Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Reasons I Self-Publish

Chess Board - TwitterThere 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. I get to keep all the moneys. While 100% of a piddling is a pittance, 30% of a piddling is pathetic.
  5. 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.)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. I get to network with other indie writers. I like indie writers. They’re a different breed.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?

A to Z Blogging Challenge: C

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Cover Art

A to Z Blogging Challenge: C

“You can’t judge a book by its cover”. Maybe not, but we do. Really, we have to do this. Books are an investment of time, money, and energy. You can read reviews and do a quick peek inside to guess if you’ll like it, but most of us look at covers and try to figure it out just from pictures. Pretty funny, really, for a “literate” group of people.
A book’s cover should tell you several things right off the bat:
  • The title. Someday I might write a book with a mystery title, just to see if anyone buys it. Mostly, though, we count on that title to pique our interest. As a writer, I hope the hours I spend agonizing over this are worth it.
  • The author’s name. Sometimes authors get to have their names bigger than the title, but you have to be Serious Business for this. As long as someone manages to squeeze my entire name on the cover, I’m pretty happy. As a reader, this helps you binge read your favorite author.
  • The genre. While this isn’t a perfect science, there are still things you expect from different genres. Romance: half-dressed Characters. SF: something spacey or techy on the cover (this is the technical term). The list goes on. If a cover is dark and jagged, I expect scary. Don’t disappoint me.
  • Some vague idea of the storyline. I try to make sure my cover reflects something in the actual story. It’s not nice to promise a reader a beach story and then send them to the desert for most of the book. Sending them to dessert, on the other hand, is always acceptable. Especially ice cream.

You get the idea. The cover is a sort of contract with your reader. If you don’t keep that contract (or put any effort into it), maybe you don’t deserve your readers. Yep, I went there. Do you agree?