In my last post I outlined what I would like to be doing a year from now then broke it down roughly. I focused my path on traditional publication, and some of you may decree, why not self publish? And honestly I have a friend who is successful at it, as in making his full time living at it. I have a friend who writes outside of genre norms and this was the only option for their work. And let me tell you there work is really impressive; her scope of her world and how it all integrates and her writing is absolutely gorgeous. I haven’t even finished the book and I feel confident saying this.
But I also write in YA. The bulk of self-pub is eBooks. How many teens have eBook readers? How many teenagers have access to a credit card? Chances are they get gift cards a few times a year to spend on books. What is the likelihood of them checking out a self pub verses the books that have a whole lot of oomph behind them? I could offer of Paris for free. I could do that to build my platform. But then a part of me feels like it would need to rush to complete the second book to have something to bank money on, and I don’t want to rush. I want quality control measures at every step. I want an agent who edits, who sees my work and says wow this is awesome, but we can make this more awesome together.
Sure there are kids out there who are willing to go with the cheaper unknown books. Sure there are kids out there with credit cards. A lot of adults read YA and they have credit cards and ereaders. I’m not saying it is not a likely option, but I have been following the YA community for about 3 years now. I know how I want to fit into it. I want to sit at a table with the greats, Maureen Johnson, Gayle Foremen, and be an equal, not the kid chasing at their coat tails. And for me self-pub feels like the kid chasing as coat tails, who was too scared to try it the big way. To put herself out there time and time again and letting people at various stages tear her book apart until it reached perfection and THEN was released to the masses.
The thing I absolutely do not want to do is release something before it is ready because I have had enough of waiting. I read too much, respect the genre too much; to put something out there that is sub par. And believe me we have all witnessed the horror story bad behavior of the self-pub who can’t take critic and that there book wasn’t up to par before they put it out into the world.
I have scene a picture book go out into the world as a self-pub that I can’t support even though I know the person (kind of). They did not do there research regarding publication and saw self pub as the easy route and took it and there book lacks because of that. Because they don’t read the market, because they don’t understand the market. I tried offering advice on how I would go about it if that where me, and what I have done to date in understanding the market I hope to be a part of, but that was clearly ignored. Kudos to them, though, if they end up succeeding despite their willful ignorance.
Yes I want to escape from the day job and do this as a full time career in my future. But I won’t rush quality to do that. I will, however, set myself goals to push myself to be better.
Also, holly frigin lot of work self pub. Try doing that, and a day job, and keep writing, and not go crazy. I just can’t see that happening. I know how much work life is, I have done the writing and working full time and try not to loose my shit, and some days I wasn’t always successful. That was without the burden of being a business owner and pushing my product into the market place, because that is what being self-pub is.
So that is my follow up defence.
See any kinks in my armor, feel free to follow up in a respectful manner in the comments.