To self publish or not to self publish?

This is becoming an increasingly hard decision to make. I had always planned on going down the traditional publishing route, however as time passes, I’m wondering if that’s the right choice for me. A while back I wrote a blog post about Writing on trend. In it I questioned whether the content of my writing was too different for an agent to want to take a risk on.

The first novel I sent out was received fairly positively I was complemented on my writing and my style but continuously told that they didn’t feel strongly enough about the story to take it further. Although I always take any feedback with a pinch of salt, it was all very positive. One piece of feedback I received was that the story stood out more than most. But at the end of the day, no one wanted to take it any further.

So, I have just sent a second novel out to a few agents but am already expecting the same outcome. Now, while it is my dream to see my own published book on a bookshelf, I’m now starting to question what it is I really want as a writer. And the truth is that I simply want other people to read my work.

I write YA, however my genre is maybe a little unusual. I have lovingly dubbed it near future, altered reality…And I’ll be honest I don’t see a lot of this about. I have a habit of seeing the not too distant future through the eyes of the past. As you can tell, it is quite a hard thing to describe, so already difficult to sell! There is also a fair bit of political motivation behind it, which can, on occasion, be a little too close for comfort.

I write to give an outlet for the voices in my head. But of course, like any writer, I write in the hopes that other people will want to read it. But, in such a huge market there is no gaurentee that anyone will ever read it. Plus, if an agent doesn’t want to take it on, does it mean anyone would actually want to read it?

I’ve been researching the Kindle publishing platform lately, and sifting through articles about book design. It obviously takes a lot of work to self publish, it’s not just about uploading a novel and clicking publish. To start with I have no experience of marketing myself as an author. However, at the moment it feels like it is the best way to get my writing seen.

I would be a liar if I said I didn’t want to make money from my writing, otherwise I would just publish it for free on my blog. However, I’m not looking at bestselling authors and thinking that’s what I need to be. So I’m weighing up my options.

If I was extremely lucky, perhaps I would be able to entice an audience to my writing. Maybe if I manage to self publish a successful novel then in the future I may be able to publish traditionally. Or maybe I would ruin my chance of traditional publishing entirely by self publishing.

I am about to finish my third novel, well, my third novel that I am happy with at least. And I am desperate to share them with others, even if they’re not that well recieved. At least I will have put them out there. What is the point of me continuing to write if it never sees the light of day?

Are you currently having the same dilemma? Have taken the plunge and opted to self publish? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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3 thoughts on “To self publish or not to self publish?

  1. You’re echoing many of the thoughts I had when I started writing some years back. I tried the traditional route and got so tired of sending off the usual first three chapters plus synopsis etc, and then waiting weeks for a reply. It was always positive but not quite what they wanted etc. In the end I just got fed up, I mean you could send them subscriptions for years and there’s no guarantee you’ll ever get published. That’s why I self-published. I haven’t sold much, but I’ve done virtually no promotion till now – hence my new blog and Facebook page etc. At least my three books are out there on Kindle, and now I’m making a positive effort to promote them.

    Re your genre, I would say always write what comes naturally to you, what you love, what inspires you. Don’t change because of the market or you’re not being you. Your best will always come from your heart.

    I’d got downhearted and almost forgotten about my first two books, but since I made a conscious effort with my new blog and FB page (and will do Bookstagram and Twitter and anything else!) I feel I’m on the move again, and at least I’m in control of something. I would say go for it and self-publish, but I never was very patient! 🙂

    Many thanks for the follow, I’ll look forward to seeing what you do too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your own experience. Much like you I also have very little patience! It’s nice – if that’s the right word! – to know I’m not alone in these feelings, I don’t think people always understand the toll all those submissions take on you and your confidence. I wish you luck with your promotion and I’m glad to know you’re happy with your decision, it is regret at taking that step that was worrying me the most!

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      1. Maybe just give it a while longer before deciding, and don’t pressure yourself. Or maybe give yourself a deadline – say two years for example, and then go for self-publishing if the traditional route hasn’t happened. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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