It has been with much soul searching that I have finally decided to self-publish The Art of the Imperfect, the first in my crime series set in Scarborough. I have moved from saying, ‘I think I will…’ to ‘I will…’ And I am in the process of gathering information from various people who have done this in the past and from websites, guides etc.
For me, there’s still a certain amount of stigma attached to self-publishing. At the recent Harrogate Crime Writing Festival a panellist said the oft repeated, ‘If the story is good enough and the writing is good, you’ll find a publisher.’ (Easy to say if you’ve got one!) That’s the script I’ve grown up with, even though I know somewhere in my gut that there is much awful writing being churned out by traditional publishers and there is much that is quality coming out of self-publishing.
My decision has been helped by two things. One is an article in The Telegraph recently http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/10934043/Val-McDermid-I-would-be-a-failed-novelist-if-I-started-out-today.html . Val McDermid is quoted as saying she would never have got a traditional publishing contract if she’d started out today. Also Jonny Geller, literary agent supremo, calls the traditional publishing industry ‘a lottery’.
Secondly the panel at the festival at Harrogate on self-publishing (with the lovely Mel Sherratt – http://melsherratt.co.uk/) was so inspiring and encouraging, it did give me more confidence that I could do it as well. They all said that the down-side to self-publishing is that the writer has to do everything; and many of them, as soon as they could, took advantage of the skills of an editor. However, they all appeared to relish the control and satisfaction self-publishing gave them in seeing their own works through to fruition.
I hope it maybe so for me too.