This is an interesting year of me.
It’s one of those years where things just seem to fall in place. My day job is moving forward with opportunities, and I got signed up to a new publisher after my former one folded.
I even got a contract for my non-queer novel which, although I had a gut feeling I would be offered, I also had a strange notion that something wouldn’t be quite right. My instinct was spot on! I was offered a contract which stipulated that I would receive no royalties until the publisher made back $US2,500 to cover the costs of editing, formatting, cover design, marketing, book proofs, printing and shipping, and legal fees. The term ‘vanity publisher’ came to mind.
My partner congratulated me.
He was proud that I finally got a contract for this particular book. I didn’t reply to the publisher’s email. In fact, it took me a week to respond.
It’s hard when you want a contract so bad, yet you smell a rat. I went over my other contracts with other publishers and couldn’t go past the overcharging for services just to deny me my royalties. So before I actually said ‘thanks, but no thanks’, I let my social media friends know what was going on.
People were alarmed on Facebook.
Everyone who responded was worried I was going to take the bait. Some of the comments included ‘I wouldn’t do it, Kevin. Find another way‘, ‘Do not sign. That is crazy. Better to indie pub than that craziness‘ and ‘Yeah don’t sign. Better to self publish.’
I know some very successful indie authors, so the notion of self publishing is less daunting then it was, say, ten years ago. Social media has made it easy to be seen in the right circles. And I know I could self-publish for half of what that dodgy publisher was claiming a book costs to release.
So I have a new project this year.
I’ve already arranged to have the manuscript edited by a person I have worked with before. I also know who I want as the cover designer even though I haven’t asked him yet. I’m catching up for lunch with an author friend who self publishes some of her work and always has the best advice. Another author friend who up until now has been traditionally published, is also considering her first indie release. We’ve joked about learning from each other as we go down that path. And I’ve made a list of actors to approach for the trailer. I hope they say yes.
Do you have advice?
I’m going to keep blogging from time to time about this experience as its all quite new to me. But I also welcome your advice if you’ve self published. What should I be wary of? What was your most successful marketing method? How did you grow your social media?
I haven’t given myself a deadline except to say I want to have this work out before the end of the year. Apart from my writing, this will be a further push to my creative side.