I avidly follow The Bent Agency on Twitter. They’re my dream agency, and when they tweet advice, it is good advice. Today, Beth Phelan (an amazing, amazing agent) tweeted about a blog that one of her clients had written, called “A Peek at the Hybrid Author: Choosing to Self Publish.” For anyone caught in the decision making process, I definitely recommend taking a look at this post.
As far as the decision to self-publish versus the traditional method, I have hopped back and forth over the fence. I query as many agents as possible, but I also research the different ways to self publish. I kept thinking that if nothing ever worked out with an agent, I would just self publish and then try again with my next novel.
But I think that the querying process can be addicting — especially when there are so many agents and so many different opportunities. I think it would take at least a year for me to exhaust my querying effort, since I keep piling my way through different databases and Google searches.
Then again, I want to have my first book published before I graduate from college. And I also know that I don’t want any major changes to happen with my storyline, and that I know exactly what I want the inside and outside of my product to look like.
I also know that when an author publishes traditionally, a lot of that control is taken away from them. However, I’m so terrified at the prospect of marketing my book alone that I hesitate to just move forward on my own.
After reading the blog post, though, I really started thinking about my goals for this novel. Do I expect it to be a best seller? No. Do I think it’ll make me lots of money? No, definitely not putting any expectations on that.
So what do I want?
I want to be able to flip through the pages of my book as an officially published book. I want to be able to give copies to my friends, and spread the word to any other interested readers out there. I just really like the theme and the points of my book, and I just want to share it.
I’m thinking of just self publishing. My goals don’t fit in with any of the goals of the traditional publisher. I want my book in my hands, and I want it as soon as possible. At least for this first novel. I’m sure I’ll be more patient once I publish this one.
As of right now, this is my game plan: to make a cheap ebook that is easy to purchase on Amazon, and to make a nice hardbound version for anyone that really likes it.
Since my goals are pretty minor, this shouldn’t be too expensive to accomplish. I have the good fortune of knowing people that will edit and Book Doctor my novel inexpensively, and I have a brilliant photographer friend that would be able to help me with the cover design. I can figure out how to format the text, and I will use a service, like LuLu to help me with the rest.
And the best part is? I feel great about this decision, and I can’t wait to get started.
It’s not like I will never try the traditional route of publishing again. I know I want to give it another go when I’m older and ready to invest more time. For now, my overall writing goal is to become a hybrid (if you’re a Vampire Diaries dork like me, you’ll catch the reference). I want to lower myself into the world of publishing by doing it on my own first. Once I get a better handle of what I’m doing, and what it is like to publish, I’d like to try to get an agent. I want to become a writing hybrid. Doesn’t that just sound so cool?