I stared writing with my first NaNoWriMo in 2006. Back then, traditional publishing still held sway. I had a friend who had self-published her books, so there were a few pioneers out there, but the only option was print on demand, there were no ebooks.
None of the experiences of self-publishing, and the difficulty of marketing I heard convinced me it was a good option. I didn't want to do marketing, the thought of a book signing or giving a talk didn't appeal at all!
So I put my head down, and just kept writing, assuming that the best option was still to find a traditional deal.
Then last year, I read a free ebook, Maid for the Billionaire, by Ruth Cardello. (Seems like it's no longer free though?) And I was shocked to discover that the author was self-published. Even more than that, she was making a decent amount of money from it!
The more I looked around, the more self-published success stories I found. Something had changed. I think it was the rising popularity of ebooks, and the low prices authors could set. People were willing to take a chance on a 99c ebook, or better yet, a free one. And many of them were liking what they saw.
At the same time, I was hearing over and over how publishers were expecting authors to have a blog, a facebook page, gain fans, and basically do the marketing themselves.
And it made me wonder what a traditional publishing contract could offer me? If they didn't do any marketing, then what did they have to offer? So I started polishing my story, and self-published.
I've kept a close eye on the trends in self-publishing, and though there have been ups and downs, the overwhelming trend is up. Self-publishing authors are making a living in droves, or at the very least, a nice supplementary income. Many are being offered contracts from publishing houses for their novels, and many are turning them down!
One thing I have found really interesting, is the trend of hybrid authors, who self-publish their own ebooks, and have their print books sold and distributed by a publishing house.
There are so many more options out there now, it's a wonderful time to be an author!
What has been your view of the growth of self-publishing? What point convinced you that it was a viable option, or that reading self-published books was worthwhile?