Last week I had the privaledge of showing two writer friends how to do the technical stuff for self publishing--the formating and uploading to Amazon and B&N. And to me, that was the easy stuff--once you figure it out of course. Self-pubishing is technically simple, but parts of feel so complicated (finding a cover for instance)
And so I ask: Fellow self-publishers, what have been your experiences with self publishing? Why did you choose to self publish? What was the most difficult part for you? What were your experiences with getting a cover? Did you get your book professionally edited? How did you find an illustrator/editor? did you have any trouble formatting or uploading your book? Would you self publish again/traditional publish/do a mix of both? Answer any, all or none of these impertinent questions...
Fellow self-publishers, what have been your experiences with self publishing?
I have zero complaints. I sold more than 70,000 copies, was able to land a six-figure three-book contract, and made 2.5 years worth of income to sock away to live on in the meantime.
Why did you choose to self publish?
Didn't choose to - was more or less forced into it. I had been published through a small press with my first book, as the date approached for book two's release, it became evident there were "issues" turns out they didn't have money for the press run. I already had book clubs and book store signings setup so the only way to make those dates was to self-publish. Once I started, I wanted to stay on a six-month release cycle (I had written six books in a series) and the only way to maintain that schedule was to continue to self-publish.
What was the most difficult part for you?
Marketing...but I content that marketing aspect is the same no matter which way you publish so that really doesn't count. As far as tasks that are unique to self-publishing...it would be finding good editors. I've had to teach myself a lot because many editors don't have the level of attention that I would have liked to see, even when I'm paying them well and they are "professionals."
What were your experiences with getting a cover?
I've been fortunate to have the same series put out two different ways...once by me (as a six-book series self-published) and once by a big-six as a trilogy. I did the covers for the self-published ones myself. Many people who have seen both say they like mine better than Orbit's. I do think theirs are more "marketable" but they seemed to do well by me. In several blogs reviews the "beautiful" covers were often mentioned even though the reviewer usually didn't know I had done the artwork.
Did you get your book professionally edited?
Yes, and no. I've put out six books. The first two were "edited" by the small press although I've subsequently sent them through several more editors. The fifth book, which is actually the cleanest, I used no editors for (except my wife and a few proofreaders). Book three and four I paid professional editors for.
How did you find an illustrator/editor?
I put a notice on craig's list and it was reposted to sites such as elance, guru.com, and several others. I had hundreds of editors applying. I gave each a 3 page sample and asked them to edit it, and give me estimates given the rest of the book would be similar. I also introduced some "known" errors. I made my decision based on price and types and level of editing (some editors wanted to do a lot of re-writing but all I wanted was grammar/spelling/comma help.
Did you have any trouble formatting or uploading your book?
ebook formatting is ridiculously easy and can be done in just a few hours. Here's a great resource. I didn't use it as I did my formatting long before this post was written. But the stuff I do mirrors almost exactly what this person says.
Would you self publish again/traditional publish/do a mix of both?
I would definitely self-publish again. My next book is at my publishers now...it has an option clause, and if they aren't interested, or won't pay me an advance that is big enough, I'll certainly be self-publishing it.