I’ll be the first to admit that I know next to nothing about publishing with a company. Why? Because I chose to self-publish. Perhaps I was shy or afraid of rejection, I don’t know, but if you self-publish you can’t be told no. This was a much safer road to travel.
I have a friend who is writing a book and every now and then he’ll ask me about the publishing aspect, as he’s getting multiple offers from self-publishing companies. I cringe whenever I hear those words! There are, I’m sure, those of you out there who would disagree and have had much success and I just want to be the first to say congratulations! I wish you much continued success now and in the future. For me? I suppose I’m a fraidy-cat and had no clue when I started this process what the hell I was even doing. It’s embarrassing really, but you have to start somewhere, right?
Anyhow, I too had offers from self-publishing companies. I found out fairly quickly that getting into a “real publishing house” was next to impossible unless you know someone who knows someone, who knows someone. I knew no one. Getting back on point, I had three offers from three different self-publishing companies and I thought the smartest thing to do was research. So I did. I researched and researched, I checked with the BBB for complaints, I read reviews, etc., and then I started reading the fine print. Holy moly people, read the fine print!!!!
I found that with at least two of the three companies, I pretty much would lose the rights to my work. My precious baby that I created; the one I shed blood, sweat and tears for was going to be snatched from my grasp with little to no say. That crossed them off my list pronto! The third company looked the most promising, but there were so many complaints filed with the BBB for taking people’s money and not marketing the product or not fulfilling their end of the contract. People were losing thousands of dollars and that simply wasn’t a risk I was willing to take.
So, off into the big, bad world of self-publishing I went. I knew of a few people who had braved the treacherous waters so I figured it couldn’t be that bad. And truthfully? It wasn’t. If you publish through big retailers like Amazon, it’s fairly self-explanatory. There’s not a whole lot to screw up. If you publish on Smashwords (a great tool, by the way!) you will gain exposure with other retailers such as Barnes & Noble, iBook’s, Oyster, etc., all by uploading one file through Smashwords. It’s fantastic! I will caution because again, I didn’t know any better…. if you enroll in Kindle Select you cannot market your eBook with another retailer. I declined it when I released my first book, but thought I’d give it a try when I released my second. I so wish I hadn’t. I’ve lost a ton of sales and I can’t get out of it until February of 2016 (legally). But I wouldn’t recommend it. I may change my mind later on, but for now the verdict is it stinks and I miss my Smashwords!!!!
I wish all authors much success, whether self-publishing or not. We need more books in the world and we need more readers! Best of luck to us all!