Got an e-mail this weekend from the remarkable VICTORIA WATSON. She’s the author of the new collection LETTING GO, which is out now and garnering praise all over the damn place. Like most savvy writers, she’s currently conducting a sort of “blog tour”, and I’m very happy to be able to host her here today.
If you don’t already know her, allow me to introduce Victoria Watson, with a few words about self-pubbing…
A couple of weeks ago, I released ‘Letting Go’, a collection of eight short stories written by me. I’m hoping within the next couple of months to release another collection. I’m working on those stories now.
‘Letting Go’ hasn’t been published in the conventional sense. It’s only available as an e-book at the moment, I don’t have an agent nor do I have a publisher. “How is this so?” I hear you ask. I self-published the collection. Some people think this is a bad idea. The opinion that only losers or failures self publish is fairly common but the e-book and e-reader revolution means that self-publishing is actually seen as a great way to establish yourself as a writer. It’s acknowledged in the publishing world as a great way to build a fan base and increase recognition of you and your work. If you then approach an agent with impressive sales figures, you are proving yourself to be a valuable asset. If you can demonstrate an ability to make money, an agent will want a cut of that!
I like the idea of self-publishing my short stories because it gives me independence over my work. I don’t write in one particular genre at the moment and going through a traditional agent and publisher route often means you have to be “classified” in one genre or another. I haven’t quite found one genre I want to write in – maybe I never will – but at the moment, self-publishing allows me more freedom to experiment with genres, voices and topics. I see this as an opportunity to hone my craft, gather reviews, feedback and hopefully one or two people who enjoy my work.
What I also like about self-publishing is the control I have over the end product. I could have, in theory, designed my own cover. Luckily, I had the wonderful talents of Fiona Johnson to do that for me and she was kind enough to keep tweaking until I was completely satisfied with the cover. I know that going down a more traditional route means the cover, the marketing and the PR would be taken out of my control. I like that, for now, I get to know a little bit more about the publishing side of writing. Knowledge is always a good thing.
I’m not saying I would never approach an agent and hope to be published by a big publishing house but, for now, while I’m still finding my feet, I think this is ideal for me.
You can also read more of my work at elementaryvwatson.
You can catch me at goodreads.com and twitter @vpeanuts
Thanks again for having me over to chat, Heath.