Why self-publish? And ‘The Last Knight’Posted: July 4, 2013
A little while ago I posted my four reasons why I chose not to self-publish. I made the point, though, that I don’t jude self-publishing or those that do it, just that it wasn’t the right decision for me at the time. So, in the interests of balance, my guest post today is by Nicola S. Dorrington, about why she chose to self-publish her debut novel, THE LAST KNIGHT.
I never planned on self-publishing. Like most writers I dreamed of the ideal. Securing an incredible agent, then getting a fantastic book deal with one of the big publishers. After that is was all fame and fortune and ‘the next J.K Rowling’.
Funny how dreams don’t work out the way you expect them to.
When I tell people I’m self-publishing the first question I get asked is why.
The fact is, my reasons for self-publishing are mine alone. It’s not the right path for everyone, but it is the right path for me.
Let me break my reasons down for you.
The first reason is that the publishing industry is first and foremost a money-making business. I get that and I respect it. But it does mean that publishers are not risk-takers. I don’t blame them. Why risk large sums of money on an untried and untested new author – or a new idea?
The problem with that is that the market is sadly dominated by a lot of similar books – I could count on one hand the number of YA books I’ve read recently that have broken out of the mould.
And The Last Knight doesn’t really fit that mold. So I’m taking the risk that publishers won’t take. The joy of self-publishing my ebooks is that the risk is only to my reputation – not to my pocket.
Which brings me to my second reason. I’m not in this for the money. I’m not going to make my millions self-publishing. And I’m OK with that. For me it’s all about just getting my book out there. If I sell ten copies or I sell ten thousand – I don’t mind. If just one person reads and enjoys The Last Knight I’m happy.
And then we come to my third reason – control. Maybe I am a little bit of a control freak but the best part of self-publishing is that I have final say – on everything.
The cover is my choice. The book blurb says what I want it to say. I decide the price I sell it for and how I market it. And I decide what content stays and what goes.
Admittedly it means I am missing out on a professional editor (and don’t get me wrong, there have been times – about the 30th edit when I was still finding typos – when I regretted that), but it also means that I don’t have someone trying to change my idea of what the story should be. I am almost certain that had this book gone through an editor at a publishing house they would have wanted more romance. I don’t. I like it the way it is.
This book is my baby, my creation – and succeed or fail it will be down to me.
So those are my reasons. That sometimes it’s worth taking a risk, that it’s about the readers not the money, and that ultimately it’s my book, and my vision.
Don’t get me wrong, there are still moments when I wonder if I’ve made the right choice: when I look at the stigma still attached to self-publishing, or when I wonder if the book could have been improved by a professional eye. But at the end of the day I’ve taken my future, and my career, into my own hands. Succeed or fail, no one can say I didn’t try.
About The Last Knight
Seventeen-year-old Cara Page Knows what mark she’s going to get on her English test next week. She knows in three days her history teacher is going to be late because his car broke down. She knows she’s going to give the new boy a nose bleed on his first day.
She knows because every night she dreams of the future, and every day those dreams come true.
Now she’s dreaming of a boy, and a future that can’t be real. Because if it is, then everything she thought was myth and legend is actually true, and there is an evil coming that will tear the country apart.
Lance Filwer is a boy with secrets of his own, and a past full of mistakes he can’t undo. Cara is his second chance, his chance to succeed where he failed before – if only she’ll trust him enough to let him help her.
Cara needs to know what’s happening, but the answer lies in a long-forgotten past, and an ancient legend. To find it Cara will have to travel into the depths of Wales, and the heart of ancient Britain.
With Wraiths, creatures from the darkest of myths, dogging her every move, Cara knows it’s only a matter of time before they catch up with her. And, myth or not, they will kill her.
Her only hope is Lance, and the birthright she must claim, if she is to prevent the future she has foreseen.