1) Why did you choose to self-publish and what were your expectations?
Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time ... Actually I didn't have any particular expectations. Storyteller has an unusual structure - it started as a monthly serial - and it doesn't fit easily in a standard category, but people who'd read the first part of it seemed to like it. I wanted to be able to share it with other friends and acquaintances in the Medieval recreation and Welsh heritage communities without spending a great deal of time and effort going though the agent/publisher submissions thing, which I've found to be an incredibly negative experience the few times I've tried it. The availability of self-publishing with Lulu motivated me to finish the book and get it out there.
2) Why did you select your specific publisher?
I ran across a mention of Lulu in an article on the Guardian.uk site, tried it out with a couple of volumes of poetry, liked the results, and decided to use it for the novel. No comparison shopping was involved.
3) How is it going so far? Are you achieving your goals?
Yes - I'm making personal sales with a lot of people who know me (I actually am a storyteller myself), and some people who don't know me are even buying the book on Amazon. I've sold enough to pay for the distribution package and other up-front expenses, which meets my definition of success, and I have people waiting for the sequel, which should be out in October or November. And I've had several good reviews, which is cool.
4) What advice would you give a person who has completed their manuscript and is considering self-publishing?
It depends on what you want to achieve. If your definition of success is bestseller, you'd probably better try the conventional route, at least for now. If you do decide to self-publish, get some outside editorial help, or at least an outside evaluation of your own abilities - that's where so many self-published authors fall down. I'm lucky there - I've had a lot of real-world experience doing technical writing and editing, so I'm ahead of the game. If you haven't had that sort of practice, ask someone who has, and believe what they tell you. You'll be glad you did.
To sum it all up, I did it, I liked it, and I'm going to do it again - soon!
G. R. Grove is a storyteller and poet. Her historical novel Storyteller is set in 6th century Wales, and follows the adventures and misadventures of a young man who wants to become a bard. She is currently working on the second book in the series, called The Flight of the Hawk.