I did everything I was supposed to do, or at least what I thought I was supposed to do. I emailed a large handful of agents, I sent out some partials and fulls on request, I even received a couple of offers from small presses. All the while I was reading about the option of self-publishing and reading author earnings reports. It soon was obvious that even if I didn't get a serious offer from a publisher the self-publishing option was there waiting. It seemed with Amazon and the ebook that an author could take control of his/her own destiny and retain all of their rights while making a larger percentage of royalties.
Of course self-publishing is a risk, the author takes on all of the promotional responsibilities along with the duty of finding an editor and a cover designer. I started to put the wheels in motion to self-publish. I got a cover and had the book edited. At the time I hadn't heard much back from the agents or reputable publishers. I put three grand into the book. Everything was going swimmingly, I would self-publish and promote the book myself. I released a bunch of short stories to give people a taste of my writing. I promoted, I built this blog, I built a nice sized mailing list.
Just as the book was ready I received an offer from a very reputable genre publisher. I really loved everything about this publisher, they had the best covers in the business, they had a solid reputation of treating their authors well and the people I dealt with were top notch, they said all the right things. Then they even made an offer for my work in progress, they loved the concept and what I had so far. That's awesome I thought, they want to develop my two babies into series' a six book deal, holy hell!
Then the numbers started to roll in of what exactly they were offering. I would be giving away nearly 45% in ebook royalties over self-publishing and even more in print. So I thought I need an agent, this contract stuff is way above my pay grade...
I contacted agents letting them know that I had an offer in hand. A couple of agents responded with interest and I really liked one who I decided to sign with. The agent worked her butt off making calls and the publisher upped their offer. They were now offering a modest advance instead of a token advance. They increased the print percentages too. Great, but that ebook royalty, the bread and butter, the cream of the crop etc. etc. was staring me in the face. It was industry standard, or that was what I was told, but it was still an ugly number. They also told me that it would be more than a year before the book was even ready for release.
In the end I couldn't give away so much of my work and myself for that number. I already had the book shiny and gleaming, professionally edited with a nice cover. It didn't make sense to me, to let someone else have such a big piece of the pie. I know they could have got my book to readers that I might not be able to reach, I know that they could get reviewers to look at the book that I can't, but at what cost?
I know that I'm taking a huge risk, I know I might regret this decision, maybe this IS one of those unexplained phenomena that I'm always blogging about. It's a huge risk, but I think I have to believe in myself enough and believe in all of you tremendous readers to do this on my own. It's such an exciting time to self-publish. I don't try and kid myself into thinking I'm the next Hugh Howey or Amanda Hocking. I just think that I can push forward and build a nice little career on my writing and self-publishing. What it all came down to was a business decision, I went with my head and my wallet.
Thanks for listening~