Today I truly stopped giving a fuck about what every other writer on Earth is doing to make money from their self-published works. All that has ever bought me is anxiety and suffering because this industry is rough and I just don’t have the resources to compete.
So, friends, I am going to run my own race now. Wait, I am too lazy to run races. I am going to slowly march to the beat of my very own hand-crafted drum. The outside world no longer concerns me. I’m going to do things MY way.
This came about earlier today when (hopefully for the last time) I turned to the interwebs for advice on publishing. My question was “How much should I charge for my first self- published book”. The answers were so disappointing.
The general consensus seems to be that the only way to truly succeed as a self-published author is to start off by selling yourself short. Either you give your works away for free (because folks just love the freebies), or, you begin by selling your books for no more than 3 measly dollars. Here in South Africa that is, as of March 13th 2017, 40 Rand.
I have paid more money for second-hand books published thirty years ago. In fact, as a freelancer, I have been paid ten times more money for ghost-writing a 500 word blog post.
And you expect me to take my life’s work and sell it for the same price as a box of twenty Marlboro cigarettes?
And that was how I gave up on the internet, the system, and doing things as one of the herd.
See, I don’t care if this method has been tried and tested a million and ten times. I don’t want people to buy my books because they are cheap. I want people to buy my books because they want to buy my books. If no one wants to buy them, fine. I am not going to go down on my knees and beg, and devalue my stories to make them more appealing in the process. Oh HELL naw.
My stories might not be gold. They are far from it. But they are certainly worth more than 3 fucking dollars, or even worse, 99 cents.
If you think I am delusional and just being a stubborn brat, you’ve got another thing coming.
See… This is my 10 step master plan to (hopefully) succeed at self-publishing.
- I am not going to pay people to edit and proofread my books.
Ridiculous prices of editors aside, I just don’t want one. The Disincarnates Series is not a team effort. Neither is Resfeber. They’re mine and I will write them as I see fit.
- I designed the covers and interiors myself.
You can argue with me all you like, I will be more than happy to photograph all the traditionally published books on my shelf that look as though monkeys designed them. Most of them are bestsellers. I might not have gone to art school, but my designs are not entirely atrocious. In self-publishing I decided to take the DIY route. I like the DIY route. You don’t have to like it. I do.
- I will not give entire books away for free.
Free samples, sure no problem. Review copies, even better! Maybe, just maybe, if you email me directly with a picture of the prettiest rainbow you have ever seen, and you ask really nicely for a free pdf copy of my book I will cave in and give you one. Otherwise, no can do. As much as I am all for art being free, I also think food should be free. I think housing and health care should be free. I think everything should be. Alas, I quit my reasonably good job to be a writer instead. Giving my stories away for free would render the last year of my life pointless.
Also (because the musicians I accused of selling their souls will probably start bitching that I am a hypocrite,) my music will always be free. My songs are art. Writing is the only thing I have left that even remotely resembles a career. I am not selling my soul because I want to, but rather because I want to prove a point.
- I am not going to invest ridiculous amounts of money in things I am unsure of.
I paid for my domain. I will pay for my proof copies. I’m happy with that. But I will not pay for webhosting services (yet). I won’t pay for software unless the free versions prove to be truly rewarding. I will not pay for advertising, or any sort of promotion. I am going to attempt this with the little resources I have instead of trying to contend with people far out of my league.
I am a cheap skate.
Deal with it.
- I will not shove my books down people’s throats.
Yes, I will mention them many times. I will self-promote as often as possible too. But self-published writers (especially on platforms like Twitter) just seem so… desperate. I have tried the “spread yourself everywhere” method. It didn’t work. I am not going to try it again. If you want to pay attention to me, do so and thank you! If you don’t, ah well.
- I am not going to rush The Disincarnates Series.
All too often I see writers panic because they can’t release the first in their series yet because the second/ third/ fourth isn’t finished and fans don’t like waiting.
Shame. Not my problem. I will write The Disincarnates Series with a sense of urgency, yes, but I will not force it. Also, I will not release it all at once.Onto positive things.
- I will clean up my online footprints.
I have so much clutter I can’t stand it. I have reorganized my social media spaces, and I am rethinking my approach to networking. While some of this spring cleaning is still underway, by the end of it I should have the necessary channels and platforms that anyone building a brand should have. I will also try to be more active at it.
- I have set up a mailing list.
It’s a free service for now, sure, but sign up if you please!
- I will stop giving a damn about whether or not y’all think I am doing this the “right way” and instead focus on what’s important- publishing my books.
I’m going to stop overthinking things. I am going to stop worrying. I am going to stop planning and plotting and copying other writers all the while delaying what I actually want to do,
- I will, even if they bomb, publish my goddamned books.
It is as simple as that.This post came out angrier than intended. My apologies. Now it’s time for you to read my exciting announcement. You can do so here.