To self-publish, or not to self publish… That is a very good question!

I realised that perhaps I haven’t really explained why I’m self-publishing, or what my novel is even about, and thought it might be a good idea!

First of all – the subject matter of my novel. I dread when people ask me what my book is about, because I find it difficult to categorise – not a good thing when it comes to publishing a book! The title is: The Earth Angel Training Academy. It’s based on the other side, in an Academy for beings from all different realms. There are Angels, Faeries, Merpeople, Old Souls and Starpeople. They go to the Academy to learn how to become human, so they can go to Earth and help with the Awakening. The novel follows several of the characters as they experience the final term of the Earth Angel Training Academy. Anyone who has read any of Doreen Virtue’s books will understand the term Earth Angels, and maybe even know which realm they themselves are from! I will possibly add some excerpts from my novel on here, to give a little bit of a taster.

Now then, my reasoning for self-publishing. I must admit, I initially wanted to publish this book the traditional way, and like I mentioned before, did start sending it out to agents and publishers, and received a few replies. I only did e-mail submissions, I didn’t quite get into the hard copy submissions. I suppose you could say that going down the self-publishing route  is me being a bit lazy, and not wanting to bother printing out the first three chapters of the book and sending them out to people, which would be quite true. I don’t really want to go through all of that process, just as I don’t really want to spend all my money on the postage, printing and paper costs! Then there’s the time thing – I’m just far too impatient to wait years, or if very, very lucky, months before finding someone to take on my novel.

In 2007, I self-published my novella – Heaven Dot Com, because at 18,000 words, it was too short to be published by a publisher, and too long to be sent to magazines, so just because I wanted to see it in book form, I published it on the POD site, lulu. Though the quality was good, I wasn’t too impressed with the postage costs, or the high manufacturing costs, so I was pleased to find a different company this year. I re-published the novella, and found that the quality is excellent, the manufacturing costs are low, so I can make the price lower, and the postage is very reasonable. I also like the function on the site that allows people to read a certain number of pages online.  So, although I would love to have the benefits of an Editor, Proofreader, and marketing department, I’m afraid that I just don’t have enough patience or stamps to go the traditional publishing route.

Which means of course, that the editing is entirely down to me, the cover is down to my wonderful sister, and the marketing and selling is also all down to me. Which should be interesting. Aside from social networking, I have no actual marketing plan, I may be calling on some other friends in that field to help me out. I also love the book “How to become a famous writer before you are dead.” by Ariel Gore. It has some excellent tips.

I think that’s more than enough information for one post, so time to print out that extra copy, I think!

The Beginning…

Ah, the first post, always a tricky one! Well it’s not quite 2011 yet, but I thought it would be a good idea to begin now, with the journey up until now…

It all started on a train journey from New York City to Westchester, when I started to read Chris Baty’s book ‘No Plot? No Problem!’. The concept of writing 50,000 words in a month very much appealed to me, even though the longest piece I’d written up until then had been 18,000 words. It was only March at the time, and I decided that I couldn’t possibly wait until November, the official novelling month, and so set the challenge for April. After a week of planning, I began writing the novel in the airport and on the plane home to England on April 1st, 2009. After a month, I had 40,000 words, and was only half way through the story. I continued in the same vein through May and by the 2nd of July I had a 96,000 word novel.

I let it sit for a while, having got severe RSI in both hands! A couple of months later I did some editing, and also had a friend look through it for me. I then probably made the rookie mistake that many new writers have done – I started sending it out (via e-mail) to agents on publishers. I got a few replies, and though polite, were rejections. I left it for a few more months, then decided to get a few more opinions, having realised that only two people had read the entire thing from start to finish, not a great idea. So, armed with a new printer and cheap ink, I printed a few copies and sent them  out to some more friends, and they gave me feedback not only on grammatical errors but a few other points too. The overall response was very positive though, and they all asked to read the sequel, which then gave me my subject matter for the 2010 Nanowrimo.

Which is the subject of another post! The point I am at now, is of polishing the manuscript, writing the front pages, then setting it out ready to upload it to a self-publishing Print on Demand website.

Well, before this turns into a novel itself, I will end this post, and will update in the New Year. Merry Christmas!