At some point, I’m sure there will be people who will ask me why I chose to self-publish Starscape. After all, this is so much more work in many different ways. I have to personally format my book’s interior, create a compelling cover image, write a summary, single-handedly promote my book… It might seem like a lot of needless, painful work when I could instead spend my time finding an agent to represent me to a traditional publisher. So why am I self-publishing instead?
My choice did not have to do with feeling like Starscape wasn’t good enough to be traditionally published. No, the actual reason I got into this was that I originally only wanted a print version of my book to give as gifts to family and friends. When I began the process, however, I thought, “Why shouldn’t the book be available for anyone else to buy if they’re interested?” I won’t deny that the thought of being a published author was very alluring – after all, that’s been my dream since I was a six- or seven-year-old scribbling my heart out on pieces of scrap paper.
Putting that reason aside, the concept of self-publishing in itself was really fascinating to me. I have always loved to organize, to control putting things in order. Self-publishing allows me to have complete control over nearly everything. The jobs I listed in my opening paragraph – formatting, cover design, promotion – are all under my supervision; I get to make my book look exactly as I envision it, and that extra work is entirely worth it! And the responsibility feels amazing.
If you are someone who’s thinking about self-publishing but are nervous about taking that first step, I would advise you to just go for it! There are some great print-on-demand self-publishing sites online nowadays, that guide you through the process and make it relatively easy. (I myself am using Lulu.) I wish you all the luck in the world!