Why I am choosing to self-publish
02 Monday Sep 2013
Written by J. Abram Barneck in Journal
No tags :(
I have not made any serious efforts to get a publisher. I am going independent because I couldn’t find a service that I needed a publisher for. My book was well-edited without a publishing companies help. I was referred an editor by Brandon Sanderson’s team. Sarah Bylund was amazing.
I got great advice on my cover and title from a few authors at LTUE.
As a software developer, I am quite skilled at HTML and CSS (the very technology eBooks are created with). I already have all the software and skills needed to make an epub, mobi, pdf, and print-on-demand versions of my book. Yes, I have fonts, and drop caps to start each chapter, and everything else you would find in a book published by a publishing company.
I have some pretty good graphic arts skills myself. I almost chose graphic arts as a career instead of becoming a software developer. Using a photo by a profesional photographer, LaRae Roberts, an image from ShutterStock, another image from a graphics artist friends, Joshua Weekes, I created my own cover. I used a combination of GIMP and Paint.NET to make my cover.
I also created a web page on WordPress.com in seconds and created accounts on all the social media sights. I’ve been blogging for years and already have some serious social media and SEO skills.
So other than to take a cut of my profits, what would a publishing agency offer me? I spoke with a few agents and listed what I could do myself, and asked what else publishing agencies could give me. The only answers I got were these: 1. A little advertising, and 2. The “prestige of being published by an big publishing company.
Add to this the fact that I am a very successfully Senior Software Engineer and I want to continue that as my primary career, and I don’t want fixed dates or deadlines, and you can see that a publishing agency just wasn’t for me.
Also, I have always been a “do it yourself” kind of guy. I got a degree in Creative Writing and yet I am a Senior Software Engineer. Yes, I learned to code on my one without the help of college, though I am currently getting a Masters of Computer Science because I believe in the importance of both education and proof of education. So being a “do it yourself-er” I naturally want to publish myself too.
So yes, the decision is made. I am self-publishing. Am I opposed to going with a company like Tor or Del Rey or any of the other publishing agencies. Of course not. But until then, I am having fun learning everything that is involved.