By Michelle Talsma Everson, Next Avenue
Cindy Kibbe, writing under her pen name C.K. Donnelly, is the author of “The Kinderra Series,” an award-winning set of young adult fantasy novels. Like many authors, she self-publishes her work — in her case after she received more than 100 rejections from traditional publishers.
It is increasingly common for authors to publish their own work, thanks to technology that enables them to print as few as single copies only after receiving an order — and payment. Sales of self-published books rose 264% in the last five years to 300 million copies annually on average, generating $1.25 billion in revenue, according to recent statistics from WordsRated, a non-commercial data analysis group.
Navigating the world of self-publishing is not easy for novices, but some authors who have succeeded in doing so are willing to give advice, much of which they learned the hard way.
“I didn’t choose to self-publish at the outset,” Kibbe says. “I wanted to be repped by a literary agent and be traditionally published … Unfortunately, after querying for a year — and more than 100 rejections — that just wasn’t going to happen. If I wanted ‘Trine Rising’ and its sequels to be read, I had to self-publish.”
“I am very, very proud of achieving this goal and having three books out there for readers to enjoy,” she adds. “It was a difficult road.”
The Perks of Self-Publishing
Author Scott Hanson self-published his two books, “Who is Gym?” and “What’s Your Number?” after not having success pitching the books to traditional publishers in his home state of Arizona. (Both of his books are very Arizona-centric, so he thought a local publisher would be his best shot.) While the rejection letters from publishers were hard to swallow, there have been some upsides to being self-published.
“I think having one hundred percent control over the cover artwork and overall content of the book is a benefit,” Hanson says. “Having books to give as gifts has also been a benefit of self-publishing. Writing and publishing a non-fiction book gives the author automatic expert status. In my case, I have been recognized as an Arizona high school sports expert, having conducted dozens of interviews across the state.”
Gaila Kline-Hobson has published “The Chosen’s Calling,” a trio of books for young adults, on AmazonAMZN
. A former teacher, Kline-Hobson always wanted to be an author and pursued her creative endeavors once she retired.
“You retain total control over your book,” she says about the benefits of self-publishing. “Amazon gets the book out quickly, in both electronic and printed form. Print quality is excellent. You get to retain much more of the royalty. I have self-published three times. If I write another book, I will use …….