Thursday, September 5, 2013

Self Publishing Is Out of My Comfort Zone

This is my novice journey into the world of self-publishing. I did learn self-publishing and vanity publishing are very different.
Please do not fall prey to vanity publishers. Author House contacted me early in the game and offered to publish my book for $10,000. Lucky for me, I didn’t have that type of money. They sent me copies of slick paperbacks they did publish.  One book had Los Angeles spelled Los Angles in the title.
The big difference between vanity and self-pub, besides the price, is the ability to change your work. I pointed out a mistake to a friend in her children’s book that she was able to correct in five minutes. If someone else publishes your book, you’ll learn to live with the mistake and move on. This is one of the major lures of self-publishing. The other lure is that it is cheap, but it’s not as cheap as you think.
Pick up a copy of The Naked Truth about Self Publishing to find out the real nitty gritty. Popular self-published authors who learned the hard way compiled this book. I downloaded a free Kindle book where the author told me she published her own book on Kindle free. She created the art work with Power Point and did her own editing. She admitted it didn’t look too hot, but it was a learning curve. Do any of us need a sloppy book out there with our name on it?
You really can’t do it on your own at first. No one edits her own work well. You can expect to pay for editing, proofing, cover art, formatting and ISBN numbers. It depends on whom you use. A higher price doesn’t mean someone is better. Case in point for me was editing.
Sometimes you can get what you want. I shopped for my editor. Editing is such a personal thing that there needs to be a good relationship between the author and editor. I interviewed several people. If you are wondering how you interview an editor, you allow them to edit a couple pages of your work. Here are some of my results.
*One woman rewrote my work in her own voice.
*Another one cleaned up my Western characters’ language, so they spoke proper English.
*Another seemed clueless about what she was doing. She didn’t understand fiction editing and wanted to take out any extraneous adjectives and adverbs, which meant all of them.
*One woman came highly recommended from several published romance authors and she’s very, very good.
They all offered me different prices. The most expensive wanted a five hundred dollar retainer and would bill me hourly. I had this woman edit one page I wrote. It took her one hour to edit it. It didn’t take me that long to write and research it. With this is mind, a 300 page novel would cost me almost $11,000 dollars.
Normal rate for an experienced copy editor is .008 a word for an edit. Keep this in mind when you are having prices thrown at you. I am thankful for all the helpful authors who broke down the prices for me at the conference.
This is the tip of the iceberg. Next month, I’ll address cover art.


Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Go for it, Morgan. Enjoy the experience. Dare to dream!

morgan said...

Thanks Dawn Marie. Maybe I should direct all my questions to you.

Terry Spear said...

I love, love, love self-publishing. Get some good beta readers too. They're worth their weight in gold. :)