Shortcut to the East Indies – On Self-Publishing

Guest post by Chauncey Rogers / Happily Blog Tour

Thank you Anastasia for hosting a blog tour stop!

This post is about Self-Publishing and my experience with it. Hopefully some of you are curious about such things! But first, a history analogy!

According to my memory, Christopher Columbus sailed off into the Atlantic looking for a shortcut from Spain to the East Indies (south and southeast Asia), figuring that it would be faster to cut across the ocean (which he assumed to be far, far smaller) than it would be to go the long, slow, traditional overland route.

I feel like, if being a widely-read (read “rich and famous”) author is the East Indies, then Self-Published or Indie authors are those who sail off into the Atlantic, often looking for a shortcut.

Will they find the East Indies? I’m sure some do, but not many. Will they discover new lands and peoples? Possibly. Will they run out of supplies and die in the middle of the ocean? Maybe.

Okay, enough of that analogy. If I run any further with it, it’ll get weird, and probably not family friendly.

But not everyone comes to self-publishing as a shortcut to wealth and fame. Some try the traditional route and simply can’t do it—rejection letters from publishers pile up so high that the indie route seems the best way. Please note that both of these approaches are fine! Just because publishers haven’t seen the value in your work, doesn’t mean it isn’t good.

Others might self-publish simply because they’d like to see their work in print, even if nobody else ever reads it. I’ll be the first to admit that there is something special about finally holding a printed copy of your own work.

But enough. What’s my deal with self-publishing?

I honestly wasn’t sure how many rejection letters I could deal with, and chose self-publishing accordingly. My first novel, Home To Roost, is weird. There’s just no other way to put it. It’s a true-ish story about chickens and demons, that gets surprisingly dark at the end. Miraculously, it’s also a pretty decent book. Still, I didn’t think a publisher would bother with it, so I never tried sending it to one. I just got a boat and shoved off into the choppy waters of—

Sorry, I was trying to get away from that analogy.

Anyways, that was why I started off self-publishing, without ever querying a single agent or publishing house. After my first novel was done, and after going through all the work of figuring out the indie route, I didn’t really want to switch over and try to traditionally publish my next book. I knew more of what I was doing and wanted to just keep with it.

So now here we are, publishing the third book. Am I in the East Indies yet? Goodness no. But that’s okay with me. I’m loving the ownership of self-publishing, and enjoying even more the things I’m learning and connections I’m making with other writers around the world.

Will I ever traditionally publish? Maybe.

At this point, I’m ready to let go some of my control and work with a publisher. But I’m also perfectly comfortable with self-publishing now.

So, like I said, maybe. Getting rid of the self-published stigma would be nice, as would having hardcover copies of my work. But we’ll see. It’s certainly something I still think about.

What do you say? Should I stick with self-publishing, or try and go the traditional route in the near future?

Day 3 of 13 of Happily’s Release Blog Tour. See the full schedule here.

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Thank you Chauncey for interesting thoughts on self-publishing! I think self-publishing is very admirable! Happily is out now (I think it was just published yesterday actually)…You can read my review of the book by clicking here.


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