share of the royalties?’
That got me thinking. Was I viewing self-publishing from the wrong perspective?
To help me find out, I attended a group of the Alliance of Independent Authors or ALLi as it is known, made up of self-motivated authors who offer networking and practical help in all aspects of writing. They proved to be a fascinating and knowledgeable group of authors who showed me that local exposure can go a long way to increase your author profile.
In the three years since its inception, this national organisation has accumulated a vast array of resources ranging from editing services, cover art design, legal advice on contracts, critique and review groups, advice on increasing your book sales, local literary festivals where authors can showcase their work, library talks, seminars, book groups, the list goes on.
By the end of my first meeting, the thought of being in total control of my own work was more appealing, and with so many resources available to make self-publishing easy, maybe I do have the confidence to strike out on my own after all - and even make sales.
Self Publishing Review
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