I'm also interested in the views and experiences of others. A recent exchange of correspondence with Kacper Nezda, a long-time supporter of this blog, and the person who introduced me to that under-estimated writer Pamela Barrington, prompted me to invite Kacper to outline his own thoughts on this topic. Over to you, Kacper:
"Many thanks to Martin for this opportunity – it’s an honor to be featured here.
I’m not the most patient of people, and I suppose my adventure with self-publishing begins with impatience. In the fall of 2015, I began querying agents with my full-length, 80,000-word crime novel. This was an arduous process, and eventually I got very fed up with waiting to hear back and obsessively checking my email every five minutes for replies from agents. I also knew that even if I did secure an agent, it would likely be years before my novel hit shelves. That didn’t thrill me. I wanted to be doing something tangible with my writing now, hence my decision to write and self-publish a 20,000-word novella.
So I suppose what drew me into self-publishing was the immediacy of it. I uploaded my novella, A Late Verdict, under the name Milo Bell, to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform and it hit the Kindle store internationally within hours.
What’s great about self-publishing is the control, control over every aspect of one’s book: the content, the cover art, the marketing and publicity. The book you put out as a self-publisher is entirely your vision, and you have full control over what happens to it after it is published (except, of course, how it sells – which some might say is the most important part!)
The main drawback, of course, is the cost. Everything is pricey: cover artists, editors, publicity campaigns. If you publish traditionally, the publishing house takes care of all that, but if you self-publish, it’s all coming out of your wallet. Hence, I have a theory that all of the most successful self-published authors are those who started out with a considerable budget to invest in the book – which is not great news for those of us who are strapped for cash.
I’m very much in the midst of figuring out whether traditional or self-publishing is the way to go for my work, and I don’t believe there’s a universal answer for everyone. I’m excited, though, to have my novella out in the world, and I have every intention of continuing my adventure with self-publishing."
That point about cost strikes me as especially interesting. Is that a major concern of other self-published authors? I - and I'm sure Kacper - would be glad to know.