A few weeks ago, I presented my beta readers with an early Christmas present - to myself. The gift was a heavily edited, written, re-written, and re-heavily-edited draft of The Vesuvius Isotope. As far as my own eyes and brain are concerned, I'm done. I can do no more to better this novel. So I gave the manuscript to a handful of readers whose opinions I trust and began thinking about the next step.
And just like that, in about ten minutes, I made a monumental decision...
I'm going to self-publish.
We have all heard stories upon stories of authors "choosing" to self-publish because they became frustrated to oblivion following years of rejection letters. Not the case here. I have never submitted anything, anywhere. Indeed, I think I'm at a worse starting point than the reluctant self-publishers, because I not only lack the alligator skin they have grown from those rejection letters, but also the constructive criticism they have read through the tears. But I do have the following personality traits, and these traits are the reason why I think self-publishing is for me:
1) I'm a control freak
I want to decide what to outsource and to whom. I don't want to operate on someone else's timelines. I don't want to remove the forbidden "-ly" words that I included on purpose. Sorry, but it's my book.
2) I'm an excellent researcher
Research is what I do for a living, and it's also one of my favorite parts of the writing process itself. The abundance of resources available to today's self-publisher, combined with my personal appetite for self-education, have me convinced that I can learn how to do this. And as for the parts that I can't...
3) I'm self-aware
I know my own strengths, weaknesses, schedule and budget. So I think I can make wise decisions regarding what to take on myself and what to outsource. At least, that's my hypothesis. We shall see.
So here I go down the rabbit hole. Even if I fall flat on my face, I will invite my readers along and share my self-publishing journey as it unfolds, so that other members of the Murder Lab network may gain some insight. I hope you will learn a thing or two from my mistakes, so as to not have to make them all yourselves. I also hope that if I'm really lucky, some of you might divert me away from the edge of a cliff or two.
Please stay tuned for part 2 of this series, The Checklist.
I'd love to hear feedback from those of you who have self-published and from those who published traditionally. Am I crazy?