The road to published success
I was wondering about everyone's thoughts on what to do with your writing once you regard yourself finished with it. That is, how do you feel about using agents to market your work or do you prefer the self-publishing route?
All of these areas confuse me. Although I have yet to complete a work worthy of such a stage, I am frightened y the prospect of handing my words over to another.
I'm not a published author either, but I do have experience with creating an app and promoting it, and I believe it's very similar. Part of my work is researching into how the industry works, and as far as I can tell there is no easy answer to your question.
Self-publishing is hard. Getting the book out there is now easier than ever, although going through terms and conditions, and calculating your revenue can be tricky depending on the platform you use. The most difficult thing is usually promotion: you will be competing with many others for the attention of a bunch of readers.
There are agents that can help you self-publish. This sounds contradictory, but some agents specialise in releasing books on self-publishing platforms like KDP (Kindle) and others. The services provided by these agents vary, as well as their pricing or how they get paid (percentage or fixed price). They may offer help with publishing to many sites at once, formatting the books and promotion, as well as pre-publishing things like editing.
My advice would be to hire someone if you can afford it. It will help you a lot, especially when you are publishing for the first time, and you will learn from the process from someone who has experience. I cannot recommend anyone at the time, and of course other people might believe that agents are useless with first-hand experience. If you cannot afford an agent, don't panic! You can still do it on your own but it might be a bit more difficult. Just remember, no error can be undone.
The decision in the end is yours, depending on how much you want to spend (or what percentage you want to give away), what services you need and how you feel about doing some promotion (buying ads, contacting blogs/journalists, engaging on social networks, attending events, etc). Keep in mind that hiring an agent/agency doesn't mean you won't have to do anything, in the end the best promotion is your passion for your story.
Hope I didn't scare you much. In my experience with developing Plotist, the development itself has been hard, but getting it online and promoting it has been, by far, the hardest part. In the end it is always worth it, especially when you see people sharing their timelines online or you receive encouraging emails from your users. Even when you get complaints it feels great, as you know they have noticed you and care enough to write an email.
What @jaycano says is pretty much accurate. One thing that is required by all authors, regardless of whether you choose to selfpublish or not is the need to self promote. There are quite a few agents out there that specialise in self-publishing. Some will hold your hand from start to finish. Others will offer only editing services. Still others will do editing, and a small amount of marketing.
The best piece of advice I can give at this moment for you @Sulaco is to not let the fear of the unknown in this area stop you from creating. Take it step by step. Get your books done in a rough raw, and as @mrmathiasjr said in his response to his interview questions, in a live version. Then when you're ready, you can start looking for ways that work best for you to turn it into a radio version.
Be strong, and get that story down first!
Thank you both. It is a scary process, especially for someone as unconfident as me but as you say get the writing in raw form is half the battle.
@Sulaco It really is about just getting the story out first. I've come to realise that as long as you have your story down, (one of the reasons I love Plotist so much is that ability to do a timeline), you can always come back and tackle it for direction, writing, editing, changing words, etc. Don't let your own self stop you. :) You have amazing stories to tell that no one else has told. Once on paper, or digital ink, you can always go back and modify it! :D Your wolf story is rather awesome..