To Self Publish Or Not...

@porwest (6014)
United States
April 22, 2018 3:17pm CST
Several times I have wanted to self publish a book. Part of the reason I have chosen not to do this is because it is a bit of an unknown territory for me. But I do see the benefits of self publishing. One big one of course being that unlike going through a publisher, you get to keep more of your money. Royalties from a publishing house are often much less than what the publisher walks away with. One advantage to a publisher is that they, of course, handle a lot of the promotional efforts and have far better access to reviewers, and even movie producers who may want to pony up and option your book to be made into a feature film. So, certainly, as a self published author you will have to do the majority of the legwork, and be willing to incur more out of pocket expenses to get to book signings, do the marketing, and buy your own books to get them into the hands of reviewers. I am curious to know your own experiences with self publishing. Have you found it pays better, ultimately, than traditional publishing? Was it more difficult to get reviewed, or encourage book stores to let you do a signing? How about formatting and editing the book? What software did you need, if any, and were you able to format your book the way you wanted it to look? I am interested in knowing what other writers have experienced with the self publishing process.
16 people like this
14 responses
@amadeo (67699)
• United States
22 Apr
I believe we have a few hare.@LoriAMoore and @just4him.They may help you there.
7 people like this
@porwest (6014)
• United States
22 Apr
I have actually checked out some of their work. The people you mentioned. I am surprised by the quality of their work. Self publishing needs this kind of work. In fact @LoriAMoore has a very interesting book I want to read, "The Hoarder's Daughter." I saw the preview and it looks very interesting.
2 people like this
@just4him (120299)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
23 Apr
Thanks for the mention.
1 person likes this
@just4him (120299)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
23 Apr
@porwest There are a lot of good writers who self-publish. When I first started self-publishing, the person I talked to said a lot of traditional publishers are looking for people who have a good following before they will take them on and publish their work. I'm working on the following, so I'm also working on figuring out marketing. The new way publishers are handling new authors forces new authors into self-publishing. So, yes, you will see a lot of good quality work in self-publishing today, unlike many years ago when anyone could write some words together and call it a book and publish it.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (54492)
• United Kingdom
22 Apr
I'm always suspicious about self published books - let's face it, anyone can do it, they don't have to have any talent. At least if you go through a publisher they have to think your work is worth while.
6 people like this
@porwest (6014)
• United States
22 Apr
Well, I CERTAINLY think that anyone should not necessarily attempt to self publish until they have actually had work published traditionally. I think self publishing works best when you have already established yourself as a writer and have already built an audience for you work. I do not feel self publishing should be a "last resort," since I DO believe publishers reject work for good reason a lot of the time, even if they get it wrong some of the time. If a writer decides to self publish just because they have gotten rejection after rejection, I think this does the writer an injustice. The idea of the rejection is to take a good hard look within one's own writing, find the flaws, and improve upon their work and their understanding of why the work doesn't make the cut in traditional publishing. And some writers are simply not writers and need to come to terms with that reality, as tough as that may be.
4 people like this
@KristenH (24369)
• Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
22 Apr
@porwest I'll do self-publishing as a last resort if all else fails like indie pubs for starters. I've got small pub/agent interest on three mss on cold querying alone.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (54492)
• United Kingdom
22 Apr
@porwest Yes, it could work if they've already had something published and built up a readership. Then they are in effect just cutting out the middleman.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (109536)
• United States
22 Apr
I think there are a few here who have self-published books. Hopefully, they will respond with some answers to your questions.
6 people like this
@KristenH (24369)
• Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
22 Apr
I haven't self-published a book. But I do know some Mylotters do. The choice is yours to do it via Amazon or Smashwords. I'm doing it via the traditional route via queries and pitch contests.
4 people like this
@porwest (6014)
• United States
22 Apr
I really need to explore more about how to do it on Amazon, which seems to me to be a strong platform to self publish on. Of course, I don't want to spend too much time researching that could otherwise be used writing. :)
3 people like this
@KristenH (24369)
• Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
22 Apr
@porwest I'm sure you can find it resourceful. I know a few people who've done it away. Good point. If you ever want to go traditional, let me know.
1 person likes this
@just4him (120299)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
23 Apr
I've self-published all my books. The first, Scarred went the route of an author house publishing it, though, because it is self-published, I would be the one doing all the editing and marketing for the book. I have subsequently found a much easier, and cheaper (free) way to publish my books. Yes, I'm still responsible for all the editing and marketing, but the template is provided for the size you want to use, and they do look over the copy to make certain it's in good order and meets all their guidelines before it's published. This past weekend was our huge UntitledTown Book and Author Festival. They had lots of workshops to help authors get their books from ideas to publications. I recommend looking for any kind of events in your area that would help you. Not least and should be first, would be to find a writer's group. They have an abundance of information to help you on the road to publication.
