The Futility of Being a Self Publishing Author.

Warning – Public Self Pity Party being Prepared….

Everyone who knows me well, knows I publish my own work. They also know that I am a full time Home Carer with four children who are mostly all Autistic. My Partner is Autistic and physically disabled. I am Autistic.

This leads to not being able to have enough money to eat / pay bills, which leads to not being able to publish my work.

I am dependant on the generosity of the Public –

  • Through Social Benefits. I can’t feed my children any. other. way.
  • Through Patreon. I have one benefactor there – She pays for my website indirectly by being my only Patreon Fan.
  • Through Ko-Fi. Well… as soon as anyone sends me something it will pay for something; probably the investment I made in buying a decent podcast microphone.
  • Through buying my books. Not that I get much money for them. I’m lucky to make £30 a year on them.

I cannot afford to go out and get a job because the only way I could make more money than the Benefits we get is in Teaching and I have been out of Teaching for over ten years, so I’m pretty certain that any money I could make will be eaten up in childcare before I can even afford to pay bills and buy food.

So I have more books on my Hard drive than I do in circulation.

They cost money to publish – the bare basics is that you need a decent cover to attract attention of the e book buying public, an editor and a formatter – I can do my own editing (as long as I can find someone to do a quick proofread for free) and my own formatting, which leaves paying for the cover. That’s the bit that costs the most.

So they languish.

Which cuts down on my ability to make money through my books.

But then, in creeps the little voice….

Your books aren’t selling because you’re not a good writer. There are loads of writers out there that are much better than you.

And every time a writing friend manages to get a book published (be it with a publisher or by their own efforts) and celebrates their book, I feel like a little bit of my own ambition and energy dies. I am happy for them, I truly am, but inside that voice creeps out again…

See, you can’t even get your own books published. What is the point of even trying to do it anymore?

I recently made the decision to try and work through that voice – every time it comes into my head, I start writing. Sometimes the voice goes away, sometimes it doesn’t.

I’ve had lots of people saying that I should do it because my stories and drawings are good enough to be published. It’s a very difficult market though.

Most children’s publishers prefer to have their own artists do the drawing, so even if I were to shop a story around, I wouldn’t be able to do the drawings. Hence why I decided to publish my own.

But even here I run into money difficulty.

Publishing picture books means digitising my drawings – I have a computer capable of doing digital drawing thanks to a friend. I have a drawing tablet (cost me £25 from ebay) but I have yet to find software that I can get along with. The closest I can come to something I can get on with is Ibis Paint… but that’s an android programme on my phone and my phone is too small to do large pictures.

*sighs*

I started with “Where Are My Socks”. I already have the pictures for that. I thought I could use Publisher to do the Layouts. And I was fine up to the point that I started getting proofs. Everything that I could do to the best of my ability was coming back looking crap.

So I’m back to square one.

Looking at getting a layout artist now. I can’t take the stress of the whole process.

I’m not sure I can take the stress of any of this.