Translated from French with my friend Google. Sorry if it’s not perfect. It’s made with love.
Let it be said, independent publishing is on the rise, and it is not ready to stop.
It’s actually becoming a new publishing mode, which has nothing to envy to his older brother more « classic ».
If there was a time, when the novelty of this concept was frightening, generating some reticence, it is obvious that the wheel turns slowly, over self-published issues that make their way into the hands of readers, at the same rank as publications of famous publishers.
But then, why do so many authors turn to independent publishing ? What really motivates their choice ?
It is time to silence the many false statements, ans to reveal truths.
1. A thoughtful choice
To hell with the portrait of self-perceived as authors not recognized by major publishers, choosing this type of edition by spite, for lack of better !
It should be known that the majority of the authors having chosen this way, did it by choice. A carefully thought out, thoughtful choice, a choice that simply matched their vision of writing, and all the aspects that flow from their activity.
As proof, a new author profile, of which I am a part, emerges from the hardcover of publishing: the so-called hybrids. What’s that ? Hybrid writers are writers who choose both to publish part of their books in one publisher, and another part in self-publishing. The reasons are various, and belong to everyone, probably largely oriented by the experience that precedes this choice.
Many of them have even rejected the proposals of major publishers, preferably by far their independent status!
So, no, self-publishing is not automatically a stepping stone for the classic edition, because not many writers really want to get out of this system, and not to enter!
For my part, the desire to throw myself into the water was not forged in a single day, but gradually, after a cumulative experience in small and large publishing houses, while I noted I went out after going out that I was clearly missing something to fulfill myself completely as an author, a je ne sais quoi borrowed of liberty, and the faculty of being able to make all the decisions relating to the intrigues which were born under my fingers.
My career in the various houses allowed me to understand the editorial world and enrich myself with solid luggage to better deal with the future. Good experiences, like the bad ones, also allowed me to harden myself against the hazards and other dark sides of this world a little apart. I do not regret this part of my young career, in the sense that I probably would not have had enough square shoulders to throw myself headlong as an independent from the beginning. Some people have done, and have admirably done, little nod to Ysaline Feafaol, a french author, friend of mine, who built his universe without ever having emitted the need to go through the usual circuit publishers.
For my part, these first two years will have brought me a new look on the edition, but also on the back of the set, the opinion of the readers, the expectations of each one, and I leave displeased some detractors. And it is now serenely that my status of hybrid, costume put on the release of Sons of Alba in February 2016 (my first novel self-published), will tend to become a status of author self-published counting from this day. Which means, in other words, that apart from the series Eden, the last part of which will appear at Milady on April 11, 2018, all my next releases will be self-published.
2. Free the pen !
First motivation factor, and not least, for a long time, I feel the need to write « something else ». « Something else » than what you read everywhere, all the time. Another « thing » than what the neighbor is already doing. But writing a story that gets out of the nail is not necessarily in the opinion of a publisher. It’s a risk-taking, it may be damn bad and unless you’re one of those authors who sell books before you write them, no one will follow you in this field in the workplace. Breaking the codes, surveying the untouched lands and therefore, without the slightest idea of the returns that could result, this is too frightening for you to be allowed. Or else, it will be a small yes, barricaded barriers erected so that the general idea sticks with the expectations in vogue side readers.
Writing is above all a passion, I need to write the things that I like, the way I imagine them, at the risk of not pleasing; in all honesty, during the writing phase, this is the last of my worries. I write out of love, out of need, to sell those ideas that germinate in my head for weeks, months, before taking the form of words. Having to round off the angles of a story in which we put all his heart, as if it were a shrub to cut …
So, when I discover, after the release of the first volume of Wild Crows, how you like to go off the beaten tracks in your reading, I can only rejoice and this confirms my intentions: self-publishing allows me to do this « something else » that I believe in so much. No more Smoothy characters, because they must be young, beautiful and muscular; ended the love stories governed by codes, already too seen. Place to freedom ! A limitless freedom, with as guardian angels, my adorable beta readers, who are always listening and available to put me a « stop » when my ideas get too fast or too far. But they never you ask me to change my story, the one I thought, that I loved, and that I want my readers to discover. I do not have insurmountable deadlines to hold or unnecessary pressure. I focus on what I like to do, and I do it my way. And what if this was the absolute happiness ?
3. A delicious versatility
When we think about self-publishing, we often forget to imagine the extent of the work behind it. It is not enough to write, but to change the cap at each stage of the edition of your novels. We stumble a few times, then we learn from our mistakes, to get better back in the saddle. Each fall is as rich in teaching as the small victories gleaned over the outputs. It’s exciting, maybe as much as writing. You become the conductor of the whole process, from the creation of the book to its release, and even after that. You decide everything, editorial work, corrections, layout, means of dissemination, promotion, etc. We learn on the job, and we savor every moment. No one is infallible, so I can only advise you to surround yourself well, to call on the good souls armed with experience and skills you are lacking to help you in this project which will reflect your work, your personality, yourself as an author, but also as an individual.
Because I’m an illustrator, too, it’s a real pleasure for me to be able to determine and make my own covers; how frustrating it is to have to promote your cherished book with a cover you do not like ! I’ve experimented it…
In self-publishing, you can choose to represent your story as you please, using an illustrator, or making it yourself,as you prefer.
