September 22, 2016

Can I be independent?

I've gone from considering self-publishing to seriously considering self-publishing. I have been waiting to hear back from a few publishers for what feels like ages. Once picked up by a publisher, it would still be a long road before seeing my novel in print.

I'm not considering the self-publishing route because it's faster and I'm impatient. Although I would like to make money as an author, that's not my highest priority either. The thing that attracted me most to traditional publishing was that the publisher would take care of all the editing, formatting, cover design, and maybe even do some marketing. If I'm going to be independent, then I need to hire all these things out or learn to do them myself.

Since I use Scrivener, I figured formatting my novel would be no big deal. Except that editors use Microsoft Word which makes it easy to show which changes were made. The thought of taking my manuscript from Word and somehow getting it back nicely into Scrivener makes my head spin. Plus, I'd like to make my novel look a little more special, which makes Word the better choice for formatting. But now I'm trying to figure out how to set the paper size, embed fonts, and hide headers on new chapter pages in Word. It's frustrating.

For each manuscript I've drafted, I like to make a little cover graphic to keep me motivated. As I got further along in the process of writing, editing, and submitting my first novel, I've actually made a pretty eye-catching cover. I'm no graphic designer though, so perhaps I'm just too close to it and my cover made with Gimp (which I have as much love for as Word) is actually terrible. Perhaps hiring a cover designer would be a good idea.

I do know for sure I would need a professional editor. I went ahead and found a few who are currently doing a sample edit. I've heard recommendations here and there that writers should get their manuscripts professionally edited before starting submissions to get traditionally published. But from where I stand, editing will be the biggest expense to get my novel ready for sale. If I'm spending that much up front, maybe I should do it all myself.

I've researched making a business, tax consideration, and the fun math accounting stuff. Maybe I really can do this on my own.

Except I know nothing about marketing. But other indie authors have said the best way to market your first book is to have a second (and third) book. I've already got that second book, and it's ready for line edits. I think I can make a go at this. We'll have to see.

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