As I’ve already made a pair of posts on this predicament I’ll link here and here.
Self-publishing has been on my mind more and more frequently. This is largely due to the artistic freedom that self-publishing often provides that trade publishing abstains from gifting creators.
This is not the only reason. The average cost of professional editing, can reach staggering amounts. Especially concerning that one does not (or is at least discouraged from) hire a single editor. (Such as line editors, copy-editors, proof-reading, etc) Rather it is pressured that one ought to hire a suite of editors. This being that each editor has their own unique central function, the secondary reasoning behind it is that multiple editors will mean a more refined work, and pesky little grammar or story edits that need to be tended to will. Probably. (Authors note that even after having several waves of editors typos and other errors remain. Expected really.)
This is of course is on top of beta-readers, the amount of which is usually recommended around five or six to twelve or more. The more the better—but finding beta readers who will do it for free or mutual beta-reading as compensation is unlikely. Most require monetary payment, which is understandable and comparatively to editors, far more reasonable . I’ve payed one beta reader (and she was invaluable to me. I can’t thank her enough) and that ran me about 100 dollars for the Grand Order which was at the time was around 80 thousand words. The work is now at 122K words. Largely through edits. A major complaint for even my partial-beta readers was that the book moved too quickly. I’ve done well to amend this in some capacity that I hope is adequate.
Anyhow, this is all well and good for an author who has income that they can cast at the editors, and beta readers (again good investment, but can add up), for a work that probably won’t return monetary value that would put one in the green. Rather, most writers don’t see such benefit, and it is well known that authors generally write to write, not to make truck loads of cash, movie deals and talk show opportunities.
There is the option, to self-publish my work with only self-editing. I’ve purchased a program that can isolate potential flaws and I go through and edit what I feel is appropriate. It is a machine so it’s not perfect, but it has helped me edit greatly, and only at 80 dollars. Compare to 2,500$ for a copy-editor, who no doubt would be superior but would cause me to starve, or lose my lights. And that’s just one of the recommended editors one is supposed to hire.
there is the other, original option: Traditional Publishing. Which still is attractive, but in many cases as authors and editors have reported, many publishing houses will shift and alter your work to fit the parameters that they believe will sell the most. Your title can be changed, the art will probably be dictated and the content may be changed to fit what the house wants. This is symptomatic of an author entering the commercial domain. It is difficult to argue with people trained to beautify manuscripts and get them ready for display. However, I do not want my work to be conformed to a common stereotype of supernatural fantasy books.
I do not want characters or content altered to fit some predicted audience. There’s murder, gore, sexual indulgences, adventure, romance, horror, action, mystery and so on and for any of it to be pruned to fit into a neat box would be defeating the purpose of my writing.
as it stands I’ve hit up 18 agents and haven’t yet met the one interested in my work. This is a low number, and expected, but in the ocean there’s a small number who might actually be interested in my work. I haven’t abandoned looking for an agent for I don’t know what to do otherwise.