|Thirty-four days to publication date: 1st of May|
(I promise this wasn't intended as a follow-up to Stephen Tremp's excellent guest post yesterday.)
I started and finished the first draft of Maddie (I nickname all my books for easier reference) while I was pregnant with my second child, more for the sense of achievement than anything else. I wrote it knowing that I would be shelving it for about two years before I would be able to begin the process of finding an agent and a publisher for it – because, with my time and energy focused on two small children, the likelihood of blowing deadlines and not meeting the publisher’s expectations and requirements would be very high. Worse than a rejection would be an acceptance that is revoked or a contract breeched.
So, at first I was still considering finding a traditional publisher. But then I made a lucky connection and was offered an editing job I couldn’t resist. The unexpected lump-sum was a perfect amount for a publishing budget. Could I, perhaps, do it myself?
I began putting some feelers out, and came across the now-notorious John Locke e-book, How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months. Locke had already owned two highly-successful sales businesses, and made the point that the publishing industry is the only industry in the world that stigmatises those who choose to start their own businesses. I had a conversation with my neighbour, who owns and runs a garden landscaping business with two employees, and he agreed: there’s nothing weird about being a small-business-owner.
So I took Locke’s analogy further and applied it to myself and my own little corner of the universe. My world has been affected by another industry that seeks to stamp out anyone choosing to trust their own natural instincts and manage their own process–obstetrics. Here in Australia, we’ve been lobbying to preserve our rights to choose where we birth and with whom. It jumped out at me that pursuing a traditional publisher would be tantamount to driving Maddie to the hospital and handing her over to a bookstetrician. Some authors have different needs; the key is having the choice, and not being ridiculed for making whichever choice it is you went with. And that applies to both sides of the industry.
Right or wrong, that thought brought out my stubborn streak. I homebirth and I home-publish. And I’m proud of it. But self-publishing hasn’t meant taking any shortcuts, as you'll see in my next post.
How about you? Have you made the decision yet? What did you decide, and what helped you make the decision? Or are you still on the fence? Tell us your publishing story in the comments.
|Elle Carter Neal is the author of Madison Lane and the Wand of Rasputin, which is now available on Kindle. She is based in Melbourne, Australia. To keep in the loop about “Maddie”, join her mailing list here, or find her at ElleCarterNeal.com or HearWriteNow.com|