Animation by Kayelle Allen at The Author's Secret

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Taking back your rights: To Self-Publish or Not?

I published my first novel just over four years ago, after finally dragging myself out of teaching, a job that was draining all my energies.  Yes, I did feel guilty for abandoning a career about which I was very passionate, but that's an entirely different issue.  Finally I was able to stay at home and pursue my childhood dream of becoming an author - and I've never looked back.

At the time I knew nothing about publishing, even less about self-publishing, but you learn a lot very quickly in this industry.  I was thrilled when my first novel was picked up by a newly formed online publishing press Inspired Romance (which is now more prolific as Prism Book Group), indeed winning its inaugural grand writing prize.  By that time I already had my second book ready and, at an online publishers' event, decided to be adventurous and approach a different press.  This book was also accepted, but in the many months it took to appear, I'd surprised myself and managed to produce two more novels in fairly quick succession and decided to take the bold step into self-publishing.

Without a doubt, it was one of the most exciting things I've ever done.  I loved the challenge and autonomy self-publishing offered and joined many online author groups who provided friendship, enormous support and unstintingly generous advice about their own experiences, pitfalls and learning curves.

But the reputation and landscape of self-publishing has changed hugely in the past few years and now the dilemma of whether to self-publish or not has returned.  For as many self-published authors who are now seeking so-called traditional publishing (I use this descriptor because traditional publishing has also changed quite radically in recent years), I know just as many who have sought or are requesting their copyrights back from their publishers in order to 'go it alone'.

I feel I've been fortunate in having a foot in both camps, but now that I'm a free agent, will I fly or fall? Over the next few weeks I'll be talking more about this subject and introducing authors who have shared similar experiences to tell us their stories.
I hope you'll join us.


Jenny Twist said...

Count me in, Lyn.


Rosemary Gemmell said...

Fascinating post and a subject which I shall follow closely as I'm with two independent publishers (Ireland and UK) but also self-publish the couple of books whose rights returned to me!

ManicScribbler said...

That's great, Jenny - I'm counting on you. :)

ManicScribbler said...

Good to hear from you Rosemary. If you want to tell us more about your books and your publishing journey, I'd love to host you here any time you like. Good luck too with the self-publishing. I hope you'll keep in touch.

Tara Fox Hall said...

Very interesting, Lyn! I'm happy to join in also, having done both :) And congrats again! :)

ManicScribbler said...

Always a pleasure to see you here, Tara. I'll contact you very soon to discuss your post.

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