There are hundreds (okay, dozens) of great reasons to self-publish. After some debate (meaning I went to the bathroom, then came back and made this list), here are my top ten:
- No rejection letters. True, it’s a form of rejection when a reader doesn’t buy your book, but you don’t get a politely-worded form letter when it happens. My ego can remain tenuously intact.
- Freedom! I can write what I want and not worry about #1. I do try to keep my writing relevant to the market (ie, deciding to try for a second Bobian book this year because my public actually asked for it), but otherwise I have a lot of creative freedom.
- Lifelong learning. I like to learn. I waste– er, gainfully employ hours on end learning new things that I might never need to know. For example, while the popular vision of zombies can only happen through a type of witchcraft or magic, there are parasites, spores, and other agents that might allow a type of zombie infestation. You wanted to know that, I know. You’re welcome.
- I get to keep all the moneys. While 100% of a piddling is a pittance, 30% of a piddling is pathetic.
- It’s all on me. I can’t pass the blame off on my agent, my editor, my publisher, or my marketer. Whatever happens with my books, I have to suck it up and take ownership. (Yes, I do consider that a good reason to self-publish.)
- I get to learn how to do it all. I am a reasonably good cover artist. Not the first time around; my first cover never, ever turns out like something that couldn’t be improved on. But sometime toward the end of a book, I get that spark and it seems to turn out. If I were traditionally published, I’d never get to touch the cover. Sometimes I wouldn’t even get to have a say in it.
- I run a small business. I’m a business Figment at heart. Since my pre-adulating days, I’ve always had a side gig going. Writing is just another small business. I like being an entrepreneur.
- I get to network with other indie writers. I like indie writers. They’re a different breed.
- I can flip genres at will. Admittedly, I’ve stuck mostly in the fantasy/ humor range so far, but there’s a SF book, a romantic comedy, something non-fiction, and a mystery in the works. Unless you’re a big name, traditional writers don’t get to do that.
- I have a stubborn streak and have always been labelled “independent”.
So, why do you publish independently (or want to)? Why did you choose traditional? Do you prefer to read one or the other?