A post over at The Forget-Me-Not Cultivation blog got me to pondering this morning. And I left a comment…
Which Sophie responded to and asked me questions I realized I couldn’t in good conscience respond to without appearing to hijack her comments area as my own personal blog space – so here’s my answer in reply to your query, all umpteen hundred words safely nestled on my slice of cyberspace:
“May I ask why you have decided to self publish? Have you had your work read or critiqued as yet and if so can I also ask how?”
I’ve decided to self-publish, because I can.
It’s really as simple as that. My computer has a file folder titled “Writing” and so many sub-folders it’s ridiculous. Before I had a PC, I carted with me various notebooks/folders/three-ring binders that had short stories, poems, prose and journals stacked within them. Like you, Sophie, I’ve always been a writer and with the dawning of the ePublications age, I see no reason why not to upload my work and see what happens.
The mechanics of ePublishing does not occur to me to be very hard – there are numerous tutorials on how to format, etc. I’m no graphic artist, but I know my way around Photoshop well enough to design websites and my wants for my cover design are not past my skill level.
I follow so many different blogs from writers and self-published authors there is no shortage of information regarding how-to and how-not-to. I’ve ordered many self-published works in the past – some were good, some were not.
I’ve seen what is out there and I believe my work will have an audience and stand up to critiquing from that audience (as long as my high school English teacher proofreads it for me! LOL)
Do I expect to become a self-supporting author shortly after publishing? No.
Because I do not, and because I’ve already written these works and had previously designed the covers after envisioning the series of them one day during my afternoon “Daydreaming” hour, I really don’t have anything to lose by self-publishing. Most of the time and effort have already been spent. I simply must correct the typos/grammar errors given to me by my red-penciled angels, select my fonts and upload.
Any sales I make will be awesome because I haven’t taken out a loan to pay others to help me get the work “publication ready.”
So far, I’m sure my observations have made some in the self-published world cringe – there are perhaps some souls who believe me, and those like me, to be the bane of the eBook world and wish for us lackadaisical folks to quit ruining the reputation of the ‘published it myself’ crowd with our less than polished submissions.
I will not apologize. I’ll submit the best of my best. My cover may not make Madison Avenue exclaim, “It Pops!” but it is what I want. I will always hire a proofreader to ensure a typo-free copy for upload. I will format my manuscript for easy navigation (thanks to my many years as a database and website developer). I will tell my story the best I know how and…
… the rest is up to Destiny.
The only work I’ve had critiqued is the articles and book copy I’ve written for the publications of others. Sometimes I got a credit/byline and sometimes I did not. This prior experience may make me a tad more confident in my writing abilities than I should be.
I have not trucked my work around to writer’s groups to have it critiqued. Some years ago, a friend joined a writer’s group and I went along for the ride to one or two meetings when I was visiting her.
While I’m not judging (truly, I’m not), I must say not one in the group was a writer. All of them had recently read “The Four Hour Work Week” and were set to become millionaires maintaining their ‘information publication website’. They all had knowledge that was useful to share – and worthy of charging for the sharing – but after seeing some of the manuscripts, they were not, quite yet, writers.
Not that I believe all writers groups to be like this, but the experience reminded me how often over the years various works had been thrust into my hands to be read with an added, “What do you think? Could I get published?”
Now why, you might ask, was I the recipient of these missives? Because I’m a writer – – which means not only do I write for enjoyment, but I never spend very long at any job before I’m the go-to gal for helping write the perfect memo, resignation, letter, manual, report, brochure, web copy, etc….
I’ve been a ghost writer for years – there are many who know what they want to say, but cannot write it effectively. It makes me happy to do website copy for someone and hear:
“Amazing! It’s exactly what I wanted only so much better! How did you get all of this just by us having coffee and a chat?”
Because I’m a storyteller who can write…
So my life experience tells me I am a writer. My soul says I’m a writer.
Why not take the leap to become a published author?
So if you’re so casual about it, why do it at all?
Because I must.