I’d like to take this moment to say that my commentary on self pubbing is in no way meant to encourage or entice people into doing it themselves. I am giving my personal reasons why I chose to self publish; whether they’re right or wrong. I’m not making an argument. In fact, I do not encourage self publishing. Especially if an author thinks this is a gold mine or an easy road to fame. On the contrary: self publishing is hard. You have to do everything yourself, or hire someone to do it (yay, outsourcing). That includes cover, document layout, editing, copyediting, choosing distribution channels, formatting your book for those distribution channels, marketing, networking, author appearances, website design and maintenance, and much more. And for all this work you will get sneered at, even if you do everything right. Even if your book looks amazing and is a good fun read. You will also be told you’re wrong about anything and everything you say regardless of whether you’re right or not. Just because you didn’t conform and do like everyone else.
I’ve never been a conformer. Just ask my middle school classmates. They thought I was frakkin WEIRD. They STILL think I’m frakkin weird. Nor have I ever been one to take someone’s BS and kiss butt. I wasn’t raised that way. So if I’m told “We’re changing your character’s name because it doesn’t conform to what we think this genre should be” well… It doesn’t really fly with me. Considering that a lot of my story ideas come from dreams and a LOT of the time my dreams even include character names (A majority of the main character names in PtH were named in my original dream), and if my subconscious is going to provide me with such nice inspiration, I’d like to keep it.
Unless there’s a really good reason to change it. I Google search my main character names, just to make sure I didn’t lift it unconsciously from someone I’d read once upon a time. Such as the “Ellurians” … they used to be “Ullarians” but Dr. Google pulled about 10 pages of links to fairly official looking stuff. So it got changed. … I think I still have “ullaria” lurking around in my files though. Rooting them out as I find them is tedious but necessary.
It really boils down to entertaining. That’s all I really care about. If I entertain 100, or 100,000, it doesn’t matter to me. And I feel that the gauntlet of the trad pub industry would get in the way of that. They’d tell me what I should be writing instead of what I want to write. I’ve had very long conversations with my SO about this whole decision and it boiled down to “what do you want out of being published?” Being appreciated would be nice. Being rich would be nice. But it’s whether I’m entertaining people that matters to me. With self publishing, I get to do that and learn about business stuff without much risk to me or my money.
Yeah, you heard me. Not much risk to my money. I’m not an idiot after all. I wouldn’t buy into something just because an ad said “Lookie! We give you SO MUCH for only $900 (and your soul/first born/arm/leg/all of the above)!” No. I researched the company I went with to verify they didn’t have any hidden bear traps, and I don’t need their extra expensive services. I have a brain and a degree in editing. I can kill my darlings and clean up my sentences on my own. For example, look at the difference between the first 2 chapters of Symbol of Hope V1 and the 2 chapters of V2. The Natan Personality Replacement Program got cut because it wasn’t working even though I loved him. Poor NPRP. I wish I could use him elsewhere, but no… not possible. He was there for a purpose, couldn’t do that purpose and only made things harder for me in the long-run. I can also maintain a webpage and online presence on my own without a coach. I’ll likely make mistakes, but raise your hand if you’re perfect.