When I first found out I could produce a book and put it out into the world all by myself, I got so excited I jumped at the chance. Then I jumped a second time, and a third. Suddenly, I wanted to self-publish everything. Within a few months, I had several projects planned and– yep, I basically got wayyy ahead of myself.
Not all of the projects I planned saw the light of day, in the end, and I think that’s for the best.
As I said in my previous post, I wasn’t ready to self-publish when I first did. I just didn’t know enough to realize how much I didn’t know.
In part, I’ve been thinking about this because I’ve joined the recently formed Irish Independent Authors’ Collective. It’s also on my mind because I’m trying to get traditionally published at the moment as well.
At some point, I started thinking a bit more long-term and realized that all of my impulse publishing decisions might have hurt my writing career in the long run, which – oops?
Let me not beat around the bush: the very first books of mine ever printed were sub-par quality, and I’ve had to spend a LOT of time and effort re-doing them in the years since. The editions available to buy now I’m mostly okay with but, if I could do it all again, I’d have brought out fewer titles and spent more time over each of them.
I would still have self-published Juvenilia (the bind-up of my teenage poems), brought out a poetry chapbook as a stepping stone to submitting a full-length poetry collection to traditional publishers, and maybe released a short story collection (that just had stories and was not mixed in with poems) as I worked towards my novel, which I would aim (and still do aim) to get traditionally published.
I like the idea of being a “hybrid” author – having a foot in each camp – a lot. In the modern day, I think it makes sense to try and build an audience while you’re trying to attract an agent.
BUT – and here’s the kicker – only if you’re ready. Continue reading