C. Leigh Purtill Shares Her Secrets For Self-Publishing

For author C. Leigh Purtill, when the rights to her traditionally published novel reverted back to her, she decided that she would self-publish the eBook version. Purtill caught up with eBookNewser to explain why.

EBN: Why did you decide to self-publish your eBook?

LP: I didn’t want to wait for a publisher to give me the green light and then have to go through the lengthy process that is typical of traditional book publishing. While a publisher controls elements I would like a bigger hand in, such as cover design and title choice, it usually offers only a minimal marketing budget in return. I’m a writer, not a publicist, marketing professional or ad person. But in the current publishing climate, these marketing tasks are laid at the feet of lesser-known writers. I do love taking an active role in connecting with readers but when my efforts seem to be a publisher’s sole marketing plan, it really leaves me scratching my head.

EBN: How did you go about self-publishing your eBook?

LP: When the rights to my two traditionally-published novels reverted to me, I knew I wanted to get my own digital versions up as soon as possible. And that really started the ball rolling.  I began with a copy edit of my original manuscript, comparing typos and minor grammar issues to the published version.  This was when I discovered that Chapter 13 of my novel was missing. I checked the print version and sure enough, there was no Chapter 13 there either. Concurrently with the copy edit was a cover redesign. I could have purchased the original artwork but since I was planning to release the book with a title change to Fat Girls in L.A. (Book 1: All About Vee), planning it as the first book in a series, it didn’t make much sense – plus the artwork was kind of pricey. Instead I hired a professional to design the cover and I had final approval, which was really satisfying. Then I needed to get the manuscript formatted for the various e-book markets.

EBN: What challenges did you have self-publishing your eBook?

LP: The biggest challenge was doing everything myself, knowing I’m the final word on all decisions. As frustrating as working with a publisher can be, they do have a machine in place to handle all the little details, regardless of whether their decisions are good or bad. I had to create a system myself and I’m still working out the kinks.

EBN: What are the opportunities?

LP: The main challenge is also the biggest opportunity. Doing it yourself and having the final word on your career is a very powerful thing, one that very few authors have had the chance to explore until recently. This ability to connect to readers with no filter allows us to form a deeper level of communication.  They read exactly what I intended. Stephen King said, “Writing is telepathy.” I agree. Self-publishing makes the telepathic link that much stronger.

EBN: What is the best price for an eBook?

LP: This is something I am still working out. I have a plan I believe fits what I’m trying to achieve, which is to get my work read and hopefully earn enough to make the effort worthwhile. My first book, which is essentially a re-release, is priced at .99 cents; the second book in the series, which is brand new, will be released at $2.99.  I plan to follow that pattern as I release a combination of previously-published and brand new work.

EBN: What device do I like to read e-Books on?

LP: I love my Kindle.