To Self Publish or Not to Self Publish

To Self Publish or Not to Self Publish
by Eva Santiago

“What do these famous authors and their novels listed here have in common? Mark Twain– Huckleberry Finn, John GrishamA Time to Kill, Walt Whitman-Leaves of Grass, Richard Paul EvansThe Christmas Box , Beatrix Potter- Creator of The Peter Rabbit series and Julia Childthe Joy of Cooking. These are among the many famous authors who self-published their works first then went on to become best sellers. These writers never gave up after receiving numerous rejection letters from publishing houses. So they took a stab at it an did it themselves. What followed for them was that once they self published, the publishers took note and picked up their self published work.

Before I had written one word of my first book, As Clear as Claire Gets, A Conversation with the Past, I did my home work. I was astonished to find that one of my favorite writers, Mark Twain had gone through the self publishing process. Would a major publisher take note of my work? But then I read a long list of other authors who had done the same thing and I thought, ‘ There’s obviously something to this! ‘ So heck yeah, I went for it! I self published my first book,which is my life story. As Clear as Claire Gets,is a legacy to my family. I didn’t promote it much and I did sell some copies. I also have it in a couple of libraries here in town. I was hoping to use it as a stepping stone and it did work that way. As Clear as Claire Gets, is long because I didn’t have the money to hire a professional editor. But alas, the writing business is a learning process like no other right?
A year and a half after my first book, I finished my second manuscript. Salsa! The Taste of Life, is a volume of mostly short stories with some poetry. I was thinking of self publishing again; I seriously had my doubts about sending it anyplace. One of my daughters kept telling me that she thought it was very good and that I ought to send it in to a publisher. I was terrified of those terrible rejection letters so I said no way. But I started looking around on line and I was overwhelmed with the whole process of having to have a literary agent in order to even pitch anything to most major publishers. So I kept looking and then I found Tate Publishing; one of the very few publishers left who still take manuscripts without all the hassle. So I sent them my manuscript and held my breath for several weeks. Six weeks later I received the news of my life: We want to publish Salsa! , the email read. They also informed me that out of hundreds of manuscripts they receive every year, they only publish 4% of those. I had made the cut, I was elated!So what have I learned from self publishing verses traditional publishing? Well for one, I had an editor assigned to help me polish my work and I thoroughly enjoyed it because it helped me see my writing in a new light. I also lost the fear of having my project scrutinized by the editor’s professional eye and realized she was there to help me take my writing to a whole new level. When I self published I had no idea what to do to market my book. Now, I am being trained by Tate Publishing so I can learn how to get my book out there. They invested in me so now they are going to do their best to make sure I do well because if Salsa! Succeeds it’s good news for them.

Self publishing gave me a tremendous confidence that I never had before and traditional publishing took that confidence I already had to a whole new level.- EVA SANTIAGO copyright 2012″

3 thoughts on “To Self Publish or Not to Self Publish

  1. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your blog
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