OK, well first things first. I'm sure you're all wondering who the hell I am. Yeah, I ask myself that very same question every weekday when I get up and put on my uniform. I've done that for the last 20 years, and I still don't always know who I am. I wear green (on Mondays, blue) I'm in the United States Air Force and reside in the eastern time zone. Shortly, I'll be retiring to greener pastures (literally) and becoming a farmer-- you read that right- a farmer.
But that's not all that drives me. I have this incredible urge to download all the stories that are crammed in my brain. Some just don't understand what it mean to be a writer. Most can't figure out how I get past the blonde (or in my case, strawberry blonde). But I do, and when I get on a story, I can't stop. It's like a disease that you can only cure by pouring your heart out on paper- or more commonly- a computer screen. Your cure is getting to the final page and typing "The End." And it seems to be a life long disease, affecting young and old alike.
So, you ask, what do I do with the stories I've downloaded from my brain? Simple, I turn them into books. No, not that simple. Why do I do this? Because I think people might enjoy what I write. Am I in this to make a load of cash? Most likely not. 99.9% of self published authors never get that lucky break. We keep producing because that's what we love. Do I hope one day to get noticed? Heck yeah! But until that magical day happens, I keep writing and producing books.
Why did I decide to stay Indie? Several reasons:
1. I suck at doing query letters. A self published author doesn't need to do that- you are your own publisher! Is that a lazy attitude? Partly. And partly because I don't want to sit on my work for YEARS before someone decides to publish it. Life is a fleeting glimpse- we must grab it while we can.
2. I have TOTAL control over what goes in and on my books. Call me a control freak, but you know how it goes when you get a idea in your head- it's your idea and you want to see it come to fruition- not someone else's interpretation of your idea. So I have full control over what I publish. Is that hard work? Oh, very much so! I've had to purchase and learn several different types of software just to make my dream come alive. It can be totally frustrating when PhotoShop Elements doesn't want to do what I want it to do, but I chalk it up to a learning experience.
3. Royalties. No, I don't find them good at all. I think my entire publishing career I've made $300-400- max. What have I put out to fund this venture? Thousands! And the money right now doesn't matter. But to hear the sad stories of someone who poured their heart out, got published, and not paid is pretty un-cool. I'd rather be the one to take the hit for my own losses- at least I know it was me.
4. Rights. If someone loves my work and wants to make a movie from it- come talk to me! Let's leave the middle man out of this and see where we go. Here we are back at the control freak thing again. -- I promise you, I'm not really that bad.
5. Contracts. My first book was published by a vanity press. OK, I didn't know any better back then- I do now. A contract binds you to that company, and you have no freedom to do what you want. The contract can last for YEARS, keeping you under their thumb, and not allowing you to find other avenues to work.
6. Agents. Mmm, I sometimes think it would be nice to have one, but then again I'm reminded of my first point: I don't want to wait forever to get published. Yes, an agent can shop your manuscript, but that can take ages.
All right, I guess that's enough for now. Until I get a few would-be victims to interview, I'll be posting the steps I used to get self published. Mind you, there are hundreds of avenues out there to get you work in print, or eBook. But I'll share mine, and you're free to explore more options. Who knows, you may even find a better route than me.
Until later, my fellow creatively obsessed friends,