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.
/Anastasia

 

No fairy godmother. No magic pumpkin. Just one grumpy girl and a glass slipper.

If the shoe fits, wear it.
If it doesn’t, make it.


Happily is a fairy-tale retelling by author Chauncey Rogers. This fantasy retelling will be published April 3, 2018. I received advance reader copy of the book in exchange for honest review.

This is not your typical happily ever after kind of story. It does not even begin with once upon a time….

“Ten days ago, the weather was nice. I suppose I’m obligated to tell you about the weather fist, right? It seems that’s what they always do. Either that or that awful cliché of “once upon a time.” Only this wasn’t once upon a time. It was just ten days ago.” ― Chauncey Rogers, Happily

Guess what happened? Well ten days ago, the prince fell in love with a girl whose name and face he didn’t even know and then lost her. And now? Well, a shoe was their best approach to finding her…
Meet Laure. Laure is a teenage street urchin just trying to get away. Where the rest of the world sees an enchanting love story, Laure sees royal incompetence and an opportunity to exploit it. She’ll have wealth and a way out of a life she detests, if she can only manage to hoodwink the royal family and survive to tell the tale.

I was very positively surprised by Happily. By surprised, I mean that I don’t usually set very high expectations for self-published books. Happily exceeded my expectations by millions of miles… First, just look at the cover. Let’s start with that. It’s perfection, I adore it. Glass slipper, title and tagline and the ambitious “If the shoe fits…” …there’s no confusion to what the book is about. You kind of want to turn it around and see what’s it about. Next, I loved the humor in the book. I guess whenever authors lighten up the mood by supposedly funny/ sarcastic descriptions, it always wins me over. I liked the characters. Laure was an interesting main character. She seems a bit rebellious and that might annoy you at first but then her bravery wins you over. And friendship…between Laure and Luc was adorable because Luc is in many ways opposite of Laure.

“Yep”, Luc said. “See, what I did was called work. That”, he said, reaching up and grabbing the coin from my hand, “is called payment. A lot of people do it every day ― both the working and the paying.” He put the coin back down in the bag and said, “Maybe someday you’ll experience it yourself.”
“Very funny.”
(…)
“Nah, not really. I mean, I suppose some work is funny. Most of it is just a part of life, though.” ― Chauncey Rogers, Happily

There were some plot twists that were a bit weird before I thought about them so I didn’t like that. Moreover, I didn’t quite like the ending (although no one likes coming to an end of a good book) because it felt a bit rushed. All in all, though, this was a lovely read and I warmly recommend it if you have a passion for retellings.

4/5 stars

Tips:
1.
If you are a reviewer, you can get free e-book copy of the book up to March 26.
2. 
Fast-paced and sweetly humorous adventure. I would read this to my kids if I had ones. According to the foreword of the book, Rogers was working on his last book ‘Cleaving Souls’ when his three-year-old asked what was he doing. He replied that he was writing and his daughter asked whether he could read it to her. At a time, Rogers was working on thriller so he declined but promising he would write the next story for her. 
3.
300 pages but honestly it feels like one hundred, not lacking anything in the plot and there’s never a dull moment.

Do you like retellings? How does this sound to you?

/Anastasia