I’ve been talking about self-publishing for a while now and have plans to release an e-version of my first novel.
Although the popularity of self-publishing has exploded over the last couple of years with the rise of e-readers, it can still prove controversial for many in the publishing industry. I’ve heard many writers with traditional publishing deals vehemently argue that they would never, ever self-publish, which does feel like a bit of a slap in the face to an aspiring writer.
Only the other day I read this article about how terrible most self-published books are.
So as a wannabe with plans to go it alone, it doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence. There have been a few occasions when I’ve panicked that I’ll end up releasing a poorly edited shambles of a novel that will exist forever in cyberspace, taunting me with my early failures.
But I might be more fortunate than many who self-publish, as my novel was shortlisted in a writing competition in 2011. Although it wasn’t the ultimate winner, at least I know it has enough potential to be of interest to a publisher.
I’ve also submitted the novel for two rounds of assessment with editors, so I’ve had plenty of feedback on the weak points of the manuscript, as well as some of the smaller grammatical errors.
Hopefully with a bit more work it will be a solid and readable novel. Of course, it would be amazing to sell a million copies and watch the cash flood in, but I know this is unlikely to happen. I’m not going to lie, I would love to make some money from the book –even £20 would feel like a huge achievement.
But the main reason I want to self-publish is for the challenge and the feeling that I’ve completed a project. I’ve been working on this novel for so long that I need to draw a final line under it before I can truly move on to write something else. It still has its claws in my soul; the characters are still alive in the recesses of my consciousness, pushing away the new figures who threaten to emerge.
So I’m treating the process as a learning experience.
I would love to walk into Waterstones one day and see a stack on my books lined up on the shelf, but the idea of going to Amazon and seeing that people have bought my book is still pretty cool. I just hope they don’t all give it one star reviews…