Why I chose to self-publish

When I had finished When Colour Became Grey, I at first tried to get it published the traditional way. I emailed the book to a few publishing houses but after about 6 months of silence (they all warn of long delays for their replies…), I received negative responses. However, they all emphasized the fact that these decisions were very subjective, and what one publisher rejected, could be considered a jewel with another publisher.

Since I had to wait between 3-6 months for their response each time, I didn’t want to try other publishing houses and have to wait again to possibly be rejected. So I started researching how to self-publish. While it was very overwhelming, I liked the idea of being in charge and managing the process by myself.

So I signed up onto Reedsy.com where I looked for an editor, and found one I really liked. Next, I also decided to hire someone for the book cover design through Reedsy.

By then I had spent already a big chunk of money, so I decided I wouldn’t hire a marketing person or other people that offered various services to help you launch or manage your book. I uploaded my book onto Amazon’s publishing website called KDP and out it went.

I’m glad I decided to self-publish because I could choose who I wanted as my editor, how I wanted to publish, what kind of formats, how to promote my book etc. Of course this means that you not only have to write a book, but also do all the heavy lifting afterwards to get it launched and market it. But it teaches you about the industry, it makes you think about your target audience and you view yourself as a business and not just an author. You have responsibilities and you’re your own boss.

One of the things I would say to authors considering self-publishing is that you will have to accept you will make mistakes. It’s a trial-and-error process to find what works for you. Things will take longer than you think, and you have to do a lot more than you think. You have to write descriptions, catch-phrases, resumes and blurbs for your book of different lengths depending on where you want to publish. You have to categorize your book, think of adwords, where to advertize, how much budget to use for marketing. You need to format the inside of your book and register an ISBN for your book (only for print). You also need to check in regularly on your sales and update your strategy depending on what works and what doesn’t.

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