Why I’m self-publishing Farsighted even though I already have a literary agent: Indie power

This is a post by Novel Publicity President, Emlyn Chand

Today, I’d like to answer a question I’ve been getting a lot lately:  Say, Emlyn, why did you decide to self-publish Farsighted when you have a literary agent?

Excellent question, dear friends. Allow me to explain.

I actually sat down to blog about this yesterday, but instead of coming up with a succinct answer, I wrote this giant analogy comparing self-published authors to Salem witches. How much further off-topic can you get? 😛

So anyway, let me explain my decision. About a year ago, I thought the only way to be a “real” writer was to land an agent and get a traditional publishing contract, which is what a lot of aspiring writers think. Then in December of last year, I started my blog and, more importantly, became addicted to Twitter. Within a couple of weeks, I amassed a pretty large following. Just like that.

A few months in, I realized I had a unique gift for social media and launched my book marketing business, Novel Publicity. One month after that, my business made enough to sustain me, and I was able to quit my lackluster day job. Since then, I've only been getting better at managing social media and using it to promote my clients' books and my own blog.

My star client, Terri Giuliano Long, has surpassed 25,000 copies sold on her self-published manuscript because of all the work we (Terri and I together) put into marketing it. Success like this is practically unheard of, indie or not. What this showed me is that the publishing industry is not only changing – it's changed. I'm not really sure there is any benefit to being traditionally published anymore, especially if you're an author who has the know-how and financial/time resources to A) professionally edit your books, B) get a stellar cover designed, and C) market your work.

With all of that in mind, it didn't really make sense for me to seek traditional publication for Farsighted. I don't want to discount traditional publishing altogether, so I still will try to publish through my agent down the road (well, you know, maybe). But, a condition of my signing with him was that I get the Farsighted series as my own.

Another reason I'm all gaga for the self-pub world is because it's what I preach through Novel Publicity. I spend all day trying to convince writers that the indie path can work for them. By choosing that route for myself, I am showing my belief in that statement; I am practicing what I preach.

The publication and marketing plan of Farsighted will also serve as a grand experiment. Since this is *my* book, I can go kind of crazy – not that I wasn't already crazy to begin with, mind you. My goal is to run the “perfect book marketing campaign.” I'm using all of Novel Publicity's services to get it up and running:  from cover design to editing to the actual marketing. I'm also bringing in other elements that I think will help get Farsighted out there (such as Pay-per-Click advertising).

I plan to blog about my journey as I go with absolute transparency. Yes, I am putting all of my eggs in one basket here, but that's how much I believe in the ability for indie authors to succeed – so much so that I'm willing to risk my career as a writer and my career as a book marketer to prove this point.

I'll let my indie brethren (and sisteren) know what's worked for me and what hasn't. If something works really well, I'll break it down and tell others how to do it. We've got to stick together and support each other, am I right?

I ♥ the indie world dearly! Who knows, I may never need to go traditional.


Emlyn Chand, President of Novel PublicityAbout this post's author:

Emlyn Chand is the president of Novel Publicity and a YA author. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her first novel Farsighted released in late 2011 and is of the YA genre. Learn more about Emlyn at www.emlynchand.com or by connecting with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or GoodReads.

Ruth Madison

Looking forward to seeing posts of all your experiences!

Greta Marlow

It’s inspiring to watch the way you are slashing a path through the jungle of self-publishing!

Yamina Collins

I love this post you wrote, Emlyn.

Can I re-post it on my literary site, Yaminatoday.com? I’d also need a jpeg image of both you and your book cover if you say yes.

P.S. How did you master social media so quickly and so efficiently? Were you on twitter, like, 8 hours a day or something?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Yamina Collins

Emlyn Chand

Hi Ruth, Greta, and Yamina.

Thank you all for the encouraging comments and for believing I have the machete necessary to bust through the indie jungle 😉

Yamina, I’d love to be on your site. Go ahead and send me an email to [email protected]. As to how I learned social media so quickly, I don’t know! It just clicked.

Shelly Thacker

Congrats on going indie! Loved this: “The publishing industry is not only changing – it’s changed.” So true. I’m a former NY-pubbed author (and an ex-Michigander) who is now happily indie. 100% creative freedom + 70% royalties = an intoxicating combination.

Cheering you on & wishing you much success!

    Emlyn Chand

    Thank you for the encouragement, Shelly. It’s always nice to meet another fellow indie who is as enthusiastic as I am 😉

Tina Boscha

I wrote a similar post (minus the social media success bit, lol!) on my blog (Why This MFA Grad Went Indie). The biggest reason I did it was because while I kept hearing “no” from the publishing side, in my gut I just knew “yes.” Well, yes in terms of not being able to shelve the book. We’ll see if more readers say “yes,” but so far I’m very glad I took the plunge. I’ll be avidly following your progress and wish you the very best! Looking forward to reading your work.

    Emlyn Chand

    Thank you, Tina. Yes, I agree. Ultimately you have to trust yourself and all your hard work. Here’s to both of our future successes! 😉

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