So…after a long march, I stand on the brink of actually publishing a book. Of course, since it’s self-published, some folks would say that it’s not really publishing, but I’m not going to let that make me any less happy. The fact that the industry has shifted and changed to the point that it’s possible (depending on your goals for your book) to bypass the gristmill of agents and publishing houses and produce a book that’s yours and yours alone, unaffected by concerns of market positioning or mass demographic appeal is a good thing.
And my goals are quite modest. If I manage to eke out a hundred book sales, I’ll consider it a success.
I think it’s that certainty which has made me contemplate the labor-of-love aspect of self-publishing. There have been endless re-reads and re-writes, dozens of beta readers and careful editing to create as polished a product as possible (without spending $1600 for a professional editing job, that is. Maybe next time.), followed by the hunt for artists to create a cover, and a few months of back-and-forth work making that perfect as well. Things that I, as a distracted writer, never considered, like interior fonts, cover bleed and proper margins, all came into play. It was like planning a wedding. It was, for all intents and purposes, a part-time job. (Note: as an unpublished author, I already have three of those.) Fame and fortune are highly unlikely. I’ll consider myself lucky if I make back the money I’ve spent on the project so far, to be honest. Ten years ago, this would’ve cost me more than a new car, so I’m just grateful that the self-publishing process has gotten more affordable, as well as a bit more respectable.
But, hey, here I am, on the cusp of having an actual, physical book that I wrote, sitting on the bookshelf.
Yeah, that’s pretty cool.