A few years ago, a new author contacted me to edit her book,  A Journey to Healing: Life After SIDS.  Her name is Monica Cane, and she and I have become email friends ever since. Monica is a wonderful writer, who’s worked in both fiction and nonfiction. She’s achieved success in the self-publishing world after investing much time in researching and navigating through the various avenues available.

Because of all the work she’s done in figuring out the ins and outs of self-publishing, I asked if she would share her knowledge with my readers, in hopes of saving them some time and effort if they ever contemplate self-publishing. So, here’s Monica…

Monica Cane

When I completed my first manuscript a number of years ago, I knew next to nothing about publishing options.  I contacted some of the big traditional publishers, assuming they would love my manuscript the way I did, and would want to publish it right away. Thanks to receiving numerous rejection letters, I discovered that having one’s manuscript reviewed and/or accepted by a traditional publisher was much harder than expected. It wasn’t a matter of the manuscript being bad, but as I learned, traditional publishers receive thousands upon thousands of manuscripts each year from first-time authors, therefore making it very difficult to break into the market.

While I eventually had success with a smaller traditional publisher accepting one of my manuscripts, A Journey to Healing: Life After SIDS, the initial rejection letters caused me to look into the option of self-publishing. I wasn’t sure how difficult of a process it would be, but the more I researched the different avenues for self-publishing, the more I found it to be not nearly as complicated as I originally thought it might.

I decided to plunge into self-publishing with one of my manuscripts, A Breath of Inspiration. I asked a local graphic designer to create the cover design, then found a good editor, which every author, whether self-published or traditionally published, needs. Then I hired a printer to put the book and cover together.

The price range of editors and printers ranged greatly, so I received different quotes and requested samples of the work done before making my decision. Both the editor and the printer I chose lived in different states, but thanks to email, we were able to communicate regularly. Both of them did a wonderful job!

By the time my self-published book was complete, the total cost for the cover design, editing, and printing of 50 copies was approximately $500. This was less than what I would’ve had to pay if I had ordered the same number of books from my traditional publisher of A Journey to Healing: Life After SIDS. Plus, that publisher made all the final decisions and maintained my author rights.

The biggest reward I found with self-publishing, in addition to the overall cost and being able to maintain your author rights, was being able to have complete creative control. When you’ve spent weeks, months, or even years working on a special writing project, it can be quite a struggle to turn your hard work over to someone else to make all the final decisions as to how the manuscript will be published and presented to the public.

With self-publishing, you can decide on your own book size, interior layout, and cover design, as well as the marketing plan and more. While traditional publishing certainly has its benefits, I would have to say there is something very special about being involved with your book idea from the beginning stage of a blank page to the very end, and having a published book designed exactly to your liking.

Next Monday we’ll hear more from Monica on her latest self-publishing experience as well as a tale of a classic book that began as a self-published book that the author kept selling on her own for over 40 years!
Be sure to stop back. And, in the meantime, learn more about Monica at A Breath of Inspiration.