Just one? Yes, I do get one, over and over. I answered it on my FAQ's on my website, but still I get asked. It happens in different variations, but it's still the same thing: Why did you self publish?
Some people like to answer it right after asking. "Is it because you aren't a good author?" or "Did you get rejected from a real publisher and couldn't take it?" I get them all. So here I go, yet again answering. This time, however, it will probably come off as a rant.
Why? Well first off; why not? What's wrong with self published work? Please answer this one for me, because I am at a loss.
I looked into "real" publishing, and found it to be quite a bit of a joke. If you have the money, you can advertise the shit out of your novel, no matter how crappy it is. People seem to overlook the obvious editing errors, all because it was published through a "real" company. They take your work, and tell you what to do, how to promote, and all that other fun stuff. Unless you've been around for quite a while, you have little control. I never even tried to send out my novel to publishers. It wasn't something I was interested in.
Self publishing is an amazing way to go. You learn a hell of a lot about the publishing world, and the stigma attached to indie novels. Personally, the only down side is how much money you need to put into it. Rarely do you see anything back in sales. Not right away at any rate.
I've been doing this for a few years now, and am just getting into the promoting side of things. Not wanting to be famous helps me out greatly. If you want that, you will be paying for it. I rely on family and friends, which honestly helps very little, but I still try. Slowly word is spreading of my work, and not in a bad way! Makes me happy to know most people like what they read. One day, I hope this to be my one job. That is my goal.
There are now publishing houses that are specifically for self published writers. It gives them a "real" look, and make the snobby people who look down on it actually read their work. It's a smart way to go, especially if you are starting out. They offer a lot of help. I finally hired pro-editors for the novel I am working on. It's seriously expensive, but I feel I can no longer pay what I can for editing. My work suffers for it, and I don't really learn much that way. Still, no real bad reviews on anything...yet. I'm still waiting.
My next step will be to do some kind of signing thing. I hate the idea of hanging out in a bookstore, and hate readings even more, so I need to come up with something funky. That's more me. Do a signing at an event (just saw someone do a small one at the farmer's market) something low key. Again, not that into advertising, but I really need to start!
With all the different options, and help out there, self publishing has come a long way. I will patiently wait for people to start accepting us, and judge us on our work, not on how it was published.
Proud to be indie!