I have spent a lot of time reading through articles online and what people are saying on the forums, and I’ve finally conceded that I should have a go at self-publishing. I say conceded because for many years I’ve held the old-fashioned view that self-publishing is a last resort after every literary agent has been enquired. Well, I’ve read multiple agencies’ websites and I’ve also read what authors have said on the matter. Whether traditional publishing is a dying industry or not, you cannot escape the ‘200 submissions a week, one or two chosen for representation a year’ statistic. Now I’m good at beating the odds. I’ve applied for History teacher jobs and beaten off 30+ applicants. But there’s 30 applicants to one job, and there’s 2000+ manuscripts per representation. And that’s just representation. There’s the whole process of moulding and negotiating with an agent to go through after that, just to be placed in front of publishing houses.
So I’ve come to the rationale, as many have, that it’s worth going indie. It’s worth going through the process of editing and marketing the novel myself, just to see what happens at the end. Yes, it’s a veryveryvery scary thought that I may spend months working on this just to have nil people pick it off the Kindle shelf. But there are ways I could advertise the book across my local community and across online networks, if I invested the time.
The first stage is to get the sequel written, with a view that I published it fairly soon after the original, so to begin a series. It’s the best way of getting a readership, no matter how small, invested in your work. It’s a strategy that seems to work for many indie authors and there’s certainly scope within the story to turn it into a trilogy, or even beyond.
This week I have written about 5,000 words, which isn’t an awful lot, but considering how busy my week has been, I’m pleased with this. The most interesting thing is getting into the head of Jasper, a reasonably significant minor character of the first book who comes to the fore in this second book. I really enjoyed writing this morning because I got to explore what made him tick.
I am also going to spend my time acquainting myself with online indie communities. Learning from the folk on there, and schmoozing where possible. And we will just go from there.