My wonderful minions, please welcome mystery guest blogger LS Fayne today, who will be discussing self-publishing and why she chose it over traditional publishing. An interesting topic for those newbie writers out there.
I’ve been talking with Linda for several weeks now, and she’s a lovely lady. We have a few things in common, one of which is the fact that we both have Fibromyalgia, and she’s written a book about her experiences with the disease.
Be certain to note that there IS a giveaway today!
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People constantly ask me why I chose to self-publish. For me, it wasn’t really a choice. I had my book all finished and was in the process of figuring out just where to send it. I soon realized that having a publisher actually choose my book before other known authors just wasn’t going to happen. The odds were worse than winning the lottery.
Each publisher had their own formatting requirements. Some publishers even requested a statement which would list ten things I would do to sell my book. I thought that was their job! I soon realized that these publishers wouldn’t do anymore for me than I could do for myself. Most also stated that even if they did accept a manuscript, it wouldn’t be released for over 1½ years after the acceptance. I didn’t have the time to wait for them. Not if I wanted to be an established writer before my retirement funds ran out. I had participated in an early retirement program with my company. I figured I had two years to establish a new career. It’s been five years since then, my funds are gone, but I’m still writing. We make due where we can. I have seven books out in the market.
Do I regret my decision to self-publish? Not at all! There is no one to take care of me, and I’ve made some mistakes. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve seen some new authors spend so much money they will never recoup on their losses. I’m in an élite group of people who help each other to figure this all out. We teach each other things, which helps to bring success. It’s a new era and we have a lot to figure out. Everyone is scrambling with the electronic age, including the traditional publishing houses.
Self-publishing is not for everyone. Some people need someone to push them forward, and to tell them what to do. Self-publishing is not for the lazy, or those without business sense. There are obstacles for those who self-publish, which are invisible to those who are taken care of by a publisher.
People are automatically more critical of the quality of a book they assume is self published. I’ve read many books from well-known publishers that have major editing and formatting flaws, especially with eBooks, and yet these flaws don’t seem to get much mentioned in the review process. I’ve read very well-written Indie books that get hammered in the review process when there are only a couple of typos. Part of this is because when the Indie publishing movement started, there were a lot of poor quality books pushed off onto the public.
The public has pushed back and is now demanding better stories and better quality writing. This is as it should be for all books, whether they are Indie published or from a traditional publishing house.
There are obstacles for Indie publishers; invisible barriers. We don’t even know they are in front of us until we smash into them.
I took six books for donation to the local library for the vision impaired patrons. They were 16 pt. large print, hardcover books. They wouldn’t even look at them, wouldn’t evaluate them, because they were self-published. Each book cost me $18.60 in printing. I ended up donating them to the Senior Citizen Center. They loved getting them! Your tax dollars at work here! Not all libraries are this way; I’ve also donated a set to the library of another city.
There are a lot of “rules” determining just how authors are to present and to market their books. Most of these rules, I feel, are deterrents of the publishing houses to keep control of the book market. They discourage authors from seeking reviews from friends and family, and yet the publishing houses hire teams to write reviews and create prior marketing advertisements to the release of a new book. Book critics will not accept manuscripts from Indie authors. There isn’t a critic’s door in which we can walk through. Maybe it’s time to create an Independent Critic’s Group? Oh wait! Critics are supposed to be independent.
Writers are being more careful to not do things that they feel might prevent publishers from accepting their work. They are being more careful to not post any piece of their work on the Internet in case it gets labeled as already published. I’ve recently learned that writers are even afraid to put in their own copyrights with the government. Afraid this even would cause a rejection letter.
I would seriously look closely at a publisher who doesn’t want its writers to protect their own work from theft. I’d like to remind writers that publishers cannot own your copyright unless you carelessly sign it away to them. It’s the same with movie rights. You created the work. You own your work!
It all looks like the best worlds meet when a person receives that acceptance letter, especially if it contains a fat advance check. Not everything is as it appears. Read those contracts carefully. You might be signing away more than you planned, and that big, nice advance check? It has to be paid back if your book does not sell to its projected number.
I’ve never sent my work to a publisher. I love the freedom. Would I sign a contract if one was offered. Maybe, maybe not. I’ve grown awfully used to having my own way with things. I chose my formatting, my style, and my covers. No one is going to rewrite my story and sign my name. No one is going to eliminate Book Two, and keep books One and Three.
I think the only way I would sign such a contract is if one of my books got so popular (50 Shades of Grey) that I got muddled with regards to fulfillment and distribution. Oh yes, just another thing Indie publishers have to deal with.
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L. S. Fayne was born in Norwalk, California, grew up in Santa Cruz, California, and at the age of ten, her family moved to Oregon. She married her husband, Darrel, in June 1984. They are still together and very much in love. Still happy and wanting more.
She and her husband created their own publishing company, Fayne Artists, and in June 2008, they published her first novel, Christmas in the House of O’Byrne. She was so taken with the storyline and characters of the book that she created a series for it called, Druantia’s Children. In these books, they described the ancestry of their magical family. Linda was inspired to go back in time, and create stories for the original seven sisters who migrated to America. This series is called, The O’Byrne Daughters.
Linda creates all her own covers and artwork. She wouldn’t mind someone else putting on the publishing hat, but for now, is satisfied to be so involved. She is excitedly writing her seventh novel, of which, her only hint is that it belongs to the Druantia’s Children Series.
Linda fights with Fibromyalgia. For those fighting with Fibromyalgia, she stresses for them to pursue something they are passionate about! Something that will help them get up every morning! She has her husband, a big extended family, writing, and cats. She is passionate about all of them.
All the book links above go to their respective Amazon pages. All of the images below are linked to their respective Smashwords pages.
Linda has agreed to do a giveaway for a print or ebook copy of one of her books you’ll also find below, so here’s what we’ll do: comment on this post your feelings or experiences on self-publishing vs traditional publishing, and I’ll select a winner using Random.org. Then the winner can choose which of Linda’s books they’re interested in and I’ll send a coupon code for that ONE book (if an ebook edition is chosen). If the winner so chooses a print copy, I’ll get the winner in contact with Linda for shipping details. Let the comments begin! *fires gun* I’ll choose a winner on Friday, August 17th.