For the last few months, I have been in the process of self publishing my online web-novel series “A Gatekeeper and The Celestial Sovereign”.
I have always dreamed of being a published author. If you’ve been following my blog for a while than you probably know that I have a passion for writing fictional fantasy, sci-fi, and horror stories.
Initially, I planned on traditionally publishing all of my stories, but I decided to try self-publishing when I started writing on web novel.
I started writing web series on the site WebNovel to practice my creative writing and to get some real life criticism on my stories, since there are millions of active users on the site.
I had also personally used and read many entertaining fun series on the site.
I started writing under the pen-name Mexulexi/M.Lexi and then one of my stories became really popular. I got 1 million views and over 2,000 active readers who added my story to their library.
Recently I completed the first volume/arc of that story and I decided to make a Paperback and Hardback version of that first volume.
Since the story was already entirely online, I had somewhat established a fan base, and the theme was niche, I decided that it would be easier to Self-publish instead of writing a brief and query letter and pitching to publishers. Since publishers would be less likely to pick up a book that probably won’t sell as much and is entirely available on the internet.
Self Publishing has been a lot of hard work.
I decided I wanted to do it in the most cost effective method.
Instead of hiring a proof-reader and editor (because they are very expensive, like really expensive) I decided to make my life difficult and go through the editing process on my own.
I spent months combing through the fine details. Using assistants like Grammarly and the Editor in Microsoft Word really helped in the process.
4 Reasons I chose to self publish.
It would have been harder to get publishers to accept my story since it had already been displayed to the public and the genre is quite niche.
I have more creative control.
I get more Royalties for my work by self-publishing than if I traditionally Published.
It has been a learning experience, throughout this process I have learnt so many interesting and vital things about writing, the costs, publishing pros and cons and the industry. I believe all this information will be super important for me in my future projects and career.
3 Difficulties I had while Self Publishing:
Designing a book, typesetting and formatting isn’t easy. I learnt while going along but I had many stress filled hours in front of my laptop. I got a lot of inspiration from all the books that fill my shelves but I still made a few mistakes which the proofs showed me. I am still in the process of doing some final checks but it has all been a good learning experience.
It wasn’t as cheap as I would have liked. I wanted to offer my readers an incentive to buy the physical book. The incentive I decided was to have illustrations of the two male leads and some scenes. I hired a really good artist and the illustrations turned out amazing for me but the cost for amazing art isn't cheap. Also I decided to purchase ISBN for my story.
Thirdly, promoting and marketing the book has been a bit tiring. I am actively advertising on all my socials, as well as on this blog and on my discord for the book. It’s been a journey making all these advertisements and posts.
It is kind of stressful wondering how many people are actually interested in buying the book. Even while doing an estimate of sales I can’t help but feel like I’m being overly optimistic or too pessimistic.
I just want it to do well and for people to like it especially considering how much time and effort has gone into making this story (which I love a lot) into a physical book series. I just hope all the effort pays off and that people like it and buy it.
Overall I believe it is a lot easier to go down the traditional publishing route and it will possibly be more lucrative. For indie authors success is precarious. Some do very well, others don’t and it’s all about marketing yourself and your work.
Whilst traditional publishing also requires the author to do some marketing and advertising, they are also backed up by their publisher who will make sure the book is distributed and guarantee a certain amount of sales. Indie authors have to do much more advertising/marketing and even then their sales aren’t guaranteed.
However, despite this I will continue to Self-publish my web novel series since they are online stories and for all the reasons listed above, but I will certainly traditionally publish all my other stories that are not written for the web.
Also now that I know what to do I believe it will be a lot easier to Self-publish next time.
I am making some final corrections and I will be giving some copies to Beta Readers but hopefully by mid August the book will be available for all.
A Gatekeeper and The Celestial Sovereign is coming out soon. Please be sure to check it out!!!