Lately I've felt a lot of frustration and vulnerability regarding some of my published books. Readers want them but they're not in stores and are unavailable online. When royalties are owed, the publisher can't take my phone calls. I have no control over anything. I'm at the mercy of the publisher. This is fine if the publisher is on your side, as many of my publishers are, but this is a nightmare when they are not. I can assure you it is not a situation anyone wants to be in.
Because of this I've decided to take a chance and self-publish an ebook of some of my short stories set in Botswana. Initially I was going to make a mixed collection of stories set here as well as elsewhere or even include some creative non-fiction, but a friend of mine who knows more about marketing ebooks than I do said I need to target my market more tightly so I'm sticking to my Botswana stories.
I'm doing it a slightly more expensive way. I'm hiring an ebook publisher in South Africa to put the book together in a few different formats. I know I could do this myself but I'm not sure it would be done as professionally as I would like. I'm also using the same person to design the book cover as they have professional book cover designers. I've also hired a professional editor to go through the manuscript.
But I will be doing all of the marketing myself, and that I'm sure will be a big, steep learning curve.
I'm not giving up publishing with traditional publishers, I just feel I want somewhere where I have more control over things, even if it is with only one book. Besides it really is time all writers get more active in the transformation of the industry or else we'll get left behind. This is my first step into the new publishing world. Let's hope it goes well!