Self-publish or go Traditional?

I’ve been thinking about what to do with my future novels: should I continue with self-publishing or go back to sending queries to agencies. The downside to self-publishing is that it takes a lot of time and effort. The hardest part of self-publishing is marketing. Most of us do not have the kind of wealth needed to buy advertising on TV or the radio. Even using the internet to advertise, like with Google ad-words, can be expensive over the long hall and it’s questionable how effective online campaigns are. Still, for the self-publisher, getting the word out is key.

With getting an agent, the marketing aspect is out of your hands. That’s nice since you don’t have to deal with the stress or financial commitment that you need with self-publishing. However, it’s much more difficult to get published by a major book publisher. In the past, I have tried both, with limited success. Still, if one wants to be a writer, than one must write! Even if it means I won’t be the next James Patterson, I find that I enjoy writing enough that it doesn’t have to become a career.

Since I’ve been doing well in my graduate classes so far, all A’s after four classes, I’m becoming more confident that psychology is a good path for me. I think I could find myself with a job in psychology that I at least can be content with, if not excited about. I think that’s really important. It’s one thing to work in retail, it’s easy enough to keep and pays something, but it’s another to find a career that pays well and is enjoyable. That’s the tough part. Most of these kind of jobs require a long stent in academia, which might be too hard or boring for some.

Whatever the case, I won’t give up my dream of becoming a successful novelist. Thankfully, this won’t be an expensive dream! That is, unless I decide to invest a lot of money in it. For now, my self-publishing exploits have required a very small investment. I’m looking forward to having my second book in print, instead of strictly e-books. My latest goal is to try and finish my third novel in time for the next Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. I have till the end of January to finish my first draft, though I hope to finish the second draft by then. I’d like to submit it instead of resubmitting Fallen Raven.

In my expereince, self-publishing is fun and I would recommend it to those who want more control over their work. It’s also a good way to get your work out there for others to read, even though you aren’t likely to make much money off of it. Going the more taditional route is probably best, and most affordable, but it does mean you’re counting on a lot of luck. That is why I have done both and will likely try to get an agent for my third novel. I’ve got a good feeling about this one!

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Where is Scott David Brown?

You may not believe me, but I have quite a busy life! Graduate school is tough enough without all these other things going on. Of course, the last month or two has been especially busy. Mainly because of the presidential election. Working for the Democratic Party of Orange County has been a fun learning experience. Now that we have won the election, also increasing control of the senate, it’s time for me to move on.

I’ve also been busy with my Statistics class. For those who have taken such a class before, you know how challenging it can be! Sometimes I think my brain isn’t designed to be efficient with math, but if I take my time I usually get it. My next class should be easier: Ethics, Laws, and Standards of Psychological Practice. I’m looking forward to it.

My final excuse for being busy is my literary career. This past week I’ve been reading my short stories and doing some editing. The second edition of, Little White Lie, has been published. I divided the story into chapters and now it’s easier to read. I’ve also fixed some grammatical errors and changed the ending. I don’t normally change the events or action of the story, but now that I’ve had some distance from the story I feel that the old ending didn’t make sense. It is a rare thing for me to do, I assure you! It’s just $1.00 for the kindle e-book.

My second short story, My Imperfect Life, is also on the way to becoming a kindle book. My editing efforts were light for this story, as there wasn’t really anything that needed to be changed, other than the occasional typo. My Imperfect Life has never been published as a book and since it is about four years old now I felt it was about time! A fun fact: the story was written around the time that President Obama won his first term in office and now it is being published, in book form, shortly after his winning his second term! I didn’t realize it until I was editing the story.

If you aren’t interested in e-books, My Imperfect Life and Little White Lie will be published in paperback form in a couple of weeks. I’m self publishing them as a collection through create-a-space and I just need to approve the final design. I’ve got a proof copy coming in about a week, but the book should be available for sale just in time for the holiday season! So, if you need an idea for a stocking stuffer or a small gift, the book will be ready in time. The price will probably be $5.00 and the book is about 90 pages (that’s including both short stories).

My sudden interest in my writing career is in part due to my third novel. “Fear,” what I’m calling it for now, will not be the official title. I wanted to try out amazon’s create-a-space program as I am considering self-publishing Fallen Raven in the near future.

I’m happy to be shifting my focus from politics to writing now. Once I finish my third novel, I’ll be looking at finding a commercial publisher. While I like self-publishing, it is difficult to be successful at it since I’m not very good at marketing. 🙂