Today I’m pleased to welcome back Jack Jordan to the blog. Jack is the author Anything for Her and his latest novel, My Girl is published on 4 July. Jack has written a great guest post on what it is really like to be a self-published author.
What It Really Means to Be a Self-Published Author
Self-published authors get a bad rap. There is the opinion that the only reason we self-publish is because our work isn’t good enough for traditional publishers to represent us, or that we are novices to the trade and have never heard of an editor or proofreader.
In reality, we indie authors do so much more than we get credit for. With no one to invest in our books but ourselves, we must not only be the creative writer, but the project manager of our publishing brands: hunt for editors, proofreaders, graphic designers, book bloggers; be the head of art direction, brand development, giveaways and incentives, website and social media management, audience growth, marketing and promotion, industry analysis, and creating buzz for a new title, all while balancing a day job to pay the bills and fund the publication of our work (not to mention the shattered remains of one’s social life). Indie authors aren’t just taking on the role of a writer, but all of the roles within a publishing team, too.
I chose to go it alone not because the publishing giants didn’t want me, but because I grew tired of trying to reach them. I had sent unpublished novels to agents for three consecutive years, something every writer must to do, until eventually I decided to go it alone. I didn’t want to leave my fate down to a swamped reader at a literacy agency, where agents take on very few new novels out of the tens of thousands they receive each year, looking for something different, but not too different, something that is a safe investment, but not a complete rip-off of another book. It felt like I was competing in the lottery. I knew that if I didn’t publish my work soon, my novels would be sat in those ghastly slush piles for years, perhaps because they were received on a difficult or busy day; or the reader was tired, watching the clock and waiting for lunch time; or my work wasn’t received by the right person; or worse yet, my work was forgotten and unread. I couldn’t wait to win the literary lottery – I had to take matters into my own hands.
With the rise in self-publishing platforms, many authors have come out of the woodwork and evaded the slush pile, paving their way to publishing stardom that they may not have had, had they not been given the chance to shine.
But self-publishing isn’t new. Many famous authors began their careers by taking publishing into their own hands: John Grisham (A Time to Kill), Lisa O’Brien (Still Alice), and Andy Weir (The Martian), to name a few. There is a deep history within the publishing industry of writers who refused to give up on their dreams of seeing their work in print, and who created their own paths when the traditional route wasn’t accessible.
But it isn’t easy embarking on the journey alone. We self-published authors must know everything that a highly experienced publishing team knows to make our dreams a reality. That’s not to say that talent isn’t valued without the business know-how, but without it, our audience may never find our work, and we may struggle to be seen among the masses.
It’s possible to succeed as a self-published writer – many famous and upcoming authors have proved that. But the independent route isn’t for the faint-hearted, and when entering into the vast and lonely wilderness of self-publishing, we have to have as much industry knowledge as possible to be seen within the overpopulated crowd, and the strength to go it alone. Self-published authors aren’t just writers, we are entrepreneurs. Our books are our business, and without a publishing house behind us, we must learn how to build our brands, sell our books, create buzz, and above all, survive.
Jack Jordan is the bestselling author of two novels: Anything for Her (2015), and My Girl (available worldwide on 4th July, 2016).
You can read a Q&A with Jack discussing Anything for Her amongst other things here.
Grab your copy of Anything for Her, here.
You can pre-order your Kindle copy of My Girl, here.
About the book:
“Paige Dawson: the mother of a murdered child and wife to a dead man.
She has nothing left to live for… until she finds her husband’s handgun hidden in their house.
Why did Ryan need a gun? What did he know about their daughter’s death?
Desperate for the truth, Paige begins to unearth her husband’s secrets.
But she has no idea who she is up against, or that her life isn’t hers to gamble – she belongs to me.
From the bestselling author of Anything for Her, Jack Jordan’s My Girl is the new chilling thriller that you won’t want to miss.” (image and synopsis from Amazon)