As I look at the number of posts I've made since the start of the year, I realize that I've blogged more this year than the other two years. In fact, by the end of the month, I'll have blogged more this year than the other two years combined. Guess I'm still trying to step up my game....
Okay, first the update on the novel. It's fully outlined through Chapter 24, and rough outlined for Chapters 25-30. It looks like the novels going to run 40-45 chapters by the time I've finished the outlining. I sent what I've done so far to my proposed co-author/originator of the series, and he likes it so far. But the proof will be in the writing itself.
And that brings me to the post's subject: why self-publish? The reason are many, and I will outline my thoughts here.
There is no one main reason to self-publish. It's a number of factors, all have their own influence on my thinking. I have read many blogs from many different people who are farther along on their journey, and I am seeing things that enforces what I'm seeing with my own eyes.
Control of My Intellectual Property (IP) Rights --- This has a big influence on my thinking. Any original story I write (That isn't linked to someone's else's IP) is mine. I own everything in that story, and I should have the right to decide who gets what from those rights. The problem is these days, the Traditional Publishing Companies (TPCs) are demanding more and more rights from the writer. E-book rights, audio rights, foreign rights, and even movie and TV rights have become part of a lot of publishing contracts these days. Combined with contracts that are twisted and rigged to give the TPCs everything and the writer very little, it's not worth giving up those rights for the thrill of seeing my book in print.
Distrust of the TPCs --- I have read blogs in which authors explained how the TPCs basically raked them over the coals, and earning nothing because the TPC screwed them over, either through incompetence or willful neglect. Things like "No-compete" clauses, reduced advances, accounting practices that make DC bureaucrats look like amateurs, and demanding every right they can think of are compounded by indifferent editing, little publicity, and a willingness to drop the author at the slightest reason. All that leads me to believe that if a novel I write fails, it should fail because of me, not because TPC screwed me over.
Amount of Work --- Most publishers don't put out more than a book a year for an author. There are exceptions to this -- James Patterson and Clive Cussler come to mind -- but most authors have only one novel out at a time. (A main reason who some authors use Pen names). Well and great if I have only one novel ready to go, but what if I have three novels ready, or several novellas? Do I want to wait three years to publish all three novels, or figure out how to get novellas published? By self-publishing, all three novels can be out in a year, finding readers and hopefully earning money. If I want to publish under my own name, a pen name of ten pen names, I decide when and how I release my work and in what form. That still means I have to write quality stories, but I don't have to sit there with a stack of finished material, dribbling out a novel at a time.
Freedom --- That leads in from Amount of Work. I decide when and how I release my novel/novella/ novelette/short story. I decide if I want to have an audio version, what the price of my work should be. I decide what cover my stories should have. I'm on my own time table, not a TPC's. I think that would have a better handle on what my story needs in the way of a cover, and how much PR I can put out and in what format.
Money --- Yes, it's that low on the list. As a self-publisher (or independent author), I receive no advance (Which are shrinking rapidly). I do however, receive a larger percentage of royalties per book. And because e-books or Print on Demand (POD) never go out of print, I could earn money on a novel I wrote five or ten years ago. While I wouldn't earn a lot per sale, say $2.50 per book, once I have enough stories published, I wouldn't need that many sales per book. If my books each sells only ten copies a month ($25.00), and I have ten stories published, I'm looking at $250.00/month. Not a huge amount, but it would be constant, and grow each time I published a story. With the right PR, I could boost sales for a series, or offer special editions. I don't need runaway bestsellers (Though I would not complain if one of my stories did hit it big) to make a living,
And those are my thoughts as I see it right now. Can my thoughts change? Yes. I expect that I will be altering my thoughts a lot over the next few years, as I start digging into the new soil of being an Independent Author.