Adventures in Self Publishing

Last week I blogged about Vanity, Self and Indie publishing and how I feel that, however you dress it up, it's all just about paying to have a substandard book published to benefit your own ego.

But a week from today I'll be self-publishing my next book, something I swore I'd never do.

In a way this is even more exciting than publishing the old-fashioned way, because this really feels a lot more like "my" book. I designed the cover, and (with my co-author) I'll be doing the layout, chapter divisions, blurb, everything. And we'll be a collecting a full 70% in royalties rather than the 15% I'm used to. No objection to that, either.

But that's not why I'm doing it. I'm doing it because, even though I'm the author of five successful novels, no publisher will touch this book.

That's because our book, The Saved Saint, is based on a true story about a returned Mormon missionary who becomes a born-again Christian, and the effect his conversion has on his family. There are characters who are very critical to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as characters who are critical of the mainstream Christian tradition, and the good in each church is also documented through the experiences of the characters.

Because there are sections which are challenging for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my usual LDS publishers, quite understandably, are not interested. And because there are parts which are challenging about evangelical Christianity and complimentary about Mormonism, Christian publishers don't want it either. And because it's about religion, secular publishers won't touch it with a bargepole.

I find I'm suddenly very, very glad about the ebook revolution and the rise in Indie publishing. And I take back what I said about the books being substandard. While some of them may be (and the ones I read were poorly edited) the authors were nevertheless blazing a trail, insisting that their voices be heard amidst the rabble, and making it possible for groundbreaking books such as The Saved Saint to get the audience they never could have done otherwise.

I hope my book is not substandard, and it's definitely not poorly edited because we did hire a real professional editor. And I know I'm not publishing it because my own vanity demands it. No, I'm publishing this book because I believe it has a very vital message, a message important enough that it needs to be out there and read, by any means possible.

Comments

  1. I've just recently changed my position on self-publishing as well. Publishing has changed and the publishers held all the cards. Now the authors are taking their power back. Good luck with your book. It sounds really interesting and brave.

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  2. Good luck Anna! My daughter is a writer so I've sent your blog on to her. She talks to me a lot about the publishing, self publishing dilemma so I think she will be interested to read your thoughts. Good for you for writing this book...I'm a Seminary teacher and a convert so I know what it's like not to be Mormon though I was never anti-Mormon. I have lots of Christian friends who I love and I am grateful I can share "religious thoughts" with them. Communication and understanding are always the key!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Kasandra, and welcome to my little blog family! Having now tried both I find that I do prefer traditional publishing, but I think I'm in the minority in that. Most traditionally published authors say they love the freedom which comes with self-publishing. You may like to show your daughter my post on this very dilemma: http://annajonesbuttimore.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/self-vs-traditional-publishing.html

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