It's me again Margaret!! I had big plans in August. Things were going to change. I was going to be able to start posting again. I even announced it to the world which was my first mistake because the universe just laughed at me and said "Oh yea? Really? Let me see what I can do to change that" and it did. Sigh. I meant to post this last week. I had a whole series of posts lined up for last week. Their drafts sit in my unpublished folder. Waiting. Like me. Maybe September will be the month that I return. Shh!! Don't tell the universe though. So until then here is a great guest post from Kasi. She was originally published by Harlequin but has jumped onto the Indie train. She has two books out, Vampires Rule and Crushed. You can read more of her shaningans on her blog, Ghost Writer. Thanks for stopping by Kasi!!!
It's All About Control
When I was asked to write a post on my experiences in self-publishing, I didn't know where to begin. This is my fourth attempt. The last three were dry, boring, and all over the place. I finally decided to narrow my focus. Today I want to talk about control; specifically, who has control over your book?
If you go the traditional route, which I did several years ago, you have to sit back and watch control slip through your fingers as other people take your book on as their project. In some ways this is a good thing. When I published with Harlequin, I had a team of editors going over my manuscript line by line. That alone will give you real peace of mind, but you have to give up control. It isn't just your baby anymore.
On my first book, the title was changed to something that makes me cringe even now. I tried to offer my editor a list of new titles, but she was set on the one that I hated. In the end I gave into pressure, half-afraid my book wouldn't be published if I didn't let them have their way. On the second book, almost every single aspect of it was changed by the editors. First, they wanted me to change my main character's name to something they liked better. Then they wanted me to get ride of her family, move her out of town, and basically rewrite everything. I think the only thing they liked about the story was the idea of it. To this day the book feels like it is more theirs than mine.
But now I've self-published a book called Vampires Rule, a YA Urban Fantasy with a unique twist on the whole vampire thing. I have total control over this book, which isn't always a good thing. There were a few times when I wasn't sure if I should leave something in or take it out. I asked a friend and she said, "It's your book." Then one day the truth of it hit home. It is my book. I am totally responsible for how it turns out. Not only do I have to make sure it's edited properly, I have to create the cover, format it as an ebook, and do all the marketing.
It's been kind of rough to be honest with you. There have been times when I thought I should forget the whole thing and stay in bed, but the book is available on Smashwords now. I'm hoping to have it on Amazon someday soon. The marketing, I think, has been the worst part. Starting a blog and joining social networking groups like Facebook has left me very little time to write. Sometimes I feel like I am going up to everyone in the world one person at a time, tapping them on the shoulder and asking, "Would you like to read my book?"
I am learning so much about the publishing business and about marketing. It seems like I find a new and wonderful site online to help me with marketing every day. For instance, yesterday I found Book Blogs, and my blog followers shot up by ten overnight. Also, a few people have asked to review my book because they saw my blog on this site.
I love it that I don’t have to just publish one book a year like with traditional publishing. Vampires Rule hit the cyber-shelves in April, and Crushed was released a few weeks ago. Now I’m getting ready to put out the second books in each of those series, Werewolves Rule and Witch Hunt. Both should be available sometime this year.
I've given up time to write, sleep, and inner peace, but I have total control over my book. If you want to know if it was worth it, ask me next year after I've had time to promote it some more. I'll be able to answer you then. Hope this was helpful.
Where you can find Kasi: