Why I'm Self-Publishing This Time Around

Okay, I've completely fallen off the blog wagon. I can't even remember the last time I wasn't writing a script, or editing my book, or working on the magazine. It's been an insane few months. We've been traveling with church, staying busy with friends and family, working a whole lot, and potty training our toddler. All good things, all good things. But it's nice to be back on this space again, if only for myself.

I mentioned in this post that I recently finished my second novel, the sequel to The Best Kept Secret. Oh, yeah, and the title is The Next Best Thing in case you missed it on Instagram, so now I can finally stop calling it The Sequel. I'd also like to thank my friend Jennifer for coming up with it. You're awesome, Jenn. I can't promise you royalties, but I will definitely give you a free copy.

And now we've arrived at the primary reason for this particular post: things are a bit different with The Next Best Thing. Instead of moving forward with my publisher, I'll be self-publishing my second novel. And before I go any further let me say that 1) it was totally my choice and 2) everything was amicable and I still love my Bookfish peeps. I just wanted a change and before I even finished The Next Best Thing I was feeling like the time had come. Nothing bad happened and my experience with my publisher the first time around was absolutely ideal. I will never stop being grateful that they believed in me. What it really comes down to is a bunch of small, very personal reasons on my part.

The first is that Bookfish has grown exponentially since I came on late in 2014. This is incredible news! They deserve it. They are hardworking and dedicated to producing the best books possible, so it's only natural that authors are noticing. But for me this meant The Next Best Thing probably wouldn't see daylight until at least 2018. I've shared here before that this latest book is to be my last novel because I want to move onto writing about real life, like I do here on the blog. That's where my strength really lies as a writer. The idea of waiting for almost two more years to get The Next Best Thing released felt a little like being locked outside of my own career. I doubted that I would be able to move forward and begin work on a new project if this one wasn't completed, and I was admittedly discouraged despite my excitement about Bookfish's success.

The second reason I decided to self-publish is because while I had tons of freedom publishing with a small press, I'm a control freak, okay? I like having the last say. Call it pride, call it ego, but it's inside me and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. I loved the thought of creating my own schedule and having complete and total freedom to publish, distribute, and market the book exactly how I wanted. There are so many wonderful ways to accomplish these goals and I'm looking forward to seeing how my choices transform into book sales and readership. I might completely bomb, but along with being a control freak I have a pretty good sense of myself these days. I just turned 31, okay? That has to count for something.

And, finally, royalties. I had completely realistic expectations of how much money I would make when I signed onto Bookfish. I was a new author with a small press that was still growing, so I wasn't about to quit my day job. After I had some initial questions answered regarding royalties, I was totally happy when those little checks came in the mail. And I still have realistic expectations. The difference now is that - along with the option of broader distribution - I will be the publisher, which means I'll receive all of the profits after said distributors take what they're owed.

Many of you asked if I would write a sequel to The Best Kept Secret and that book did very well for what it was. And now you're telling me how excited you are to read The Next Best Thing. Because of you, I have faith that my second novel will do just as well as the first, if not better.

And if I'm wrong, I'll still be happy that I finished Emma's story. She's been my literary companion for almost five years now and I want to give her a gorgeous send-off. It's the least I can do.


If you have any questions about the process of self-publishing, I'll be writing a short piece about that in the September issue of Lady Literary Magazine

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