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The Joys of Self Publishing

Journal Entry: Sat Mar 21, 2015, 10:01 PM
I'm never going to stop crowing about this. It is the single best career decision I've ever made. If you're a writer who hopes to be published, you should absolutely consider this avenue because it kicks ass.

It is a hell of a lot of work, though... But you get to do it all on your own terms. People ask me what my daily schedule is, and to be honest, I don't really have a "routine". I am really, really undisciplined. All I know is that I have this DRIVE to WRITE. That's what pushes me forward. After learning that I can actually make a living NOT waiting for a gatekeeper to let me through those doors into the world of published authors, I couldn't stop.

If you're a halfway decent writer and have any level of self discipline and business sense, there is absolutely no reason you can't be a successful published author. More successful as a SELF-published author than traditional, as a matter of fact. If you don't believe me, just go take a look at this:

Hell, if I can do it, you can. 

I do a hell of a lot of shit myself, though... don't delude yourself that it will be easy. If you choose traditional,  you're already deluding yourself as much as you would be every time you buy a lottery ticket and hope you'll be the lucky winner. 

YOU are the master of your fate. Don't hand that off to anyone.

If you want more details read on.

I do everything myself right now. I do outsource for a couple things: Covers and Editing. But I don't always. I highly recommend it if you want to SELL. Having a pro cover and editing job will elevate you above the vast majority of authors out there (yes, I'm including trad-pubbed authors in that statement - being with a publishing house doesn't automatically mean your work will have the quality readers want). 

In my case I don't always because 1) I write a very clean draft that requires little editing. Most often what I'm lacking is developmental details, not technical. So I have stopped outsourcing editing for my short, standalone fiction. 2) I've had training in Photoshop but didn't have the patience to take advantage of it at first. I finally bit the bullet and started making my own covers recently. Again, I still outsource the "high profile" covers to a pro designer (whom I love to death - even more than my editor). 

Those are going to be your biggest expenses, aside from marketing, if you self publish. Last year I spent just under $2k on covers, around $4,500 on editing, and around $1,500 on promotion/marketing. I published 21 titles in that period (novellas and short stories). 

But you don't need to spend a fucking DIME if you don't want to. Just learn how to find the free options. Self-edit or use crit groups or beta readers. Learn to do your own covers or find a way to trade services with someone else. And where marketing is concerned, there are TONS of promo sites that don't cost a cent. 

And it is passive income. I've written about a page today and I've still earned a nice chunk of royalties just from the titles that are sitting there getting clicked on in Amazon. Those are never going away and because I am in control of their visibility I can run a promo on a whim and change my keywords if the old ones aren't working. If you have a traditional contract, you are giving up that kind of control. The publisher absolutely does NOT have your best interests at heart. They rely on you to draw readers to your own book. If you can't do that, you have no worth to them. They will do the bare minimum of promotion and they won't optimize your meta data a year after the fact to try to earn you more sales. 

It makes no sense to me, to be honest, but publishers don't seem to have a vested interest in new authors. I really wish I could say something good about them... I guess there is one thing they can offer: Print distribution. But print sales are falling and do you really want to wait out to see if you win the lottery just to have your books stocked in Wal-Mart?

You are the master of your fate. You decide.

Oh, and my brag... I am making my own covers for some of my stories, but I still have a cover designer. Here are two of my covers. The left one is the one I designed. The right is my designer's work. I pay her to do the tough ones :)

SistersOfFlame MED by OpheliaBell        RisingDragonsPrint Draft2 by OpheliaBell

You can buy both titles here. The second one won't have the new cover for a few more weeks, though.

  • Listening to: The Doors
  • Reading: Smut
  • Watching: Gossip Girl
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Wine


OpheliaBell's Profile Picture
Artist | Professional | Literature
United States
I'm a writer. I'm not sure what that really means at the moment. Maybe it means I want to publish a novel, which I have done. Maybe it means I approach the creative endeavor of writing in a particular way. I wrote fan fiction for a long time, but always considered it a means to an end. I finally reached that end in December 2013.

Beyond that, I believe in exploring my greatest fantasies and bringing them to life and making all of you love them every bit as much as I do. That's what writers do.

When I'm not writing (which is rare anymore), I'm also a rabid gamer, both tabletop and PC (I rebuild my gaming rig about every three years) as well as Xbox.

Visit Ophelia's profile on Pinterest.

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ThePhoenixKing Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2015
Hope you're having a great birthday!
Destiny3000 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2015  Hobbyist Writer

Hope you have a great day!
olivegbg Featured By Owner May 20, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Delicious cake! Kitten Kiss 
TADASHI-STATION Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2014  Professional General Artist
Merry Christmas, Jesse!  :)
Xaviarluvya Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014
Thanks for the llama and Merry Christmas :Holidays: 
masterlevan1 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014  Student Writer
Hey I do apologize for not responding to your big, huge message about my book questions, I did read it and I have it saved under 'writing advice'! I am just keeping it in my inbox just in case I have any more questions. To keep it on the same thread heh :D, I hope that okay! 
OpheliaBell Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2014  Professional Writer
No worries! I check dA so rarely, I don't notice replies until way after they come in anyway. Like this one, lol.

Hope your writing is going well!
masterlevan1 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2014  Student Writer
Haha okay :), I'll most likely respond to that large response from you if another question pops up. Again, thanks for all your help and I hope you have a great New Years :D
NephtysTattoo Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2014
thanks for watching! :D
sincebecomeswhy Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for faving. :D
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