Suzan Battah is the April featured Indie author and today she is sharing her experiences with self publishing! Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with self publishing in the comments!
My Experience as a Self-Published Author
by Suzan Battah
Nathan Bransford recently wrote a post about how there is not a right or wrong way to publish a book. I am in absolute agreement. Whether being traditionally published or self-published, a book in print or as an ebook is published. It's just two very different roads to walk down.
For me I've always had a passion for writing since my early teens. I knew I wanted to be a writer. It's not like I saw the success of Amanda Hocking self-publishing, JK Rowling with her Harry Potter series, Stephanie Meyer's success of Twilight and decided that's it, I'm going to be huge like them. No. For me I was born to be a writer because my imagination is wild, I can daydream amazing scenes and visualise a story from beginning to end. Writing is not hard work for me. I am blessed with the ability to create and develop characters, a storyline and plot and make them entertaining. So for me writing is in my blood, I was born to write these stories and share them.
I struggled, as life is not easy as a writer. I had to work to pay the bills and as a single woman supporting myself it was hard to keep up. Writing is a fulltime job and I was doing it hard trying to write part time. Exhausted with no social life, it was hard to see myself continuing on the road but I do. I won't every give up on writing. Once the first book completed, Mad About the Boy, I began entering into competitions and you must have a thick skin. I was shredded, gunned down, ripped apart with some comments being so snarky I was almost in tears. However, out of two competitions I had made it to the finals and managed to place and win two awards for my contemporary romance Mad About the Boy. So putting behind all the worst of the competitions I had experienced, I soldiered on. I went through 3 different editors doing complete edits of the novel and spent over $2500 just on editors to get my novel into top shape. Unfortunately, I still get feedback that the editing is sloppy but I have to move forward and correct the mistakes. I have met some wonderful reviewers who have been terribly helpful. One lady offered to be my Beta Reader and I'm so glad that she has offered her help. She points out all the obvious flaws and gives me advice. Despite some of the obvious flaws in the book this particular reviewer still gave me such a lovely review and a wonderful rating. I was over the moon. In saying that, I never expect reviewers to give me fantastic ratings, everyone has their own opinion of my work. Some love it, some hate it and they have their own personal tastes. As an author I don't mind getting a bad review which I have received and loved it as well, I expect the good with the bad. I just hope readers enjoy the book enough to overlook some of the tiny flaws that a struggling author has to deal with.
After years of writing, changing the story to suit agents and almost being offered representation, being ripped apart in competitions by my peers (One judge told me English was not my first language. Another judge advised me that an editor should work on Mad About the Boy because the grammar was atrocious. The same judge even gave me a name of an editor to use the services of, ironically, I had just had the manuscript line edited and paid thousands of dollars to get it done by that same editor before entering the competition), and finally it was the backing of my family and friends that walked me down the self-publishing road. I'm glad I took my writing career into my own hands. I'm really happy with the reviews I get both good and bad. And I'm so appreciated that bloggers like Bonnie welcome me onto her blog to share with you, the readers, my experience. I hope you enjoy reading Mad About the Boy as much as I loved writing it. I also have a new release out, BaSatai: Outside In #1 the booktrailer is available for viewing on youtube.
Keep the discussion going – do you have any experience with self publishing? Lets talk about it in the comments!