It’s not a big deal. I haven’t suddenly decided that self-publishing is the devil’s work, or that ‘indie authors’ are self-deluded losers, who need a swift kick up the rear end and a hard life lesson. (Although, looking at the incredible amount of swill floating to the top of the Amazon kindle pond, all of the above statements may be true of many self-published authors.)
Nor am I never going to self-publish again. As we all know, the rules are still changing, the big publishing houses are still playing catch up, and NOW is still the right time to be getting your work out there on an e-reading device.
And I have enjoyed my self-publishing adventure so far. My first indie published novel, Caxton Tempest at the End of the World, was foisted upon the unsuspecting public in paperback way back in 2007, before the Kindle changed how we read books. Now out of print, you can still find a couple of copies hanging around, one of them going for £177 on Amazon!
I’ve done a book signing, been interviewed for the newspaper, set up two websites, taught myself e-book formatting, discovered Twitter, blogging, writers’ forums, made some friends, and got myself two (yes, count ’em, TWO!) stalkers. I might tell you about those stalkers another day, but not in this post.
I haven’t actually made any money yet, but I went into this with my eyes open and the words ‘Only spend what you can afford to lose,’ as my mantra for not riddling myself with crippling debt. But that, too, is a post for another day.
To get back to the title of my post, though: I have decided to stop self-publishing, for at least a year, I would think.
Why? Because I want to learn how to write better. I want to further my craft, hone my writing skills, focus on the way in which I use words to tell a story. I want to avoid clichés. Not just the clichéd phrases, but the clichéd settings, characters, tactics and every other form of cliché that turn up, unbidden, on that blank page I am attempting to wrestle into a compelling story.
And self-publishing is distracting me from that goal. After spending time with my family, going to work (they tend not to pay me unless I turn up on a regular basis) and having a…you know…life, then sitting down to format an e-book, or check on my Amazon sales, and dealing with all the other distractions that go with being an indie author, is taking me away from what I love to do: Write.
So that’s my absolute, number one priority for the next year.
What about you? Do you find the process of self-publishing a distraction? Do you feel you write enough, or would you like more time to be able to sit down and just ‘make things up?’