I’m going undercover. This week I will be entering the world of self publishing, via CreateSpace, and I’m anxious to see what I’ll find. What brought this on? Lately I’ve been reading a ton of success stories from people willing to put forth a little effort. And when I say little, I mean very little. Three of these stories come from authors writing under pen names that are close to my circle of influence. Two of them wrote outside their normal genre, and the other had never considered writing before. One has obtained $70,000 in sales in just shy of 4 months, $10,000 for another in 3 months, and a few hundred thousand for the third in about 6 months. These three stories have many things in common. They did minimal advertising, if any, whether it was via social networking or personal acquaintances. They put their work up just for the heck of it. And they never expected to have this sort of success.
So, why am I doing it? I’m curious, for starters. I’m sure this kind of money is contingent on many things, but amazing writing doesn’t seem to be one of them. I also have a fancy clothing addiction I need to support and writing outside my genre has been very therapeutic. There are many publishing purists who turn their nose up at self publishing, claiming that it mostly produces unpolished works. Fair enough. I’ve read some real stinkers. But amidst all of the half baked ideas there have been some gems, novels and novellas that I’ve enjoyed far more than traditionally published novels. And I’m not doing this to launch my career. Not by any means. I’m keeping the details to myself because this experiment is to satisfy my curiosity. However, I would like to share some things. I'm writing under a pen name because it's outside the genre I'd like to be known for. I did my own cover art, and I’m rather impressed with myself. I will also be marketing via social network sites and doing some light promoting. And as time goes by I’ll reveal what’s going on with my sales because truthfully, I have nothing to lose here.
What’s really driving me is the chance to understand my options. I’ve had this idea in my head for so long that I have to publish traditionally, which really hinders my writing at times. Does my manuscript have an audience? Is it marketable? Or is it too similar to X, Y, or Z novel? I needed to get out of my head and into a space where the only person I need to impress is me. And if people buy it and like it, that’s cool. If they don’t, then I won’t lose any sleep over it and keep on trucking.
I’m nervous, but also excited. Thoughts? Opinions? I’d love to hear them!