I was listening to the radio. The hosts were discussing playing quidditch. The game from the Harry Potter series. Not exactly a topic of conversation I would usually pay attention to. My brain lit a spark and went off on a tangent. People are playing quidditich. A fictional game written by J. K. Rowling.
Twelve publishers rejected J.K Rowling’s first Harry Potter book. Seven books, turned into movies. Plays and movie spin-offs. Tons of merchandise. People even put in their Instagram bios which house they belong to. It all came from one woman’s head. One woman who persevered. Who got a book deal. Who became a household name. A billionaire.
In a matter of seconds, this all whirled around my head. I started to panic. Is self-publishing the right choice for me? I am busting my arse to get these books written. To create depth. Complexity. Am I going to have the skills to get the books in the hands of the right readers?
I started comparing myself to self-publishers I admire and follow. I searched Good Reads for bad reviews. I didn’t need the good. These authors are well loved. I wanted to know the bad things readers said about self-published authors. It mainly regarded editing. They seemed to have line edits but not structural edits by professional editors. I would have thought as a self-publisher you would pay for a structural editor. If the big publishing houses have many eyes look over a book, why wouldn’t you do that for your book baby? I want mine to be the best it can be.
I fear having a literary agent and having a contract with a publishing house. I fear them telling me what and how to write. I don’t want someone to tell me to take my series in a different direction. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about feedback. I live for constructive criticism. This not my issue. I got into university for creative writing when I was in high school. I bailed because I didn’t want to write what I was told to write. I had book babies I wanted to nurture.
I want creative control. I also want to keep my full-time job. Being given deadlines from an editor or publisher would give me a nervous breakdown if I still had my day job. My job is all about deadlines. For writing I give myself deadlines, but they are not concrete. If I need to push them back, I am free to do so.
But I’m worried about having this great book and not having the know-how to get it to readers. I have so much research to do. And money to put up. I’m single. I’m childless. I have no debt. My money is banking on books. Money is freedom. I need to do a lot of research and planning. With this, I should be able to independently publish my books.
I’m still torn. Please comment below or Tweet Me @queenemilicious if you have an opinions on traditional vs self-publishing. Have you chosen your path? Why did you choose it? Undecided? Let’s talk it out.