In the same way, some publishers let faults ans layout mistakes in my novels when they publish them. I was too confident and new, so I had a blind trust in their skills. From now on, I control this aspect on my novels.
Finally, it is wrong to imagine that self-publishing is just about Amazon … ERROR ! Thanks to the many resources put in place today to help and support independent authors in full development, it is now possible to be self-published and broadcast as many publishers, in digital, but also in paperback ! For my part, in France, I like to make my books available everywhere and accessible to the maximum number of people, so I called Iggybook to distribute them widely in digital, and also allow the order in bookstore, via the Hachette catalog (My case is available in France). There are several providers who can help you, dear authors, to publish your novels. It would be a shame to book them for Amazon users …
In short: you are directing the ship, and no one will interfere with what you plan for your « baby » brooded so long. You are free to enjoy each step, according to yourself.
4. The Writer’s place
It is well known, the author is usually a millionaire.
As Theo James says, I’m kidding !
For those who are not convinced of the unfair place given to the writers in the publishing classic scheme let me show you what’s going on… (Available for France. Tell me how it’s in the US and the UK in comments !)
Image from the survey : « How much does an author earn », by Humanis Publishing.
In short, the one without whom history can’t exist is the most underserved when it comes to remunerating the skills of each contributor to the traditional publishing process.
Thus, for a book sold $ 15, the author published in an edition house, will receive between $ 0.60 and $ 1.5 per book sold. * coughing *
It sounds like a grain of rice stuck in the wheel, right ? Or a whole bag of rice ?
And what’s about self-publishing ? Which report ?
Here we are. And I’m going to talk to you in all transparency.
An independent author does not see his pretty pie chart off a percentage for the publisher. And if we take the example of an author who distributes his books through a provider for paper, the part of digital sales is only to share between the platforms of diffusion, and himself. (Which of course, must then already deduct a lot of charges.)
But the calculation is much more to his advantage, and if the diffusion is assured, then the result will be much more interesting for him.
If writing is a passion, when it becomes a work of several hours a day, to get some benefit is a great reward. Few writers can live by their love for the pen, but some of them do, thanks in part to the opportunities offered by Autoedition.
For my part, I’m not at this point,for now, but who knows ? Maybe someday !
5. A huge personal investment
However, I draw your attention to one point : yes, self-publishing can match you if you feel a clear need for independence. BUT, you still need to be aware of what this means in terms of extra work. You do not create a book with a snap of your fingers. None of us is expert in all areas. And you have to plant yourself a certain number of times to arm yourself with more trained resources and reflexes the following times.
When you spent hours re-reading your manuscript, and a few others rereading the corrections that were offered to you, it was only a brief glimpse of the amount of editorial work you will need to anticipate if you want to drive on the road to independence !
As you can see, if self-publishing can become an exciting adventure, it is a colossal investment over a long period of time; so, think about all that implies before you start.
And if despite everything, your desire to leave the classic ways of publishing is too urgent, then welcome to the paths of freedom !
6. Beware of sharp fangs
Wait, wait, wait …
I forgot something. THE point that should not be omitted !
Welcome to the jungle, but be warned ! Many people, well-intentioned or not, will observe a clear change in their approach to you. Not because you will have a piece of liana in your hair, but because according to the sacrosanct of saints of all saints, self-publishing, no, but WTF ? Oh yes… ! Actually, in France, it’s too new to be well accepted by everyone. I think it’s different in the US. You, tell me.
Something tells me that if you’re reading this article, some of you have knownthe darkest ways of traditionnal edition, those fake smiles and the glitter everywhere. You see me delighted: behind the rhinestones and grins of circumstances, behind the scenes, things can be ugly, and I’m glad to stay away ! In any case, the detractors of self-publishing, sincere or not in their ideals, will soon be in charge of asking you about this choice a strand atypical. And you’ll see, what a delightful flavor to serve them on a steel tray with motives they had not even imagined in their way of following the movement without asking any questions.
Self-publishing spreads, and as everywhere, we find good, bad, excellent too. Damn the embittered !
We are passionate, we are good and we are gonna say it out loud ! ♥ Smile !
There is this little something of rock’n’roll in self-publishing, this need to lift the major in the face of the book industry that no longer necessarily meets the expectations of its authors, and sometimes even its readers. A cry from the heart that delivers a fed up about these books that are alike, these sanitized stories and squares in which we must contort. It seems that the path of independence becomes an option of choice for many authors, worn out by a system that serves them so badly and prioritizes figures on the relationship, including to readers.
The bad image of former times tends to disappear. Yes, publishing a book can be done in a snap, but at a time when big publishers are making outings at a crazy pace, and whose content leaves more and more often to be desired, it is very weak and obsolete this argument peculiar to the opponents of self-publishing.
The trend is growing, and more and more writers are turning to it. In this same movement, more and more possibilities and services are proposed to accompany this new publishing model.
The supply of the self-employed tends to become as complete as the offer of the publishers, which is not always to the taste of the principal interested parties.
So, always with that cheeky smile, I enjoy this wonderful breakthrough and savor every new day as an independent writer.
And you, dear readers, do you read many self-published authors
Friend authors, tell me about your story !
Blandine P. Martin
Indie French Writter