Thursday, 9 June 2011

A small rant on self publishing...

As I sit here chuntering away to myself, and typing things destined never to be read, a thought keeps returning, over and over again.

You see, the search for an agent isn't going spectacularly well. It didn't with the last book either. I can kid myself that the spelling mistakes in the query are to blame, or the time I spelt the agent's name wrong, yeah they obviously put me on some agent wide blacklist for that. Realistically though, if they don't want your book, they don't want it.

Do you leave it lying round on the hard drive? Or do you give it a new lease of life? I was put off self publishing about a year ago as, opinion then was, any agent looking at a future book wouldn't view self publishing a previous one kindly. When you're second book gets rejected the same as the first, what do you do? The world's changed a lot in the past year. Publishers are publishing less new authors. Agents are taking on less new authors. E-books are growing. The industry is changing, and fast too. Self publishing has lost a lot of stigmas in the past year

So what happens if you put it up for sale yourself? From what I can gather, selling it at 70p is the optimum way to go. It appears in more searches that way and, for the cost of a 1 song music download, an 80,000 word book is pretty good value for 70p. Assuming, of course, that it's readable.

Some people have had huge success. Jake Barton's Burn Baby Burn has sold thousands of copies. The other day I bought my first kindle book Julie Morrigan's Gone Bad that was 70p well sent. Some great short stories in there, Julie's a fabulous writer.

Each 70p sale apparently gives about 22p to the author, which you're not going to get rich on. But that's not the point, is it? I spent fifteen years on and off writing and rewriting Spies, Lies and Pies. If I sell 13 copies and make enough for a pint, I'll be happy.

For the past two weeks I've been re-editing it. It's weird but in the past year since I finished writing it, my writing style has changed. Some of the parts made me embarrassed, while others I'd forgotten about. If I say so myself, there are a couple of gems in there.

So, my third book is now nearly finished. Assuming that doesn't snag me an agent or publisher, I reckon I'll put them all up on amazon and see what happens. I'll probably change my mind again, but that's today's plan.


6 comments:

Jaxbee said...

It's a tricky one, isn't it Charlie! Whatever happens, don't get disheartened. It's so hard to get an agent or a publisher these days but you write well and you need to hold on to that. It's got to be worth self-pubbing or hanging on in there with the submissions. Just keep tweaking and polishing in between because in my opinion, you (well I) can always improve on something you wrote a month ago. Best of luck.

Julie Lewthwaite said...

Hang on in there, kidda! There's nothing to stop you self-publishing one or more things and chasing agents and publishers with something different. The whole industry is in flux right now, and new opportunities are there for everyone, whether writer, agent or publisher. If you think something might work for you, go for it!

(And thanks for the kind words, too - glad you enjoyed GB!)

Charlie Wade said...

Thanks Jax
Editing and re-editing is always good advice. I agree that even a week or two off can give you a different view on something you wrote.
I think, if nothing else, self publishing would butthe thing out to pasture, so to speak. I seem to have another ten unwritten books rattling round my head, but, I keep thinking about this one. Time to mark a line in the sand (or the pasture, getting my cliche's mixed) and move on.

Charlie Wade said...

Thanks Jules.
You are, of course, right. Agents and publishers are probably as bewildered as we are at the moment. It's a bit like the record industry when downloads started.
Hope you spent the 22p on something nice!

Col Bury said...

Hi Charlie,

Personally, I'd hang on to them, mate. Let the industry settle down. If you managed to gain some interest and they asked, "So, Charlie. What else have you got?", you'd kick yerself!

Just my opinion, mate. Give it a couple more years of trying. Depends what you want...

Best of luck,
Col

Charlie Wade said...

Thanks Col,
that's a yes a no and a maybe so far.
I know what you mean, I'm in two minds myself. Do you wait for what emerges or pre-empt it?
Realistically by the time I finish submitting the current and next one, it'll be christmas anyway.
The spy book is very different from my other writing. It's like a one off. If any publisher was interested in my crime stuff, I don't think they'd want it anyway.

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