Should You Be Using KDP to Self-Publish Your First Novel?

Photo Courtesy: Patricia Puentes/AMG

My experience with the traditional publishing world hasn’t been the most encouraging. In 2011, I co-wrote a children’s book with a friend. The work had been commissioned by a publishing house in Spain. But the project was plagued with problems from the moment we were done writing. We didn’t have a say in the choice of illustrations; we ended up doing most of the promotion ourselves; and, worst of all, the book was poorly distributed. Our family and friends were trying to buy copies and finding none in bookstores. That didn’t deter us from continuing to write — my co-writer had actually published two previous books before — and we enjoyed the experience of creating together. We wrote the draft for a second children’s book. But at some point throughout the process of shopping it around, we gave up.

This is why I didn’t even try to go the traditional route when I wrote my first solo novel in 2015. On some level, I had probably decided to self-publish before I even started writing it. Part of it was that I wasn’t ready to face all the rejection that comes from being an unknown author looking to get your writing out there. But another part of it was that I very much liked having full ownership of my written words and the way they’d be presented.