To Self-publish or Not to Self-publish?

My novel has been published with a small print publisher, but at conventions and so forth I’m often asked if it was self published. Self published books, vanity press, has long been regarded as cheating, that anyone with money could get a book published, regardless of quality of the writing, or the plot. Publishers offer security, that at least someone liked the book enough to invest in it, to edit and print it. that’s the theory at least.

And i generally agreed with it. Until recently. After reading a new book i had long been looking forward to, and finding it daft, contradictory and just poor, i can no longer say with confidence, that a properly published book is any better than some thing someone prints for themselves. So, i am considering this route myself. Not for my novels. The idea of having to edit 120k worth of words alone is terrifying, but for a collection of short stories. The collection I have been trying to write for years. I’m going to try and get some other writers involved, one or two stories from each of us, and then if a few publishers don’t want it, i will self publish it myself. Working out royalties between all the writers will be fun, so i hope to keep this project between friends, for ease, but i think it’s a go. A chance to get my name out there a little more, and for new writers as well, and perhaps the only way i will get my collection of faerie stories!

As for my novel, well, back to the start of the third book. After faffing for so long, with festivals and trips to the village, i realised that the reason it wasn’t working is because it’s all wrong. So, back to the start for me.I can still use a lot of the later work, but the beginning, that has to be redone. But far better it’s done right, than done wrong and fast.

British Fantasy Society and Cardiff Expo

Monday was the Welsh gathering for fantasy/sci fi and horror nerds here in Swansea. It took place in the No Sign Wine Bar, a suitable venue, as venues go, and was basically just a group of us sitting around, talking and drinking. It was a good night, a chance to talk to other writers and publishers and to promote my own work, though most of what i remember, after just two glasses of wine, was discussing Knightmare, the children’s show from the 80s, and how things were much better ‘in my day.’

Saturday was the Cardiff Comic Expo. It was my first comic expo and i had a table with Joanne Hall, a fellow fantasy writer. And it was excellent! Lots of people in costume, from comics, from anime, from fantasy and sci fi generally, all ready to chat. It was a good, friendly place, lots on sale, including copies of my book. And, surprise of all surprises, a friend of mine, from Live Journal, many eons ago, was also there. I wasn’t sure i recognised her, at first, her hair was a different colour and it wasn’t at all what i expected, but yep! It was her, Reaperfox. It was a slow day, but i still had a great time meeting new people. I think that’s the part i enjoy most about promotion, getting out there, meeting new people and talking about books and fantasy. The other parts, the internet sales, the readings, that’s a lot harder.

It’s always great to meet other writers, (everyone is a writer, if not, they’re an artist! :) ) other fantasy fans, to network and to sell and I had a great time. WIll be back next year, dressed up and hopefully with something new to sell.