I have been asked by many why I am choosing to self-publish “Tree Farm Girl” as opposed seeking a more traditional publishing model. And I am not just self-publishing this one, for there are many stories behind this that are waiting to be written. I plan on self-publishing for the foreseeable future. Why? If you have a story that you have written, that you are trying to get out into the hands of readers, why should you consider self-publishing as a real alternative?
1) You have access to the technology. As with many industries, technology has upended traditional business models. Back in the day, you needed a traditional publishing company to have access to printers, to bookstores, to the publishing community. But with the rise of Amazon and Kindle, bookstores are barely hanging on. With the rise of the internet, you can find professional editors and graphic designers. With modern computers and programs, you have access to the same programs that the big guys use to layout and format your book. Adobe Indesign is available for like $15/mo. That can be used to create both your cover and your inside layout.
Even if the tech is too hard for you, you can find a professional graphic designer who will work with you for affordable rates. Chances are you know a guy or girl who dabbles in design that might cut you a good rate. That is an unbelievable reality. You can create a book that looks just as good and just as professional for affordable rates.
2) You want control over your creative work. One of the main reasons I choose self-publishing because I trust my instincts. I have seen buddies of mine publish with reputable publishers and sign over control over how the book was marketed. The company chose the book cover. They chose the title. And you can recommend, you can stress your opinion, but in the end, they own the intellectual property and have the power. Forget that action. I have seen some pretty bad covers and titles in my day. I watch mega corporations absolutely miss with their branding and marketing, and I don’t want to have my hard fought work given a title I hate. I want to bring this baby to the world a certain way. True, I lose access to their network. But the amount of traditionally published books that actually make real money is very low. Most traditionally published books never break 1000 copies sold. 1000! I can fail like that by myself and keep creative control.
3) You believe the story is worth being told. I guess this should have been my first reason. In the end, I am not doing this to be rich. I am telling these stories because I am a storyteller. God has put this in me deep down. I have always written. I have been sharing stories with friends and families for years. Even if I publish a story, and only 5 people read it, I am still glad to have told it. The hard work of getting it out there is a joy in itself. I could take the time to send out letters and try to convince some company that my voice is worth being heard. But I don't care what they think. I am going to write the story, I am going put it out there, and if it goes, so be it. And if it doesn't, so be it. I find great satisfaction in the creating. Self-publshing gives me the opportunity to see if these stories have an audience. And I can't wait to see how these tales find their way in the world.
These are some of the reasons I have chosen to self-publish. Stay tuned for more on Self Publishing later this week!
To help bring my first book to press, consider pre-ordering Tree Farm Girl today.