The other day a friend of mine posted a snippet on FB from one of her old stories. I loved it when I first read it years ago and I love it today. So, I did what I do and encouraged her to self-publish. And afterwards, it occurred to me that she's been with me through all this, so I'm not exactly the poster child for a smooth and easy self-publishing experience. Hell, pretty much everything about my experience would make any rational person run screaming from the idea.
But here's the thing...
Despite all of the woes and the headaches, I wouldn't change my decision to self-publish. Sure, right now, I'm having a rough go of it. My gumption tank is on E. My sales are tanking. Everything I wrote feels like crap to me right now. Umm, what was I saying?
Oh, yeah, this self-publishing thing is great. Seriously.
The trials I face aren't really that different from the stuff trad pub and hybrid authors are facing. And I don't have to worry about whether my publisher will go belly up, or whether my editor will get fired or change houses, or whether the cover art they pick for my books will be wrong, or whether they'll just suddenly decide to drop me because my last book didn't perform to their expectations. I also don't have to worry whether some person in their ivory tower thinks my book is suitable to be published. I never have to query and get shot down. I never have to change my book to meet someone else's standards.
So, sales are down. Well, duh. And maybe if I had a 'publisher', they'd be better. And the publisher would graciously give me 15% of each sale (which I would have to then split with an agent), so I might end up making the same amount of money. I make 70% now (minus a small file-size fee... between 5c for Sleeping Ugly and 8c for Project Hermes). It's not much, but it's mine.
So, my gumption sucks. At least I don't have a publisher hanging over my shoulder, breathing down my neck. Hell, even my editor isn't breathing down my neck. And if she's busy with other clients by the time I finally get off my dead ass and send it to her, well, then the publication date will get pushed back a little and I'll deal with it.
The pluses outweigh the minuses here. Complete control. I say what, I say when, and I keep most of the moolah. And the ultimate plus = people can read my books whenever they want to. They're no longer wasting away on my harddrive, unread and unloved. Even if only a few people read them, it's more than any would've read them if I hadn't self-published them.
So, yeah, I would still recommend self-publishing to my friend. Even if she only ever publishes the books she's already written, because they're worthy stories and they deserve to be read.
And now I really should get my buns in gear and get this 13th book finished so readers can read it.