Thursday, June 09, 2011

Produced, Written and Directed...

You all know that self publishing has been on my brain as we think about where publishing is heading. I’ve actually gathered some data that I will eventually share but I want to make sure I’ve gotten a wide range of information. The one thing I’m certain of, and this should come as no shock, is that if you want to self publish a novel that has not been PREVIOUSLY published (that’s the kicker here folks) you’re going to have to invest in it if you want a quality product.

Even if you publish your previously published backlist you’re going to have to invest, but it’s minor in comparison.

That’s why the risk/reward of putting up a backlist a no brainer. Spend a little money, have a chance to earn money back on a book that was previously dead.

But with true self publishing you’re going to need to seriously invest to have something worthy of earning a profit.

It makes sense. I’m not just a writer putting up my material on line so people can read it. I really have to be a publisher. I have to make decisions about the title that I think will attract people. I have to make those same decisions for the cover art. I was on a loop where the author spoke about being thrilled to have control over her own cover art.

Me… it makes me tremble in my bootstraps. (Just in case you were wondering I don’t really wear bootstraps.) I’m not a visual person. Any title I’ve ever come up with has sucked and been changed. I’ve never even submitted an alternative title that’s been accepted.

It takes me back to M. Night Shyamalan and his movies. The Sixth Sense proves that one person can do all things and do them well. The Happening proves that one person cannot. The Village is probably where most of us will fall which is somewhere in between.

I was watching that movie the other night and there are so many things that I love about it and so many things that I hate. I just wish someone had pointed out a few of those things that were nonsensical which he could have done better. If he had more input, if he worked with a team of people instead of just taking his own counsel, might have he been better served?

Just another thing to think about if you decide to self publish. You now become Publisher, Writer and Marketer.


Maureen McGowan said...

Great post, Steph.

This: "I’m not just a writer putting up my material on line so people can read it. I really have to be a publisher." is what a lot of authors don't consider, I think.

They just toss stuff out there, hoping to make a quick buck. But you'll be smart about it!

Cannot wait to hear more!

Eileen said...

Those are such valid points, Steph. As an author, I feel I have barely enough time to do what I'm supposed to do much less take on the jobs of editor, art department and publisher.

Sinead M said...

So fascinating, this whole business.

And yes, you are so right Stephanie, you have to be jack of all trades. The last thing you want up on the internet under your name is a story with grammatical errors and lack of editing.

so much to think about.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I totally agree the backlist if you have it - put it up. But you're right - if you want to stand out you've got to invest time and money. Can't wait to hear more!!!!

I feel like the conference is tomorrow suddenly - so much to do and not enough time to do it...

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