The Good and Bad of Self-Publishing
By: Christina Smith
I have a dream! No, don’t worry, I am not going to plagiarize Martin Luther King, his dream was ground breaking, and important for all mankind. Mine isn’t quite that big, and a lot more selfish. Mine is to become a published author, maybe even see my books on the big screen. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have my head in the clouds, mostly I’m a realist, but I actually thought it would happen. Why wouldn’t it, my book was good, all of my friends and family loved it.
I got a hard dose of reality after trying to find an agent. A long with many of my fellow authors, I have not had the best of luck finding one. With my first few books, I sent query letters to tons of them, and at the time, I was sure I’d get published. But after the fiftieth “We’re sorry, but your book is not what we are looking for”, I started to take the rejections a little personally. And with each negative response, my ego took a beating. By the third book, I only sent out one query, my battered ego couldn’t take anymore rejections.
So then, the question was what to do with all of these books that I had thought were so good? I considered giving up many times; I couldn’t get an agent, so that meant it was the end of the road. I had no choice, right?
Wrong! There was a choice—Self-publishing.
I had written five books, locked away in my room, and didn’t know anything that was going on with ebooks. And then one day I bought a book and read about the author. She used to be selfpublished on amazon and had sold millions of books. Alleluia! That was my answer! Finally a way to get my books out to the reader, it was what I had been looking for.
Little did I know that thousands of other authors also had the same idea. With this new plan in mind, I set out on the internet to self-publish. Only, I still didn’t know what that was. It took me a few days of internet searching to figure it out, and then a few months to get covers, and editing, before all of the books I had written were ready to be sold.
Once they were all out, I sat back and waited for the books to sell. I was sure it would happen, my books were great, or so I’d been told.
Unfortunately, it didn’t go that smoothly, and I soon figured out why. As many of you already know, there are thousands of us self-published authors waiting for our chance. Therefore there are millions of books for readers to sort through, to find the good ones, and that isn’t always easy. So, along with writing the books, paying for the editing, and covers, we also have to market the book to get them noticed. And if your shy like me, that isn’t always easy.
Despite that, Self-publishing has allowed me to do something I had wanted when I started writing my books. And that was to have people read my stories. I just wanted others to feel as I do when I put down a great book. It makes me happy and I wanted to do that for them. When I finished my first book, I didn’t care if I ever made money. I did it for people to read, no other reason. Of course, since I had to use money of my own to get the books out there, I won’t turn any away, but it isn’t why I do it. And the fact that I have had readers contact me, telling me how much they loved my book, makes all the hard stuff worthwhile. Maybe my book isn’t getting noticed the way I had hoped when I started, but when I get a great review or I get asked if I’ll be writing more in the series, it makes my day.
I remember a time back when I had entered Fated Dreams into a contest, and a reader emailed me, asking if I would write a sequel, my heart had soared. It was my dream come to. She had said that she loved the book, and she pictured herself living in the setting that I had created. Nothing could have made me happier than I was that day. But now, a year or so later, I feel that joy each time a reader contacts me, expressing how much they love my work. And that never would have happened if I had left my manuscripts unopened in my computer waiting for an agent or publisher to contact me.
Genre - Young Adult/Fantasy/Romance
Rating – PG13