Monday, October 17, 2011

Interview with Anastasia Pergakis about Self Publishing

Anastasia is a high fantasy writer I’ve known for a few years.  She recently decided to self-publish her book, Cleanse Fire.  She accepted to be my guest today and answer the questions I have about self-publishing, which I’m sure many of you have as well.

Two of the questions I had for her will be posted as stand-alone articles.  She provided me with SO MUCH valuable information, I decided to give them their own space.  Be on the look-out for these upcoming posts from Anastasia:  Steps to take in order to self-publish a novel, and the costs involved.

Welcome to my blog, Anastasia. It’s a great pleasure to have you here.

I'm glad to be here Annie! Thank you for having me.

Let’s begin with a general question.  What made you decide to self-publish, as opposed to going with a traditional publisher?

This is not an easy answer. I thought about it for months before making my decision. There are many factors that I thought about to make this decision. Money (profit and cost) and time being just two of them.

Now, money was an important factor in my decision to self-publish, but it was not the most important. In doing my research I discovered that the majority of traditionally published authors make anywhere between 10% to 30% of their cover price. (Meaning they get only 10% of the cost of the book).  Amazon and other distributors take a cut as do the publisher and agent. So by the time it's all said and done, the author is left with a small percentage. Now, please understand, I'm not saying that traditional publishing is a bad way to go. It's a very good option out there for authors. I'm just explaining to you what I found - and how I made my decision.

Consider the other side. Indie (or self) published authors only have to pay for the distributor fee, as they are the publisher too. In the end, the self published author gets between 60% and 80% in royalties. Big difference, right?

Time was a huge factor as well, for two different reasons. One, by going with a traditional publisher, an author has a lot of "waiting" time. Wait to hear from the agent, wait to hear from the publisher, wait to hear from the editor, cover artist, etc. Traditional publishers have many authors, and books, they work with and this often means even if an author is accepted, it is often a year or more until their book is released. But, with self published, the "publisher" only has to worry about one author. This means that the book can be released in a much sooner time (if the author does the work that is).

Now, the other side of the "time" situation is that I would have to take the time to learn how to format my book, possibly make my own cover art, then upload the book to the distributors. This can be a steep learning curve for some as you do need to download a few programs in order to do all this, especially if you are formatting for e-book and print. I think at this point I've already downloaded 4 new programs.

And then the final - and biggest reason - for me to self publish was the fact that my book was too personal to me. I know that every book is personal to a writer, but this particular one…I just didn't feel comfortable with a publisher owning partial rights to my book. Also, since I wanted to donate to charity, I felt being with a publisher would deter my ability to do that - or at least make it more difficult for me to do so.

Again, I want to stress that I don't think traditional publishing is bad or that they are cheating people. That's not the case at all. The major thing for authors is to do what feels best for YOU. Just because it was right for me, doesn't mean it'll be the right choice for everyone. If you are considering self publishing, do the research. I spent months researching self publishing, discussing it over with my husband, and getting the opinions of other writers - both indie and self published. Only after that did I sit down and make my decision.

These are all very good points to consider for anyone thinking of self-publishing. How are you planning to promote your book?

Well - the simple answer is just like traditionally published authors. But there is more involved than that. Since I also act as my publisher, it is my responsibility to make sure the book is available in as many places as I can for purchase. This means I have to contact book stores myself about having my book on their shelves, etc.

But for the actual promotion - telling people about it - it's the same as traditional published authors. Spread the word through my Twitter followers, Facebook friends and their friends, word of mouth, blog tours, getting reviews, etc.

Now, I will say that it can be a little harder for me as many book reviewers won't read self published authors at all. The ones that do might require a professional editor. But the steps are still the same. I have to stay in constant contact with my followers, keep giving them incentives to buy, and keep growing my fan base.

Oh look at that! A short answer! LOL

Haha!! Very untypical of you. Would you consider self-publishing your next book? Why or why not?

Yes. Definitely. In fact at this point, I'm thinking that I'll always self publish. Again, not because I hate traditional publishers or anything like that. I just ENJOY it so much. Having my hands in the process of my book from initial idea all the way to see it on sale is just…overwhelming.  I feel a great sense of pride in it. And sure, it was hard to learn all the new programs I had to use, but over all, I had so much fun doing it. So, since I like it so much, I might as well keep doing it, right?

Sounds like a plan! Thank you, Anastasia, for this valuable information.  I wish you all the best with your book!  And congratulations, you’re now a published author! 

Thanks so much Annie! I'm sorry the post ended up so long, but there is just so much involved. And I barely scratched the surface honestly!

No, thank YOU!  This is such valuable information.  I can tell you did your research. Now we know where to go if we ever have questions about self-publishing. ;)

Author Site:

Series Site:

Purchase Cleanse Fire: The Kinir Elite Chronicles at:


Anastasia V. Pergakis said...

Thanks so much for having me Annie! It was a lot of fun and I'm glad the information is helpful.

Emailman said...

Anastasia! You're a star, girl :) I bow before your greatness hehe! I admire you greatly, you are a big inspiration to all of us <3

Great interview, Annie :) You always have the coolest posts.

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks, Kurt! And I agree, she's a star!

Anonymous said...

A wonderful interview... I always love hearing why people chose self-publishing and the ability to control all aspects and enjoy that process is such a positive plus. Best of luck with your sales Anastasia:)

Anastasia V. Pergakis said...

Kurt: Aww thanks! I do feel pretty famous right now hahaha but still have a long way to go.

tfwalsh: Thank you so much!

Joseph Baran said...

Interesting interview.

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks, Tania and Joseph!

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