Vana Roth, author of A Nation of Expendables, consented to be my guest blogger today. I asked her if she ever considered self-publishing, and she responded:
“I was curious about the process so I’ve been reading up on self-publishing. I never realized there were so many options available. This really sounds like a great way to go if you’re confident and tired of waiting for a traditional publishing contract.
“If you’re the hands on type, you can contract all the necessary services like editing, copy-edit, formatting and illustration (cover art), then turn the finished work over to a printing source. This is a perfect opportunity for an author to control every aspect of the process. There’s also the alternative of finding a self-publishing company who offers different levels of service so you don’t have to worry about contracting the other stuff yourself. As long as the company chosen is reputable and known for superior quality in the final product, this sounds like feasible option.
“I’ve the utmost respect for those courageous enough to take on the task. However, I’m not the least bit embarrassed to say I’m a coward and self-publishing for me is out of the question. I think it was Clint Eastwood in a Dirty Harry movie who said, ‘A man’s got to know his limitations.’ Well, I surely know my limitations. The process is just too scary. If I screwed it up, it would be far too costly, first because of the personal financial investment and second because I know relatively little about the inner workings of the industry. I buy books, read them, occasionally write them and that’s pretty much it…lol!
“When I wrote my book, I never gave it a second thought. I probably could’ve gotten through the sub-contracting part by researching blogs and publishing sites until I found the best editors and illustrators. The real stopper was marketing and distribution, which in my mind is too critical to leave to chance. If you’ve been in the writing business all your life, odds are you’ve probably made some great connections along the way and know all the ins and outs. Or, if you’re a big name like Bill O’Reilly with lots of money behind you, all those little details don’t matter. Someone else can be hired to take care of them for you. However, for someone like me who hasn’t any connections or previous experience, this could mean the death of my book. I have run into a number of self-published authors who’re really struggling with these two areas, particularly distribution. I’m not saying it can’t or shouldn’t be done. I just think author’s considering this option need a solid plan on how to get their books into stores. There’s all sorts of things to consider like how to become an approved supplier and formulating return policies. I for one would rather worry about writing my next book and leave these things to a paid professional.
“So, when all’s said and done, based on my lack of experience and needed connections, I think I made the right decision in waiting for a traditional publishing contract. I was extremely fortunate to be chosen by Lachesis Publishing and am grateful not to have to worry about things I know nothing about.
“Vana Roth – A Nation of Expendables
“For more about me and A Nation of Expendables see: http://vanaroth.com“