Self-publishing Odyssey: Part 1 The Decision

Alastair Savage joins Achilles, Agamemnon, Helen, Paris and Menelaus before the walls of Troy as he embarks on a self-publishing odyssey.

Alastair Savage Jan 2014

After some eighteen months of grappling with the hydra of the publishing world, I have finally decided to self-publish my fantasy series The Adventures of Siskin and Valderan. It was not a decision that I took lightly. I did have the chance to release the book through a publisher, but they were only able to offer me the chance to publish an e-book.

After thinking about this, I consulted the Society of Authors. They asked me why I would want to go through a traditional publisher when I could publish the series myself and keep all the rights and all the royalties too. I felt publishing an e-book through a trad publisher would just be an egoboo for me.  I am lucky enough to be a published author already, under another name and in another world. That’s why I am member of the Society of Authors, and was able to ask for their help.

So my adventure in self-publishing will be a tale of innocence and experience. Unlike masters of the field like Michael J. Sullivan and Hugh Howey, I don’t know much about this world yet. So for the next few months, I’ll be giving posts on how my self-publishing journey develops. Hopefully, I’ll be able to give you some pointers as to how publishing works from an insider’s point of view, added to my new discoveries.

My Odyssey begins here.

Of course, the problem with an Odyssey is not just all that wandering at sea. First you have to sit through the ten-year siege of Troy. Beginner novelists need a Trojan Horse to break down those gates, though most of us have little more than a Trojan pony cobbled together out of mouldy planks and driftwood. Hopefully, I’ll show you how to unleash the blood-crazed Achaeans inside your creation.

For now, I’ll leave you with a little maxim that I learned in my editorial days: “Never publish a brown book.” It’s advice that has always served me well.

Next time: agents and editors.

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  1. Well good luck and I’ll follow your journey. I’m an avid follower of Sullivan’s posts and anyone else who is just “jumping in.” I’m not ready to project when I might want to do the same, but every post I read by others shakes of some of the anxiety.

    1. Thanks! I think lots of us think the same way. You sometimes look back at the past and you think, “I would have loved to live back then when it was easy to get a job in such-and-such world” or when you could be a pioneer in some way. In self-publishing terms, that time is now. We are all lucky enough to try to get a bite of the cherry. It’s worth taking the plunge because the boom times are coming. Let’s see…

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