Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Self-Publishing Pros and Cons

I am writing this morning with a lot of fire in my chest. Probably not the best time to put my thoughts out there in the blogger world, but to me it seems necessary.

First, a recap and update on the self-publishing journey.

Remember what I said about there being no perfect solution in the world of Self-publishing? Well that needs to be underlined. I've had a very bumpy road to say the least. I'm actually beginning to think that I'll try querying again after the experience I've had with Outskirts Press.

Here's the bad news.

I don't know about other self-publishing companies, but Outskirts Press has treated me like a number in some huge, gray and cold warehouse. When my representative submitted the wrong version of my story, she insisted that she was not at fault, and if I wanted to resubmit the correct version I could do so for an additional 100 dollars! And have a good day.

Why would I do that? She had the correct version, even she admitted that, but it was not the version that was used in the final galley review. I dug my heels in. I knew that she had made the mistake, not me and I wasn't going to pay the additional amount. All I wanted her to do was submit the correct version. She wanted me to resubmit and pay the money. "Cha-ching cha-ching" I had to take it to the president of the company, who was very gracious and promised to fix the problem right away.

Only one problem. I didn't get his email. It went straight to my trash box. Sometimes I think there is an unseen force out there trying to keep me from succeeding. In his email that I didn't receive, he suggested I make all additional corrections and then resubmit it for free. Well,by the time I discovered it, (he sent an additional email stating he hadn't heard from me and I went digging) I had already sent it back to his supervisor uncorrected.

Doing it his way would have been a great thing. You see, going through and making corrections would have saved me a lot of time and money in the long run, but I was trying to play by the rules. I didn't want them to think I was trying to cheat them. So I missed an opportunity to make corrections. Bummer. That wasn't anyones fault, except the unseen force that sent his email to trash. So I went to the Galley review to make the corrections and found that they had skipped ahead to the second Galley Review.

What is the significance? The first Galley review offered 25 free edits. Not only were we two weeks behind schedule because of this misunderstanding, but I also lost those 25 free edits! It was such a pain to get them to see my way the first time that I just gritted my teeth and paid for all the edits. (turned out to cost me an additional 200 dollars)

On the last edit (The Fourth Review) I discovered they had given the wrong person credit for the cover photo. I went ahead and paid for it and did not argue with them because again, it didn't seem worth it. Believe it or not I don't like confronting people. It makes me very uncomfortable. On the other hand, even I have my limits. Anyway, in making the correction, since I don't know where the copy sign is on the computer I used an @ sign as an example of what I wanted, thinking that they would clearly understand what I was getting at.

Wrongo! These people are not really people, they are computer robots. They must be.

Well, you can guess what happened next. They copied it exactly the way I had written it. So now instead of a copy sign it has an @ sign. Is anyone confused? So I fixed it and stated that it was their mistake and I expected to be credited for the cost.

This morning I got an email stating that I would not get a credit. That "they copy it exactly like I write it and to have a good day!"

Have a good day? Blimey! I feel like screaming!

When I corrected it I stated "Put copy symbol here" If they really do "copy it just like you write it" then that is going to look really stupid and I was better off with the @ symbol.

This has been a very frustrating experience. I ignored several of the editors mistakes, realizing that she was human, just like I was and ignored the fact that they gave credit to the wrong person and paid for the change myself, and it did nothing to help me.

Am I weird? Okay, don' t answer that, but really, maybe it's because I'm from a small town, but I assume that people have common sense,and will recognize that they make mistakes, and admit it when they do. For something so small I would expect a little neighborly kindness. But no. This company is all about the dollar. I mean, they are really all about the dollar. Every change, edit, whatever, comes with a price tag. And talk on the phone? Are you crazy? Time is money, and we've got to publish 100,000 books this year!

Plus I hate their logo! It is huge on the back cover. It looks like a self-published logo. I hate it. It's bigger than my name.

I'm so done with Outskirts Press. I will probably use Abbot Publishing with my next book because at least the guy called me on the phone. I didn't realize how RARE that was.

Here's the good news.

I am almost finished! Hopefully by today or tomorrow I will push the button that says "Go to publish" That is the good thing. That is the hopeful thing. No matter what has happened with the publishers, I am going to get my hands on my very own book. And then I will promptly turn to Createspace or Abbott Press and publish my second novel "Escaping Bubble Land"

So that's it. And now the real work begins, the marketing, and book launching parties, and signings. I have dreaded this part. Just so you know, self-promoting is way out of my comfort zone. I hate it. If I didn't I would be a famous movie star by now. But I really hate talking myself up. I hate it when other people talk themselves up too; Really get's under my skin.

Have a great day!

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