Discovering Self Publishing

Moonday Mania

a blog for writers of all shapes and sizes

Back in late 2009 I finished my first full length novel, The Dark Huntsman (originally titled The Queen’s Huntsman). But I had no clue what to do with it. My chapter members urged me to submit it for publishing, so I pulled on the big girl boots and sent it off to a few agents and editors. Over the course of 2010 I began to receive my very first (very nice) rejections. So sad.

With This Ring

Submitting your baby to agents and editors is like proposing to someone and having them respond, “I’ll be back to you in six to eight weeks.” So you wait, and you wait, and you wait. And they never get back to you. Meanwhile the rest of the world is getting hooked up. Spring is coming, weddings are being planned, and you sit home every Friday night with only the TV and Ben and Jerry’s for company. Finally you screw your courage to the sticking place and write a follow up letter, asking (okay, trying not to grovel, but also trying not to offend because you are secretly pissed off) asking the guy (editor) if he has even looked at your proposal (manuscript). Only to find out he hasn’t even looked at your letter yet. Or worse, he doesn’t even respond.

I went through it all.

Three re-writes later, three years later, and after lots of maybes… I finally received the acceptance letter! Woot!


I didn’t like the contract. Not one bit. Which was a real shame because I truly wanted to work with that editor. But oh well, that is the way this business goes.

So now I was faced with a decision. It was now 2013 and time was flying by. Fairy tales are HOT! But they won’t stay hot forever, so I want to get this book out now. Do I go through another round of submissions? Do I wait months for someone to reject my work, or even accept my work, but then hand me an unacceptable contract? Is there a valid reason for doing that with this book?

I don’t think so.

I’ve taken an amazing class on self publishing from Amy Atwell and Kelli Finger at Author EMS and once again I’m pulling on the big girl boots, but this time I’m putting on my coat and hat and am venturing out on my own. I’ve hired an editor. I’ll be hiring a copy editor for the nitty gritty work as well as a cover artist (because if it’s up to me it would be a very ugly cover!) and the book will be out this fall!

Check back for updates on the saga. So far book one  Tales of the Black Court: The Dark Huntsman, , is due back from developmental edits June 1st. I’ll work on those, consider a second round, then send it off for copy edits. Meanwhile the cover is next on my agenda, as is finishing book two, Prince by Blood and Bone, and outlining book three, Broken Mirror.

I’m on my way!

Have you ever considered self publishing? Why? What would be the catalyst for breaking free of the traditional expectations of our industry for you? Or have you already taken the plunge? What made you do it? Was it the uniqueness of your book? Was it timeing? Was it simply getting tired of rejections while other people continued to tell you how great your book really was?

I’ll be updating my journey here, so check back!


Filed under Fae, Moonday mania, self publishing, witches, Writer's Journey

12 responses to “Discovering Self Publishing

  1. Jessica, as recently as 2 years ago, if someone had mentioned self-publishing to me, I’d have grudgingly replied, ‘only as a last resort’.

    The landscape has changed.

    You are an experienced writer, and understand the need for a quality product, otherwise you would be slapping any old drivel up for sale without care for editing. This time, that cost comes out of your pocket, which if anything, shows your confidence in your project. You go, girl!

  2. Jessica, you are doing the right thing. And yes, it will cost you some money up front, but in the long run you will reap the rewards. You won’t be paying an agent/publisher from your royalties. I am self-publishing my first book also. It should be on Amazon in about a week. It was hard to do, and thank God for all the people that have helped me do it, but I know it will be well worth it. Good luck to you and hope you prosper in your endeavors!

    • Thanks, Lisa! I’ve had a great experience with my current publisher, but I’m ready to do some bigger things and I’m so excited to be venturing out into the wide world of self-publishing. I’m grateful too for all the people who have gotten there before me because the are so generous with their advice!

  3. Jessica- I look forward to hearing about your experience. I’m especially interested in your work with the dev. editor and the cover artist.

  4. Very interesting, Jessica. I recently sent a manuscript to Harlequin digital first publishing, not that I have anything against my present publisher, but because I want to have my eggs in more than one basket. So, I’m playing the waiting game too and yes, rejection is an issue.
    What I want is more thorough editing. My books have basically been published as is, and I’d like a more professional perspective to make them better. Another issue is $$. So far I’m working for peanuts. My publisher made the majority of the money off my books, and I believe the sales came from my promotional efforts, not their readership.
    I’d love to know more about your editing experience with the self pubbed book. I’ll be following your journey and wish you the best of luck and many sales.

    • Oh, the money! That is definitely a reason to try things out with other publishers. Some give you bigger percentages, some give you more advertising. And then there is the editing. I’ve felt like my books are reasonably edited with Passion in Print and my percentage with them is excellent, but like you I don’t want all my eggs in one basket. I’ll definitely letting you all know how it goes. It’s interesting to research and hire your own editor. Does cost some money, so I’ll have to see how long it takes to make up the investment. Hopefully it will be quick!

  5. You can do it, Jessie! Success comes through talent and perseverance and you got both!

    • Thanks, Carole! Ever since I made the decision I have felt better and better about it. Which is not typical for me. Usually I second guess every decision I make. So this must be the right one! It will be interesting to see how it goes!

  6. I’m almost to the point of publishing my 6th self-pub book, and it’s thrilling. I have other books with epubs, but self-pubbing gives me the control that I love. I was never enthralled with submitting to New York, so I never went through that process. Had no desire to. I saw others do it, and there was no appeal there for me.
    You’ll love putting out your book yourself. Yes, it’s work. Yes, it’s more up front money. But the payoff is so much greater! Hang with it.

    • I’m in it for the long haul. I have three books planned for the next 12 months, and I have more after that. I’m feeling pretty positive about it and I know it’s the right decision for this series. Thanks for the supportive words. 🙂

  7. And here’s another to-the-point post, Jessica! I am so glad. My reason for going the self-pubbed route is pretty similar. Add to that my type A personality, my realization that I might die some day, and my natural propensity for moving ahead with all of my projects, writing or otherwise and you have my reasons for taking the book by the horns and just doing a Nike move. Just do it. We spend so much time trying to do exactly what we’re supposed to that we forget the joy of actually publishing. Yes, we need to make sure the book is awesome, yes, we need excellent editing, cover creation, and printing, not to mention marketing. But we also NEED to publish.
    I am so happy I made this decision. Look for The Loyalist’s Wife by June 15 in both print and e-book. Imagine my joy in typing those words!

    • Woot! I feel your joy! I’m so looking forward to The Loyalist’s Wife! Great decision: “just doing a Nike move”! (Love that!) Maybe it is the control freak in me, maybe it’s the same realization that you have had that time is moving forward and this book is ready to go. But I love making the decisions. Choosing a cover artist, choosing the title, choosing when and how and where it will be published. What a great time to be writing. Dickens would love it!

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