Self-Publishing? Is It A Great Divide? Part 12 of 12

Welcome to everyone who is new and who come here regularly. Great to have you all here. Finale to this series. it’s been great, and some really and truly good comments, thanks to all. I’ll in my own humble way write a post about a question that Christy gave in her last comments, see yesterday for the comment.

Now, she is a wonderful and talented writer, one who would be able to be traditionally published in a heartbeat. Yet, she self-publishes, great for her. But well she can’t understand why people don’t self publish i think she inadvertently answers her question. Most writers long to do one thing: Write. we don’t like to deal with much more than that. Our creative energies are focused on writing, and getting it edited, and often we want someone else to do everything.

I think the idea, that you have to do your own editing, and then get to to a place called lulu or something else, and then make sure you have the inventory correct, you ship it out correctly, you get the word out, you arrange your speaking engagements, and then you go and speak, you work with booksellers, and write something new. That sounds fearsome.

If you’re a beginning writer, a couple of rejections are hard, but for ones who have been writing for a long time, it goes with the territory. Connect Connect Connect, Yes, it can be hard, but still. Rejections are a part of writing. There are many many talented writers out there.

Maybe self-publishing is the way to go. Maybe it’s not. you see it’s dependent upon your time and your talents. I can say that to do and inventory of book isn’t my thing. I know I’d make mistakes, as you all know I have dyslexia, and that creates more than a few problems with me. Add a couple hundred books and you get the idea. I love the creative aspects of writing, but it’s harder when it comes to accounting and marketing. Not that I couldn’t, but hours of numbers, inverted additions? I can see it now. The tax agency knows me by name here…

I am in awe with people who can make a success out of self-publishing. I know I couldn’t. Not because I haven’t done it before I have, I guess it’s because I have done a self-published book that, well after the inventory of more than four hours, and recounting, and well selling it, let’s just say a few mistakes were made. Fortunately not with the money, I had someone else do that!

The book was for a very small niche market and it sold alright, about 250 books, and the printing was 300. Ah, the good old days. Over time though, the remaining books, were for lack of a better term remaindered… i found them in a box in the back of my church… the dust was nice and thick, but after blowing on it (advice:don’t do that!) I could see why the rest weren’t sold… oh well there’s always a next time. Unfortunately, had this book sold to a more picky audience, well I would have done a great disservice to the self-publishing industry.

Needless to say, to self-publish this book, it took a lot of time out from what I needed to do in a time sensitive book, editing and editing and editing. It was a niche market, but still not my best work. Of, course now that I’ve completed several books since, I know better.

The main problem that many people have with self-publishing, and that many who self-publishing with success is the law of averages. Everyone knows the average sold book in self-publishing. With the right marketing, and not from ones own pocket, there is a better chance to sell more books… or is there? I can’t seem to find information on average sales of book sold throughout the traditional publishing industry, they also have checks and balances, which in my mind are a bit too many.

Christy made a good point. So have others, self-publishing is good, provided that, you understand when to use it. If you don’t or don’t care to learn how, it isn’t and there are as many good traditional publishers out there. Same with self-publishing. Eyes wide open. As there are as many bad traditional publishers out there, so there are with self-publishers. If you are intent on writing, let nothing stop you, and edit, edit, edit!

My Question for today is this: After reading Christy’s comment from yesterday’s post, and your own feelings about self-publishing is there a divide for you as a writer?


  • Anonymous

    This series, seems like it was a lot of work, but I am wondering, why ask teh same question of self-publishing, as it isn't a part of publishing per say.

    I never publish with Lulu or others, they will cost me money.They do not guareenty that my money will come back to my in any case.

    I think i will take my chances with teh big names out there. They seem reputable, and they have been around a while. I was saying this to tell everyone that there are many downfalls to being a self-publisher.

    I wish that you mention this in your article.

  • Al

    Thanks for the great series!
    Where I sit at the moment it is a dilemma. I have suffered anguish from every rejection slip I have received. Also I hate the waiting for someone else to say yea or no (always no thus far).
    The attraction of self publishing seems to be: getting it happening to suit your own time-frame; retaining control of your baby; and not having to go cap in hand to others.
    The disadvantage is: needing to be a one person team; and the stigma that is still associated with self publishing.

  • Johanna

    I see self publishing as a perfectly viable alternative. I am giving it a go with the traditional houses, but when the time comes, I will hire my own free lance editor and self publish if need be. I had the good fortune of speaking with an established publisher at a NY house who told me that it is next to impossible to be a first time author and get a house to recognize you especially in this economy. So I think this has been a great series and I think the stigma that some authors perpetuate toward others who choose a different option for themselves is sad and not much help to the profession.

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