Maiden Voyage – Publishing
I began with an idea of what it would be like to write a book designed to be published and then I fell into the realities of what it takes to be a successfully published author. I learnt pretty quickly that there is nothing different about this process as there is to any other in life. It all starts and ends with you.
Selecting whether or not I was to go down the path of traditional publishing or becoming a self published / indie author was a no brainer for me. I’m not a mainstream thinking person and have never been great at it nor happy about following a regimented routine for anything. Although I can see it holds purpose in some instances, for the most part I find it creatively stifling. This is why the partial insight I managed to gleam from an initial meeting with a publishing house had me walking out of that session knowing I was an indie author. The moment one of the two representatives in the room with me alluded to their policy of terms and finished with an emphasis of strong encouragement for writers to adhere to their ‘creative guidance’ was enough to send me running.
I didn’t spend all my energy, time and money on backing my creative pursuits to be told what to do, when to do it and how would be presented.
I can appreciate the publishing houses have a defined formula for promoting the authors they represent for success (readership interest permitting). It takes time, costs money and in light of the ever changing world where the dependance on them has been thwarted by technology ingenuity, the pressure to make a decent quid for them has been tested in recent years. The digital age is continually evolving the way we distribute the books out to the market and has certainly provided a greater variety of choices for the reader to access the works produced.
What I never knew about the publishing game as an indie author is precisely how much of my time would be consumed by everything except writing. Starting out on limited funds had driven me to be strategic about the way I planned and approached my book launches, giveaways and allocation of funds for marketing my the books. The platform for the various technologies is so diverse, all of a sudden recognized it was in my best interest to join techno forums to keep abreast of what is new, the pro’s and con’s of existing technologies, get advice on how to avoid pit falls. There is no single place to find a holistic continually current view from a publishing perspective.
Now I’m not sure if you have tried to engage the services of a graphic designer recently so here are two things to note. The good one’s are expensive and very busy. There are fantastic online service platforms, which allow you to post a job and have designers apply for the work by creating something they feel you are looking for. If you can afford the time to play ‘go fish’ to see what you catch this is most certainly an affordable alternative and can also be delightfully surprising. Occasionally someone comes out with a cracker design. In my case I tend to leverage a professional graphic designer for my book covers and then for the remainder of the design work such as advertising banners, gifs etc I usually create them myself or if I have some time up my sleeve I post a job on one of the design sites to see what inspiration comes from it.
The long and the short of it is this, when you consider whether you want to walk the path of self publishing or pursue the route of being represented by a publisher, the delta for your decision making needs to also factor the entire process which leads you to the people who need to know your book is fabulous and that it exists for them to read. There is some pressure removed with publishing under an established label but I have also heard first hand from some authors who have been represented that there is still a lot of emphasis placed on them to market themselves and by default promote the publishing house.
Personally I have enjoyed the steep learning curve that I thrust upon myself when I began to write works set for publishing. The wealth of knowledge I have obtained has assisted me in more than just my creative promotions. Its stimulated me to expand my horizons in a multitude of areas which all interlace and compliment my books. I believe I have made the right decision for me. When the time comes, trust that you will too.
Blessings – Truth Devour