Thoughts on Self-publishing, and ROW80 and NaNo Updates

Contest end! I know I said I'd wait till the WRiTE CLUB finals before announcing the winner, but the Show me the Words! Contest has been running since June and I decided to end it during Virtual Surrey, just in time to find prizes at the McGill University Book Fair (which was about to be cancelled before hundreds more volunteers stepped up). You can see the most recent contest entries over at the Forum. Winners will be announced in that thread this week!

ROW80 has been progressing much better. I'm almost finished typing up Druid's Moon, and I've a title for my NaNoWriMo project: Captive of the Sea Meanwhile, following on from Virtual Surrey workshops by Talli Roland and Kait Nolan (thank you both!), I'm reposting my self-publishing blog post from two years ago:

Before the Internet (remember those years?) self-publishing was a murky, expensive exercise. You sent the MS of your beloved book to a company by mail, they bound and printed it and you paid for every copy then turned around and tried to sell it or push it on family and friends.

At least, that's how I think it used to be.

I never paid much attention to it before; the few books I've read that were self-published back in the day were very badly edited and had plots and story lines that went nowhere. Let's not even get into historical fallacies...

Post-internet, self-publishing is a different dimension altogether. Writers now have not only many more options for the formats of their books, but since information on the publishing process itself, not to mention editing and marketing, is so widely available, there is no longer the easy excuse of "I didn't know about that!" for putting out a badly written, unedited book. As Kait Nolan explains, formatting and editing are NOT hard and must be done.

Many authors who market their own work want to be sure they're putting out the best possible story they can, and work hard to build online platforms and polish their work prior to publication.

They might even hire an outside editor, such as India Drummond (shameless plug).

The issue still stands though: Are readers likely to choose self-published books by authors they don't know? And does traditional publishing give you more of a platform for attracting readers?

I find genre and format are very important considerations. To put it bluntly, I write MG and YA; I doubt I could market such books entirely on my own. If my latest wip turns into straight romance and loses most of the YA elements when I reach the editing stage, I might consider an online publisher that also offers print options; marketing romance would be vastly different. To put it bluntly, I think I could handle an RWA conference much more easily than addressing a group of kids at a school. But those are my shortcomings, and only relate to self-publishing on my terms.

For others, self-publishing - or indie - is the best choice available, for many reasonsAnd many more.

And reading all those reasons why others have chosen the indie route, I'm thinking I don't have many excuses left for not looking into self-publishing.

Except that the current wip isn't finished and the completed novel needs more beta reads :-)
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Two years on, I do have not just one but two and a half (if you count Druid's Moon and Captive of the Sea as the half) romance novels. I'm inching that much closer to considering self-publishing, especially after reading two of Barbara Rogan's recent posts, What if J. K. Rowling Had Self-published? and Have red pencil; will travel?

Note semi-colon use. We had a Virtual Surrey grammar thread too!

Nothing to do with anything, but I recently read the cutest kids' book: Elephant and Piggie in We Are In A Book! by Mo Willems:


Happy week-before-NaNo everyone!
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