While I have been busy revising Tap Out, I have also been in the process of returning my first novel, This Side of Normal to the market. The rights were reverted to me and while I was excited by the idea of owning the work outright, I soon realized the daunting task of just what to do with it.
Initially I searched for someone to do the work for me and ended up on sites like the Online Publishing Review and An Incomplete Guide to POD. Basically, I wanted my book to be available in print and in digital format and for there to be some distribution channel. And I didn’t want to spend a fortune for this to occur.
The more I researched the more I realized that I was either going to gamble my time or my money, because outfits from the aforementioned sites and those of the same ilk had more fine print than I was comfortable with. I don’t have much cash to gamble, and I’ve always found a way to make time, so I set forth with the advice from Twitter via @NatalieWright_ and @AdamRPepper.
I read JA Konrath’s blog and I researched Create Space, Kindle Direct and Smashwords. I liked what I found. Konrath has a David and Goliath approach to the industry along with practical advice for those who want to enter the fray. I don’t see this so much of an Us versus Them issue, but the knowledge was priceless. As was the cost of Create Space, Kindle and Smashwords. I just needed to put in the time to edit the manuscript so that my eBook didn’t look like nonsense.
I began with Create Space because that was easiest, and I should see the proof copy some time this week. It took me twenty-six attempts with Kindle to get my manuscript correct, but once I did, it only took me five attempts with Smashwords. The learning curve was steep but invaluable. I had a sale on Smashwords within an hour of posting and hope once This Side of Normal is catalogued in their Premium catalogue that will increase.
Regardless of the sales, I’m glad to have had the opportunity to venture into the self-publishing realm. I have no platform on which to speak about the value of self-publishing versus traditional publishing other than there’s a certain wonderful freedom with the self-pub world that isn’t nearly as polished and pretty as the traditional. And that’s fine. So long as we don’t try to compare apples to oranges, we’re good, because both are worthwhile. And so long as the aim of both is to produce quality books for a hungry audience, I’ll gladly have a bit of each.