Jul 6, 2010

D.I.Y Publishing

I'll self-publish and market my book in the off-leash park

Would you self-publish your fiction?

I'm still focusing on the writing/editing part of my manuscript, but many writers do publish, market and sell their own books. One of the main benefits is a speedier book-in-hand time, you don't have to wait to find a publisher and then wait for them to produce your book. The biggest drawback is you have to do a LOT of work to push your book and get a market for it, even if the narrative is great, if you flop because of your lack of marketing skills (or horror - publish before it's been proofread properly), you give yourself a bad reputation as a writer.

If you want to see more on the debate of self-publishing pros and cons, visit my previous post:

I'm still intrigued by self-publishing and I've been checking out a few different sites of P.O.D. publishers, so if it's for you, check these out:
Have you had any experience with self-publishing? Know a link I've forgotten? Let us know!
And while I'm migrating to the warmer climate of Queensland, visiting my Dad in Brisbane, I'm thinking of going retro and reposting some of my favourite posts. That way I can focus on my writing, editing and generally doing a lot of this:


  1. I haven't self published, but I have used small, indie companies to publish and I've had a lot of success with that.

  2. I've never seriously considered self-publishing. I think it's a hold over when it was considered the last resort for people who just want to see their name in print and didn't produce a quality piece of work. But I've actually been surprised at some of the good things coming out. Serious writers who want to put good work out, just may have found what's right for the.
    I left something on my blog for you July 4 if you missed my comment from your previous post.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Oops, not my morning. I posted twice then noticed the previous post I commented on was your other blog. Duhhh...

  5. I have sort of strong opinions on the matter--I think OCCASSIONALLY it works, but there are SO MANY pitfalls. The BIGGEST obstacle (I believe) is a lot of people self-publish who are NOT READY, so there is a TON of stuff to try to stand out from--some by writers who may WRITE poorly, but market well, so readers have sometimes been burned. The things I would think about are:

    1) Genre: some genres have really assertive readerships willing to do the work of sorting the good from the bad (or willing to just read the bad)--I think some romance (particularly erotica, because it has had more trouble with mainstream), a fair amount of fantasy, probably some sci-fi--these readerships don't seem quite as picky, and may be more willing to wade.

    2) If you are self publishing I think you STILL want to make sure and do your many rounds of rewrites, feedback from peers, and THEN you want to hire a professional editor.

    I keep hoping authors will organize and form some sort of 'quality control' system where a self-published book can get an evaluation and rating (or some such thing) to help readers weed out the stink, but until that happens, I think the more mainstream genres will just do a lot better with traditional publishing. Maybe, with the advancement of POD, publishers will print smaller runs initially, reduce waste, and open up for MORE books and authors... or I can hope...

    Have a GREAT vacation! (I've always felt an odd attachment to Brisbane... I think in some past or future life I live there, even though I've never been)

  6. I self-published my cookbooks. My goal was quite different from my fiction stories. I don’t know if I would self-publish my fiction. I’d like to reach a large audience.

  7. Hart did a great job nailing the points I have with self-publishing:

    o Lack of quality control
    o Lack of professional editing

    Those two things are what separate the big dogs from the pups, dog lady.

    Too many self-pubs consider their crit groups and friends to be professional editors, and rely on spell-checker for quality control.

    If you want to self-publish, take it seriously and hire a professional editor at the very least.

    - Eric

  8. I think you need to have the marketing engine in place to self-publish and make a success of it.

    Although the big guys give less help than they used to, they do offer a springboard for the author to work from.

    Enjoy your holiday!

  9. It's the biggest debate most writers go through. I don't know. I have so many opinions on it.


  10. I'm doing both. I've got a self-pub title in revisions now that will be released in August, and I'm also rewriting a draft to be subbed to NY this fall. I'm not going to hire a pro editor just yet, because they are *insanely* expensive, and I'll wait to see what the comments are on my first self-pub title. I did hire a pro artist to do my self-pub covers, and I'm going over my ms, with a fine-tooth comb to make it as good as it possibly can be.

    Of course I'll do that for the NY sub as well...it seems to me that diversification is the best way to make money writing. I have a good business head for promo/marketing, so the self-pub stuff appeals to me because it's "all me". But I need a NY pub to be taken seriously...not by the reading community as much as the *writing* community. The self-publishing stigma is largely internal, from what I can see, which is a shame.

  11. Thanks for the comments and the invigorating conversation on this topic! There does seem to be strong (and qualified) opinions for both sides of self-publishing vs traditional route.

    I see niche markets and non-fiction using this route cleverly and wonder if it will grow for quality fiction. I absolutely agree that it is too easy to let sloppy work through and writers possibly have to be even more professional than if they went through traditional publishers because their reputation will be scrutinised for taking the self-publishing option. I think it's my marketing background that is overwhelmingly curious about the whole process of writing a book to having it in the reader's hand and I like the idea put forward of a 'quality control' body for self-published writers.

    And thanks for all the well wishes for my holiday - will be fun! :-)

    Charmaine x