September 20, 2011

Everyone Has an Opinion on Self-Publishing, Right?

Self-publishing is hot right now. Everybody's talking about it and most writers (or at least it seems like it's most) are willing to give it a shot. I think writers see it as a nothing-to-lose situation. That's not really true--you stand to lose time, respect (if you try to sell an inferior product), and the money it takes to get a professional-looking book out on the market (cover design, formatting, editing, etc...)

That said, there are some distinct advantages: the writer gets to control pretty much all that goes on with their books, higher royalties, faster turn-around, and a closer relationship with readers. No middle man means more money for the writer, but it also means the writer can really get to know the reader. (I'm not saying you can't do this with traditional publishing, but with self-publishing, the writer gets all the information, all the contact.)

I think that's a really cool aspect. I adore my blog readers. You guys are awesome. Supportive, loyal, and did I mention attractive?

Seriously, though. I love hearing from you guys. I value your input. And I think I can cater better to my readers if I self-publish.

I've given this a lot of thought. Self-pubbing isn't for everyone. In fact, I think a writer would be foolish to jump into self-pubbing with less than 5 years of fiction-writing experience. (Some will tell you 10 years is better. I don't doubt it.) I'm sure there are exceptions to this, I'm just sayin'... I've learned a lot in the last 6 months I've been writing. I'm still learning. And I've thought about waiting. I've thought about it a lot.

Right now, I'm writing story ideas that I'm not sure will appeal to "mass markets", but I think they'll be well-received by many. These stories wouldn't get taken up by a traditional publisher because the pool of readers is too small and they wouldn't be able to profit from it. (And by small, I'd say the pool is right around 10,000-15,000 readers. I'm just guessing.)

But if I publish these books myself, I can write for my smaller, more modest group of readers, cater to them, write for them, and everyone's happy.

I may be nuts, but I think it's exciting. I'm going to give it a try.


Julia said...

I have a novel self-published on Amazon and Smashwords. My reasons for doing it were:

1. I had finished a novel.
2. I have a day job that pays well and that I love doing.
3. Sending out dozens of letters of inquiry to publishers and agents would take me hundreds of hours. Publishing my book on Smashwords and Amazon took me about 4 hours each.

Would I have made a lot more money with a publisher behind me? I don't know. The time it requires to attract the attention of a major publisher did not seem worth the likely payoff to me.

Unknown said...

I saw that you got a five-star review. All you need is probably some marketing/promotion. I may have to bug you with questions as they come up. ;)

Unknown said...

Sorry, not that I have any insight into marketing or promo. I just figured, with a 5-star review, you probably have a good product. (Congrats, btw!)

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