• The Best Part of Self-Publishing Your Book

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in ABCs of Writing     Comments 4 comments

    In last week’s post, “The Hardest Part of Self-Publishing Your Book,” a few WriteByNighters took the time to discuss with us the pitfalls they had to jump across during the process of self-publishing their books.

    This week, those same WriteByNighters have given even *more* of their time to tell us about the most rewarding parts of self-publishing. 

    Dan Hays, author of Freedom’s Just Another Word and Healing the Writer

    The most rewarding part of self-publishing was actually getting my manuscript out where it could see the light of day. Self-publishing wasn’t Plan A. That was, of course, to find an agent, and get a traditional publishing contract. I went to a number of writer’s conferences and found out just how competitive the market was. Hundreds of thousands of new titles published each year, competing for attention. I also found out that a surprisingly high percentage of writers at the conferences didn’t actually have a completed manuscript. Just having a completed manuscript was very rewarding for me.

    There was also a maze to go through, first in getting an agent to agree to represent my manuscript, and then the agent finding a publisher willing to publish my manuscript. The closest I got was a New York agent asking to read my manuscript, after a pitch session at a writer’s conference. He wrote back that “while there is much here to admire, I just don’t believe I could make your book a successful publication in this competitive market.”

    I finally gave up on traditional publishing, and self-publishing was my Plan B. On the day my book was released, it was very powerful, and incredibly rewarding. I could say “I am a published author.” That short sentence took me a long time to absorb.

    Dana Frank, author of The Moon Can Tell

    I think the most rewarding part is what I mentioned earlier, that I have a book now. Also, I have the confidence that I can write another and publish it myself, and even if no one reads it, I’ll write it and publish it because that’s what we writers do. 

    I say go for it, to any writer, if you are considering self-publishing. It is an emotional and practical fulfillment that is available to us now, like never before.

    Marcia Drut-Davis, author of Confessions of a Childfree Woman

    Positive reflections

    1. After getting enough rejection letters that could cover one wall of my living room, seeing my book in print made me do a happy dance.

    2. I didn’t have to wait for what could have been more years to see my book published, or never published. (Unless I wanted my whole house covered with rejection wallpaper!

    3. Seeing the reviews on Amazon acknowledging how my book affected lives in a positive way is still rewarding.

    4. Getting residual money even four years after self-publishing.

    5. Helping to make publishers now see that for Book 2… I’m not just another writer but have a following and good proof of my writing ability.

    6.The ease of having my book sold internationally and on Kindle.

    7.The low cost of personally buying my book.

    Assaf Raz, author of Rite of Passage (Lost and Happy Book 1)

    Simply put, the ability to create and then go straight out cannot be underestimated. I’ve been through the Hollywood ring before, when I tried to sell a script. It was a grueling experience, which eventually ended with my script shoved into a drawer. Thus, the self-publish option, in my view, is amazing. It allowed me to expose my work, unhindered by any gate-keepers.

    A great big thank you–again–to these four writers for sharing their experiences. 

    Have you self-published a book? What was the most rewarding part of the experience for you? Let us know below. And include links!

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    Barbara Mealer

    No rejection letters/emails. I did try that route. Then there is the higher pay, the fact that no one can tell you what to write, you are in control and it’s a lot of fun. Early on, I discovered the gatekeepers were looking for original clones of what was popular. Yes, you do want to write to market, but you don’t need to be a clone to do so. (such as: a book with motorcycles doesn’t have to be Sons of Anarchy or erotica) What else I love is I get to write like I want to do so in… Read more »

    Sara Triana Mitchell

    As a hybrid-published children’s author, I loved being able to work directly with the illustrator I hired, which is very unusual. It was both challenging and invigorating. We both had very specific ways we wanted to depict the story (I wanted the characters to be diverse and she wanted to bring in her Waldorf training) and we got to do exactly that. I also loved the multi-faceted aspects of publishing a book, versus just writing it. It was a huge puzzle that I was constantly working on at all hours.

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