This one just seemed to pop up all at once for me. There's a lot of people asking me to go and self-publish. "It's the wave of the future" and it would get me out there and making money on my books instead of wasting time trying to get an agent. The artistic integrity of my book would be maintained that way as well, allowing me complete control over the whole thing, right down to the cover.
Yes, it is a siren song. Complete control, and seeing my words out there among the people ready to be snapped up by a ready populace. And of course that would just be the beginning! Agents and publishers would realize how awesome my abilities are after sales go through the roof, and they would clamor to me, and I would make them fight in a gladiatorial arena, presiding over them like Caesar, until only the survivor remained. My money is on The Janet Reid (AKA The Query Shark). I would then reign as Supreme Emperor Author over the NYT bestselling list, putting to shame the likes of King and Patterson.
Hey, if I'm going to dream, I'm going to dream big. I am a writer, after all.
But that's all that is, or at least the odds of it happenning are approximately the same as winning three lotteries simultaneously while surviving several lightning strikes.
More than that, there's a reason why agents and publishers exist. Aside from the editorial input, they know what sells. They know the market as well as anyone can know the market, which is pretty darned impressive. And that's just the tip of the iceberg! Agents do things the likes of which I cannot fathom! Nor do I want to (my comment is in there somewhere. Keep looking!). I have enough headaches being a writer, and I can only imagine it will become more intense when there are writing deadlines to balance along with my mundane existence. The hassles of trying to do the work of an agent while self-publishing a book and writing others is just insane. At least for me. Others who have the knack, have at it!
More than that, I know my writing skills, and I know my ego (Pause for those comments regarding my massive ego) and I know that my writing isn't perfect. It's just not. I know it's not. I think I'm a really good writer, but even the likes of Thomas Jefferson needed people to read over his stuff and edit! I need agents and editors to take a look at my stuff and help me make it even better, and yes, it can always be better.
More than that, know that the gatekeepers are there for a reason, and that if I move to self-publishing, I may not have the chops to handle agents, editors, and publishers. It's a hard, unforgiving business, and if I don't have the patience and determination to make sure my book is the best I can possibly be, and to navigate those treacherous waters (ooo, another shark reference), then what agent or publisher would want to pick me up? I've read the blogs of several agents regarding self-publishing, and they all cite these just a few of the reasons to avoid self-publishing. I could go on, but I'm not writing this to slam self-publishing, merely to say, it's not for me.
Sure, I'm going to rack up a log of battle scars and shark bites before this is done, but I'm going to make it. I'm going to see my books sitting on shelves, and I'll be able to tell the war stories of what I went through to make it.
Greatly exaggerated, of course. I'm a writer.
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