In the last week, I finalized the manuscript for Exodus, and began the process to distribute the book on August 26th. Everything looks like it will be done on time or before deadline, providing a little time to reflect.
After independently producing my own book, would I reconsider my February statement, and work with a traditional publisher again?
I think I would, not because I like publishers, but because producing a decent book independently requires significant effort. The key word here is independent, and not self-publish. Publishing a sub-par book that lacked writing quality is not an option.
Achieving quality has been more arduous than I had thought. As someone who has not quit his day job and is publishing as a hobby, I have to admit independent publishing requires significant bandwidth!!!
In addition to my own labors over the past eight months, several key parties worked on Exodus. Jessica Dell cleaned up my original manuscript with all of my handwritten edits in the first quarter. Then I hired three different editors, two for development and one to proof the manuscript; Erin Feldman, Jennifer Stevens, and Kirkus, respectively.
From a production standpoint, Jess Ostroff helped me figure out distribution, cleaned up the last round of edits, and has been instrumental in moving the book to market. Aaron Mahnke designed the cover, and Chrisy Shim laid out the advance copy PDF (email me if you want a copy). Justin Gutwein is producing the video trailer.
Getting the picture? A lot of people have contributed to this effort. Yes, modern publishers rarely help their smaller authors do much much with marketing. But publishers offer more than you think when it comes to editing and production.
For someone like me who is already occupied with work and family, the percentage of proceeds yielded may be worth recouping the time. Of course, I don’t know what the results will be from Exodus, but if you asked me today, that would be my answer.
I am still planning on independently producing the next books in the trilogy, but the effort has been significant giving me a new appreciation for what traditional publishers do. If one came a knocking, I would seriously weigh working with someone else. I would have to really like the publisher, and they would have to believe in my vision.
What do you think about independent publishing?