I’ve been mulling over the self-publishing options for months. I have ten unpublished novels. I love to write. I have non-fiction book ideas too. But the gatekeepers of the publishing industry – agents and editors – have made the hope of getting published seem like a distant dream.
When I started writing novels in 2001 it was the third year of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and there were only about 5,000 of us participating and 300 “winners”. Now there are hundreds of thousands of participants writing novels each year. In 2010, the NaNoWriMo winner’s circle expanded to 37,500 new novels!
Guess what! The publishing industry hasn’t expanded enough to accommodate all the people writing novels these days! The gatekeepers are still accepting a very small number of manuscripts. It doesn’t matter how well-written and edited my novels are. They have a very miniscule chance of being accepted by publishing industry gatekeepers.
I wrote these novels because I love to write. I am doing all this writing because it is my way of having fun and being creative. And I want to continue doing this for a long time to come! But getting rejections and trying to be consistent in sending out query letters and emails isn’t my idea of fun. I feel totally blocked by these activities, these gatekeepers… and my enthusiasm for my writing has waned because of it.
Because now, I’ve decided to self-publish through CreateSpace using my own publishing label, Lifesong Press… a new division of my business. The decision to go ahead and get my books into print came after many months of consideration and consultation, as well as observation of other self-published authors who are making money and are happy with their book publications.
I now feel un-blocked! I feel free again! I’m so happy, excited, and proud to know my novels are about to see print!
No more rejections. No more frustration from gatekeepers. No more stressing because the publishing companies can’t afford to publish each and every good manuscript that comes along.
Seriously, folks… take a look at the situation. Twenty years ago there was no internet. But now things have changed. The old rules aren’t what they were. We now have amazing self-publishing opportunities that are inexpensive and easy to learn. The world has opened up for us. The old-style publishing industry is crumbling and cannot do for us what we can do for ourselves ten times as easily and without the frustrations.
I’m embracing self-publishing! I’m loving it!
I expect to be able to market and sell my novels and make money rather than having them on my hard drive like nails in my heart. These novels are, IMHO, fantastic! And I want to share them with the world!
I have friends who chose to work with small press publishing houses, and who have published novels and picture books. They are all having to do almost all the marketing themselves. It isn’t much different than self-publishing, except that someone else formatted the manuscript and made all the financial arrangements.
When I decided to self-publish it took only a millesecond to choose the name, Lifesong Press… because that’s the name I used for publishing in the 1980s. At that time I wrote a lot of songs, and the name at the bottom of each song sheet was … you guessed it … Lifesong Press. Well, songs or novels – I like this name, a lot! Life is a song… for me. A song of passion with a lilting, precious melody.
Release dates! Yes, I’m setting them.
My first self-publishing project is an anthology of articles written by members of my local writers club. This yet-unnamed project will be published on
August 15, 2011 December 31, 2011. (Had to put it off because two of the writers aren’t ready.)
Next I’ll be publishing River Girl, a novel about a girl growing up in rural California (in the Happy Camp area) in the 1920s. The intended release date is October 15, 2011.
The third project will be The Scribe of Irohila… the first book in my Antediluvian Adventures series. The intended release date for that novel is November 15, 2011.
Even though I’m self-publishing, I’ve had help with critiques from my critique group partners, and have edited these books many times. I know there’s a problem with some people self-publishing without proper editing, and I do wish they would think twice about doing that. The most important part of creating a novel is in the revision process.