3 people like this
@porwest (6014)
• United States
16 Jun
One of these days, just out of curiosity, I should try something there. Do your books generally sell well?
1 person likes this
@just4him (120299)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
16 Jun
@porwest Not yet. I'm still trying to get the marketing going.
1 person likes this
@porwest (6014)
• United States
20 Jun
@just4him Well, keep at it. I am sure you can make some headway.
1 person likes this
@AKRao24 (19701)
• India
22 Apr
I never published any book all by myself . So can't be of any help to you dear friend @porwest ! Thanks!
3 people like this
@porwest (6014)
• United States
24 Apr
No trouble with that on my end.
1 person likes this
@maximax8 (28490)
• United Kingdom
30 May
I was able to self publish a book on Amazon Kindle. It is about my travel experiences in my lifetime. Look up Maxine Chivers and you will see it. I know that it is hard to sell it. I am not a famous author you see. It took me months to write that book and it has my own photos in it.
2 people like this
@andriaperry (53310)
• United States
22 Apr
Most who publish here do it through Amazon. The reason I have not published a book is because to get it to a publisher you have o have an agent. If I remember correctly @ElisabethWallace was told she had to have her own web page set up. There are many self published authors here. A few are listed below in other comments.
2 people like this
@porwest (6014)
• United States
23 Apr
It is probably a good idea to have a web page set up in any event. When you self publish you are going to need to do the marketing, and it would be important to have a place where readers could go to in order to learn more about the author and keep up with the latest news, events around the books, and any future work the author may make available.
@Hannihar (38164)
28 May
@porwest Self-publishing isn't as easy as you thought. I wrote one book in my life and had a very hard time selling it. I sold 3 and then I was told to have more done and then could not sell those. Maybe you have more people to contact than I did or do.
1 person likes this
@porwest (6014)
• United States
16 Jun
For a variety of reasons I prefer traditional publishing. Certainly, however, an author who self publishes keeps more of the money. Mostly.
1 person likes this
@Hannihar (38164)
17 Jun
@porwest I am not good at selling myself so when I tried to self publish my story it was a disaster.
1 person likes this
@porwest (6014)
• United States
20 Jun
@Hannihar Writing for most is a poor man's game anyway. It's extremely difficult to be a Stephen King, James Patterson, Michael Chrichton...self publishing is even harder.
1 person likes this
@MarymargII (10041)
• Toronto, Ontario
23 Apr
I am a writer but have not ventured that far yet. But will be interested in your responses.
1 person likes this
@porwest (6014)
• United States
16 Jun
There were some interesting and enlightening responses that came out of this. All very interesting stuff. I hope you were able to get a few questions answered here yourself.
@MarymargII (10041)
• Toronto, Ontario
17 Jun
@porwest Yes it was a good subject and I am more informed now..
1 person likes this
@porwest (6014)
• United States
21 Jun
@MarymargII Glad you were able to glean something from the post and the comments that followed.
1 person likes this
@irishidid (8570)
• United States
21 Jun
I'm not making squat but I don't regret it. Have realistic expectations.
1 person likes this
@porwest (6014)
• United States
25 Jun
The writing @irishidid is what is important. Many great writers made squat when they were alive. There is still hope...although not sure who might cash the checks. lol
1 person likes this
@irishidid (8570)
• United States
26 Jun
@porwest I think my writing is worth reading, getting others to think that is another matter.
1 person likes this
@porwest (6014)
• United States
3 Jul
@irishidid Very true. It is a constant effort to be sure.
22 Apr
I was thinking of self-publishing with Lulu or Amazon.
1 person likes this
@porwest (6014)
• United States
24 Apr
Seems like those are fairly common and good places to do it. At least with Amazon you have, it would seem, access to a potentially wider audience.
1 person likes this
24 Apr
@porwest Thanks Jim, by the way do you know where can I get a template for Amazon?
1 person likes this
@porwest (6014)
• United States
23 May
@BitCastDaily I'm not sure actually.
@JudyEv (126246)
• Bunbury, Australia
23 Apr
As Alfredo says there are a couple of members on myLot who self-publish. Good luck with your efforts.
1 person likes this
@porwest (6014)
• United States
23 Apr
Like anything in this world, it's a gamble, but one never knows when they will hit the jackpot...if they hit it at all.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (126246)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr
@porwest And you need to have a go at least.
1 person likes this
• Pamplona, Spain
20 Jun
I donĀ“t write books a such and I only write short stories and have not done anyting with them just yet. Wishing you all the luck whatever you might do in the finish.