Why not? Amazon have made it very easy to do so. Perhaps I decided to do it because I simply could. Or perhaps, because everyone else seems to be doing it. Lots of people have had success with it. I think whenever I sit down to ask myself the question, the overriding answer is that I did it because of the freedom it has offered me. The freedom to write what I want, how I want and when I want. Call it vanity, arrogance, or ignorance even, but I simply love writing. I love, love, love it. And I love when people enjoy it – and I know there are some out there whose happiness does pivot on what happens to my characters! I never thought my words could do that, but they can it seems!
Maybe I did it because I did not believe I would be able to land a literary agent because I was crossing genres. Maybe because I am an unknown author who is literally emerging and I want to simply see how my stuff gets received, rather than wait around for ages. If I was honestly bothered about the dosh, I would have been banging on the doors of agents until I was blue in the face and had finally got a mega publishing deal. I was never after that, however. I have an 18-month-old and I have priorities.
I made the decision. Whether it will prove to be the right one in the long-term, who knows? But I thought long and hard about it. I made it and decided not to regret it. I love writing. I love it when people enjoy it. First and foremost, I’m a mother. But I also happen to be able to spin a good yarn. Traditional publishing is obviously going to help you produce the best product you can because you have so many editors and seasoned pros on hand (but that’s only if you can find the right people for the right product – and my product is shall we say, unique and complex). I’m not sure what I’ve written could even be classed as a product. It is sprawling and eccentric, perhaps even barmy and pushing the boundaries just a little too far. It is raw and untameable even, a bit like me. However, I’m testing the waters. I’m developing all the time. If these books are a precursor to something bigger and better, so be it. I feel as though I have a few more novels in me yet.
I’ve made mistakes along the way. Many. When you self-publish, you have nobody to fall back on. But that’s what makes you stronger, after all. It is a tricky game but it is probably one that is going to make me hardier. Get it…? Little ‘in-joke’ there.
These books have been begging to be written for ages and I won’t be able to stop until they are done! It has been just over a year now since I really knuckled down to this task and it’s still ongoing. It’s been an intense period of furious writing, then editing, then re-writing and proofing and re-reading and re-writing. Sometimes having hundreds of thousands of words swimming in your mind can cause slight insanity! A strange way of working but it is how I do it. It works for me. We have Beneath the Veil and Beneath the Betrayal already out there. I’m probably 90% done with the first draft of Beneath the Exile, which is going to prove just how much I’ve learnt. I hope the writing of that will do the talking for me. Anyway, we’ll see!