Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Late in the Game - Self Pub Hell

I've been a huge advocate for self publication for years now. Despite having queried (and received requests), I never could quite get on the bandwagon of having to fork over so much money and control over my original work to someone else. I mean, hell, you don't see a painter have someone else go in after they've finished and say, "Here, get me more paint and let me just add some more, and you know what, hand me that bottle of turpentine too while you're at it." Or perhaps, it's like a choreographer/coach working with a dancer for a long time on this beautiful piece, only to have someone run on stage and ad lib in the middle of the performance. Traditional publishing has just never felt right to me.

However, lately, and I'm ashamed to admit that I'm so late to the game, I've been learning about another side of publishing, a tedious and exhaustively overwhelming side of self publishing. It seems so obvious that you have to do it yourself, but the side of self publishing I was never prepared to face was the business management. I've always been a bit of an idealist, thinking that writing, cover art, and editing was the bulk of the work. Oooooh, I've been delusional. It's a bit embarrassing seeing as I've been such a huge advocate for it. On a daily basis, I look at my significant other and say, "I get it now. I know why people traditionally publish, to avoid all this s**t." Then it's usually followed up by something like this,

Me: Wanna know what I've been reading about today? I've been reading about __________.
Him: What've you learned?
Me: It's the devil, and no one will take you seriously if you do. Your book will end up in the trash if you do/don't do ________.
Him: So what does that mean?
Me: Well, from what I can gather, and I'm only on page 56, I'll essentially have to start my own publishing company and hire a printer to print my books if I want to go full on true blue self publishing. I think. Hell, I dunno. It's expensive.

This all stems from me doing something I never thought I'd do, and my reasons for not doing them were arrogant and weak. I didn't read books on the craft of writing and publishing. I shall now divulge my own misconceptions.

  1. I thought that all that information was free and out there on the Internet.
  2. I thought the books were only sold for the idiot who was taking writing up as a hobby...you know, "This might be fun, I have money to throw at it." 
  3. I saw these books as a kind of "get rich" or "how to turn your talentless self into a sensation." And while some of those type books have merit, they are usually marketed to those who buy them around New Years and quickly stuff them on a shelf.  
  4. I thought they were aimed at the literary who had no shot at real publication.
Oh, go ahead. Hang me now. I deserve it. I know I do.

No comments:

Post a Comment