When I was fourteen, I self-published two novels through Createspace (a business which has largely been swallowed up by the success of Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP). I later unpublished these books because of how much my writing had matured. I wanted to perfect my craft before sharing work with the world. By March of 2020, I was confident I had somewhat reached that point, and I self-published Sulwen. Now, seven months later, I’ve unpublished my work again.
Right now, self-publishing is not my end goal.
The biggest, overarching reason for unpublishing was my longstanding desire to traditionally publish. I published Sulwen on Amazon in order to grow my reading audience byway of reviews and ratings. I quickly learned that what my good friend and professional editor told me was true: To succeed as an indie author, it’s practically a full-time job.
In short, I didn’t want that full-time job. I’ll be focusing on the craft and querying instead.
I’d rather be sharing my work freely than making money off it.
Clarification: I want to make $$ off the novels. The short stories are fun for me. I wanted Sulwen to inspire others and transport them to another world. I also wanted it to be free.
No, I’m not anti-KDP or anti-indie authors.
There are definitely pros and cons to all routes of publication. I think everyone’s journey is unique, and I respect what other people choose for their stories! For me, redesigning Sulwen‘s cover on Canva was perfect… not to mention it looks a whole lot better than the old one I designed through KDP.
And it took an hour of tech issues and warring with WordPress to make a page for my short story, but now, you can read Sulwen here.
I initially allowed peer-pressure from social media to guide my publishing decisions.
There are still times, more often than I’d like to admit, when I compare my success to other authors’. I watch people’s platforms grow and wonder why mine remains static. I watch others debut novels and short stories and wonder if I should be pumping out publications just as fast. I wonder, They have so many readers and followers… why don’t I?
The good news is that my value doesn’t lie in numbers or ratings. It doesn’t even lie in whether I write this week, month, or all year. I believe God grants me value regardless of what I accomplish. And so comes the freedom that allows me to share Sulwen with you, no strings attached and no money to be made off it.
This is my big step toward doing what’s right for me and my characters.
I wish you the best in your journey as well. ❤