Self-publishing isn't for everyone; I just thought I'd tell my personal story of why I self-published and how.
I've been writing books since I was fourteen, and I've been trying to get published traditionally since fifteen. I sent query letters (a formal letter sent to magazine editors, literary agents and sometimes publishing houses or companies. It's a writing proposal) to multiple literary agents and publishing houses/companies for multiple books, but nothing ever became of it.
It took me seven months to write The Darkest Light, and it took me several more months to edit it until I thought it was good enough to submit to agents and publishers. I didn't think anyone would represent it, or choose to publish it, but I was going to try anyway and publish it myself when no one else would.
I spent more time on writing and editing this book than any other. I wanted something to become of it. So, I formatted my book several times, followed guidelines, and did the artwork for the symbols that are in the book. This took about a month as well.
Next was the cover. This was what I was most excited about! I wasn't sure what kind of cover I wanted for the book, but I was excited to work on it with an artist that could help me figure out what I wanted. The cover is one of the most important things.
Everyone knows that saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover." Well, it's a
lie. Everyone judges a book by its cover, especially when buying a book.
Teens are especially picky about books (I should know, I am one of
them) and that is the genre of all of my books. I needed the cover to be eye-catching, and to look professional, not cartoon-like most self-published fantasy books I've seen.
It took me a while, but I found a book cover artist that I thought was great! The cover would cost $250 and it was in my budget-range so I was really happy about this. When I fist saw the finished cover, it kind of hit me that I was actually going to publish a book. My first book. The cover looked fantastic!! I was so excited!
I was ready to publish! My book was copyrighted and formatted, the symbol art for the book was finished, and my documents were ready to be uploaded to the publishing websites I was going to use (Kindle Direct Publishing, Createspace, and Smashwords). I was both excited and nervous for one of my books to be out there for the public.
The last thing I needed was for the artist to agree not to sell my cover to anyone else.
That was when everything came crashing down.