I am self-publishing a book, and that is in and of itself an learning curve, it has taken time and a bit of smart money to do this. It has also taken a change of heart. If you had asked this question to me about four years ago I would have said loud and clear, that self-publishing was not– ab-so-lu-tely not for me!— so accept my apologies when I say I am reformed, and now see the benefits of this method of publishing. There is a place for self-publishing, and for self-publishers who have a goal behind their books.
I should know. I am hard at work as a self-publisher.
What surprised me was that there is a lot of freedom to self-publishing, but a lot of responsibility. No one will do any work for you, at least not without some type of compensation such as money or a bartering of abilities. That was the main thing I learned.
I also learned that to have a small market- as with the books Jane and I write, I have to think of self-publishing as a option. I don’t think that I would be able to sell 5,000 books– at least not to this large a crowd. It is a niche market, and most traditional publishers will not want to try to publish a book as there would be little chance of a return on their investment.
What I do think is that in the last five years more people have found that they too can self-publish. It is no longer a taboo subject. I am serious about the mistakes– and I fix them, as it looks bad upon my own book and on others who have worked hard on theirs.
The goal of any author is to be published and if people know that there are books out there, they are more willing to buy books. Of course, as many have pointed out– you need to market it correctly. I would say that should be the deciding goal of any would be self-publishers.
It should not be because no one wants your book and you have to go it alone– but rather because you know the market is smaller than most traditional publishers could want in a book. In fact a self-published book is, a team thing. I know this because my book would not be close to being published if I did not have a team helping me.
Should a self-published book be a goal? In my mind, now, the answer is yes.