Self-Publishing for Money and Fun – Will They Materialise and Are They Enough?

Today I stumbled upon a blog post about why Suw Charman-Anderson is quitting self-publishing. In a nutshell:

– The new VAT rules coming into force would make it unprofitable and too much of a time suck,

– Self-publishing is pissing her off, and

– Self-publishing is messing up her writing.

I’m just starting out, and I have been clear before that I am in this for money and fun (not necessarily in that order, but since it’s coming up to Christmas and I’m skint, I’m putting money first today. I’ll put fun first tomorrow, if anyone asks me about it, which no one will). Looks like self-publishing brought neither of those things to Suw Charman-Anderson, though, so what the hell am I even doing here?

I loved Suw’s post. It’s one of the best examples I’ve seen of an artist intelligently dissecting her desire to create art and figuring out precisely what she wants from it. In Suw’s case, she wants to love the creative process and she wants an audience, but she hates the self-publishing part of her journey. Armed with that knowledge, she plans to quit self-publishing and release her writing to her mailing list subscribers. Sounds like a perfect solution to me.

Every writer is different and we’re all on different paths. I want writing to be my job. I want it to be my primary (or sole) source of income. I want an audience. I’m pursuing traditional publication too, but I wanted to publish my erotica myself. It feels more personal and more mine than anything else I’ve ever done, and I want to keep it that way throughout the process. For the moment, that means self-publishing is right for me, and Suw’s experiences don’t put me off – they’ve just served as a timely reminder that throughout any endeavour, I need to keep asking myself ‘Is this still right for me? Is this still serving me?’

Right now, as I battle with files and formatting and endings and promotion and Twitter and languishing in obscurity and figuring out ways to ride the shit out of Joe Konrath’s coattails, that answer is ‘Hell yes.’

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