Writing is a struggle for some authors. The process in itself is daunting. THEN getting published is even harder. Rejection letters can kill a person’s self esteem and keep them in a rabbit hole for years (believe me I know.) BUT the self-publishing phenomenon has exploded. I use to know all the authors and new genre’s coming our, but I can’t keep up. I spend at least 2 hours of my morning before the Big 3 morning “Meetings” reading newsletters upon newsletters. MORE AND MORE mainstream authors are going INDY as well! Exciting!! Anyway…
C.S. Bailey is here today to express his Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing. His windy path and his success!! His book Maybe Misery was released on July 25th and it’s only $1.01 on Amazon! He has an interesting blog as well so be sure to check out his links at the bottom after the Q&A!
The Pros and Cons of Self-publishing (Sort of)
I’d been asked to write a piece for the Indy-author talk segment and settled on sharing the experience of taking three years of self-publishing a book.
It’s always been on my bucket list to write a book and I’ve been attempting it for over ten years. Each attempt ended up being an awful parody of my life at that time.
Maybe, misery is the first original story I ever attempted and completed.
Even after completion I didn’t plan on releasing it. A friend of mine read it and suggested I get it published. Naturally the first thing I did was look for publishers. Don’t bother unless you’ve written the next harry Potter or something that gets women excited about bondage.
A certain publisher offered to publish my book for a mere $3000 ‘Oh do I have gullible fool tattooed on my forehead’ so I kindly ignored that offer.
I figured I’m not releasing the book for the money so I’ll do it myself my way. My hope was that people would enjoy my book and that was it. Oh and that it would get more men reading, because some of them obviously don’t read enough.
I later found out though that women really enjoyed my book which was a nice surprise. Now you may ask “But Chris, how could you know that when your books just come out?”
Well I decided to release it in parts first (sort of). I had it proof read by a friend of mine and went on my reckless merry way. I released the first and second parts and then realized that I wasn’t doing it justice. So I took them off sale (though some dodgy company had it on sale for £1500 at one point) and found an editor.
I got lucky; he was awesome and noticed the smallest details that were incorrect or missing and under-developed characters or scenes. Truth be told, I always knew Maybe, Misery had the potential for more books; not sequels exactly but expansions of its world. Unfortunately I wrote a lot of the characters going off the fact that there would be a second book, luckily he soon pointed this out. So anyway, I’ve cut a lot of the boring stuff out because no one wants to read an essay, so I’ll leave you with these tasty bullet points.
- You have total control over your work
- The feeling of doing it all yourself is amazing
- You’ll meet lots of great people
- If you do it right the first time, it won’t bloody cost a fortune
- You’ll learn a lot
- It’s like having three jobs and never ends
- It can be expensive if you do it wrong (like me)
- You’ll meet some not-so great people who think they’re above you
- If you’re planning to publish a book about a woman who falls in love with a rich bad boy – Don’t bother, there’s already way too many
- You have to promote yourself none stop
- You have to be nice to people
- You’ll go through stages of hating everything you’ve written and more than once
- Nobody in the traditional industry will take you seriously
- Doing it for the money is a bad idea (Not everyone wants to pay for their books and you may end up forgetting why you wrote it in the first place)
- With self-publishing rocketing, your little book may go unnoticed
- Trying to sell your book to people constantly WILL get on their nerves
It may seem like there are more cons than pros but, if you’re passionate about sharing your book with the world, then it really is worth it.
I’d suggest that you find yourself a good editor, join a few forums and get to know the people before you try and sell them your book. Make a massive amount of effort and you’ll be on the right track.
Q & A with C. S. Bailey
Q. When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?
A. I’ve always wanted to write a book. I have been attempting it for at least ten years, but I always ended up writing a parody of my life. Maybe, Misery is the first story that I have ever felt invested enough in to complete. Utterly unrelated to my life and yet it feels personal.
Q. What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?
A. I’ve always mainly read auto-biographies to be honest. Mainly film makers or musicians as they have always been my passions. It’s only since I started writing, that I started reading fiction. I’ve also tried to make at a priority to read books by Indie authors.
Q. Tell us about your characters and how they came to be? Have they been in your head for a long time?
A. I think so, yes. When I first created the characters, I based their appearance on real people including myself. An early draft even had pictures of the people I had based characters on but I was recommended against it. The only person whose appearance or personality isn’t based on anyone is the main character.
Q. What motivates you to write?
A. Well it was on my bucket list to write a book, it was only when a friend of mine suggested that I should publish it, that I considered showing it to the world. Now though, I love the idea of getting lost in a world I have created. There’s nothing better than being sat writing on a rainy day.
Q. What is the hardest part of writing?
A. For me, all of it. It has been a steep and difficult learning curve. All the hours that go into it, it has taken three years and I have learnt a great deal. It’s also given me the opportunity to meet some great people.
Q. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
A. I learnt that I am my own worst enemy. The amount of times, I went back and changed little details was infuriating. I could still go back and do it now. A lot of effort goes in to self-publishing a book and it never ends. I’ve gone through stages of absolutely hating my book to falling in love with it. If you don’t love what you’re writing, then you’re doomed.
Q. Where do you get your ideas?
A. They pop into my head randomly, and I’m like “quick, I best write that down!.” I think I’ve been lucky idea wise, I just get these cool concepts and I believe that they’d make a good read if implemented properly.
Q. What does your family think of your writing?
A. Since I released my books in (lesser) acts first, they were positive. The thing is with family, is that they expect you to go down the same beaten path as everyone else. Writing for me is straying away from that, exploring something otherworldly almost. To me, writing a book will always be an achievement because it’s not something everybody can do. I requires a lot that goes unsaid.
Q. What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?
A. Hang in there. There will be times when you want to give up, there will be times when you hate everything you’ve written. Get yourself a fantastic editor (I got lucky with mine, he was brilliant) and remember, that there are people out there that will help you if you’re struggling.
Q. What book are you reading now?
A. I’m currently reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. One of my favourite films in Midnight in Paris, so every time I read some of it, I read it in Tom Hiddleston’s voice.C. S. Bailey’s LINKS Blog: http://www.maybemisery87.blogspot.co.uk Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007123009181&ref=tn_tnmn Fan page: https://www.facebook.com/csbailey Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/nb4cxf9 UK Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/mdz5pl2 Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/lvnb299 Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/maybe-misery iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id898247661
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