Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Guest Post by Larissa Hinton - Decision Time: Why I Choose Self-Publishing After Years of Denial

Why did I choose to self-publish? When did I rebel against the traditional publishing industry and cried, "No more!"?

Well, this may surprise you, but it only happened because I went to a Creative Writing Class in college to avoid taking a class that I might have failed.
I guess I should back up, huh? In the most basic terms, my senior year in college as an English Education, I would be required to take Senior Thesis.

Now, Senior Thesis is when a student has to read 22 literary novels during the summer, come back to school for a whole year to develop and, eventually, present a 25 page analysis essay then get critiqued by the English professors about your paper.
And yes, it's as horrid as it sounds.

Therefore, you can't blame a girl for trying to avoid it like a disease. And it probably didn't help that the teacher was new to this whole process, didn't take a liking to me and almost flunked me the last time I was in her class.
Obviously, I was rushing around seeking an alternative to this academic torture chamber and an alternative did show up: Creative Writing Senior Thesis.

Not only did I have to write a puny 100 pages (I write that in my sleep!) of creative writing genius, but I only had to read 5 books.
Success!

Or so I thought. Not only did I have to deal with a professor who was picky, I had to write a literary creative fiction novel had to be a coming of age story.
So no YA mystery novel for that class.

However, through the trials, I learned quite a bit. One of the most important lessons was about self-publishing.
I know what you're thinking, "So once you heard your professor profess the truth about how self-publishing was spectacular, you jumped in and loved every minutes of it!"

Not exactly.
I was a traditional publishing girl all the way. I stood by it and tall and firm, "I WILL be published traditionally and it WILL happen or I will die trying!"

Well, every semester, my professor would talk about the benefits of self-publishing and I would practically cough out the rebuttal and the benefits of traditionally publishing.

He would give us examples of why he chose to self-pub even though he has an agent and gave us the royalty that authors of self publishing would get versus traditional publishing.
I didn't care. If I was in it for the money, then I wouldn't be writing in the first place.

He showed us his self-pub copy which further validated the reasons as to why I didn't want to self-publish.
The cover was ugly. The layout was terrible. The price was probably too high for a cheaply made book.

Then, in one of his many lectures of self publishing, he brought up how Amanda Hocking journeyed from self publishing to traditional publishing.
I was half listening.

Then he told us how an author (I can't remember the name) who turned down a traditional publishing contract and decided to self-publish.
I was fully listening.

Then he mentioned JA Konrath's blog.

I was hooked.

I checked out his blog and I was instantly started double guessing about traditional publishing. He debunked everything I held near and dear about traditional publishing and it made perfect sense.
But I still wanted to give it a go. I got as far as the Preditors and Editors Agent pages, and everything that JA Konrath said swam before me and I just knew, in that instant, that I wanted to self publish.

It made sense. And I really had nothing else to lose. Besides, I figured it would be a great way to get some exposure for my books and stop begging and pleading for a chance.
I can take it into my own hands. And I have to say it feels damn good.

Despite the ups and downs and twists and turns of self-publishing, I love it. It's almost like this inner business woman was in me the whole time, then when I started to self publish, she came out with the crazy high heels and no nonsense approach. I loved discovering a part of myself that I would have never found if I traditionally published my books. I love shopping for book covers for future books (don't even get me started on that one). I love collaborating with editors to make my books the best that they can be. I love writing with an audience in mind, who are screaming, yelling, cheering for more. I love how determined and stronger I have become as a writer. I love the fact that I feel like a real author who can stand up proud and say that I'm published. I'm just not traditionally published.
And that's okay!

I love it and nobody can take this love away from me.

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Larrissa Hinton's current book Everblossom: A Short Story and Poetry Anthology is available at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/80600
An anthology that will quench your thirst for more than the ordinary. Everblossom is a journey through poems and short stories that may seem ordinary on the surface but dig a little deeper and the world not only shifts. It changes. Prepare yourself to delve into the three stages of the flower from bud to blossom then back to seed, you'll go through them all with a whole new perspective.

The stories are very deep and personal and sometimes quite dark. If you enjoy literary fiction I suggest you give this collection a try!




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