My steps towards finding an editor have been… interesting. Yet again, expectations and reality didn’t quite meet up. After a few initial conversations and some deeper digging, I’ve discovered that I am probably looking at several thousand dollars to go through an entire process of different levels of editing as well as cover and design work for my book.
After taking that incredibly scary step of contacting the editor, I felt like I was well on my way to getting this out there. Now, I’m back to wondering what the hell I want to do because that cost is pretty extreme. I absolutely understand the work involved (even more now) and I don’t think it is exactly unreasonable, just… really more than I had initially expected. I think I naively expected maybe on the upper end of a couple thousand, not upper end of several thousand, for the whole project.
Hubby has helped me with some research on what to expect from self-publishing and it looks like a good 50% of self-published authors are lucky to make $500 from a single book. I think that if I knew for a fact that I was going to strive for multiple novels and writing as a future endeavor, I would probably just go for it and know that the cost was worth the reputation building. Since this is likely the one and only time I’ll do this, I’ve got to really question how reasonable it is to spend that kind of money.
Do I think what I wrote is worth it? Well, yes. I wouldn’t have even gone this far if I didn’t. But, that is also kind of like thinking your kids are wonderfully amazing, perfect little humans that can do no wrong (tiny exaggeration there). Basically, I’m biased. I know I’m biased. The tiny little bit of feedback I got from one editor based on a sample was seriously encouraging. That doesn’t mean that anyone else will feel the same. That doesn’t mean that it will sell well.
The other side to self-publishing that is extremely daunting to me is the fact that the marketing of this will fall 100% on my shoulders. If I were one of those people that had this massive “friend” count on FB or thousands of followers on WP, Instagram or Twitter, I don’t think I’d be quite so intimidated. But for an introverted hermit like myself, my numbers might as well be non-existent. My only other real option is going to be to pay for advertising, which is even more money invested.
I get it. You have to spend money to make money (though that whole concept has always felt seriously out of whack to me), but this isn’t something that necessarily has a high potential for return. That isn’t me being negative. That is me being realistic. But where does that leave me?
My goal with this was never so much about making money off of it. I’d be beyond thrilled if I managed to get this through the publishing process and out there, get a dozen or so people I don’t know buying it and giving it a decent review. That would feel like this was a success. If I actually made some decent money off it? Major bonus!
Both Hubby and I were set to be okay with the couple thousand mark and low earning potential, but the much higher cost has us both wondering. I want this to be the very best it can be because I think it deserves it, but at what cost? To make matters worse are my own peeves about books. The lack of good quality cover art and decent editing are some of my biggest ones. What kind of a raging hypocrite would it make me to put something less than stellar out there? I’m seriously torn over this and I’m just not sure what to do about it. At the end of the day, we are pretty much talking about dumping thousands of dollars into letting me put a well edited book on my shelf with my name on it and a pretty cover, all wrapped in some warm fuzzies and a teeny tiny potential it could be more.
I think it is that potential that is killing me right now. I KNOW if I don’t do it right, that potential gets snuffed out before this even gets off the ground.