Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What About Self-Publishing?

Howdy Folks,
On Monday's Coffee Clutch we discussed the importance, value and how-to's of the weighty Query Letter. The query letter is perhaps one the most challenging tasks of aspiring authors on their journey toward publication, if an author wants to be published by a conventional publisher, be it the big publishing houses, mid level or small independent publishers. If you desire to go that route, where you want to engage an agent and publisher, you need a great query letter. I chose to do that ... I wanted the validation of professionals. And the lessons I learned from all involved made me a far better writer, and taught me much about the writing/publishing world. I am eternally grateful.
Writing in the barn ... Kessy, Saturday and me ...
But what if you don't want the bother of learning how to write a query letter, a synopsis, and perhaps a chapter synopsis? What if you don't want to go through all the rejections, yup you'll get a bunch. I think I got a six foot stack! What if delays, and conforming to someone else's editing, and the pile of other things that go along with being published aren't for you?

There is always self-publishing. Self publishing is fast becoming a viable and respected option. Just a few years ago, if you were self published it carried a bit of a negative connotation with it. That has changed a lot, but not totally. One thing I've heard commented on often is, with today's ease of self publishing too many books are being published with a less than adequate editing, stories that don't hold together and other issues the publishing houses would have helped to polish.

If you choose the self publishing route, be careful to select a quality, and honest publisher. There are a lot of scammers out there who would love to take your money, and hurt you. Do your research. There are easy to find websites where you can get info on self publishing houses before you sign. Check them out.

I have a number of friends who have self published with Amazon, and are quite happy there. Were I to self publish, I think I would do so through Amazon. You can find and hire editors there to help you, and cover design folks, too. Depending on what you want to spend, you can engage a lot of help, or a little. You can also self publish directly to e-book with minimal cost and they'll arrange the financial split.

When going with a conventional publisher, they'll assign you an editor, take care of the cover design, and all the many details like getting your ISBN number; you'll need to do these things yourself if you self publish. Publishers will take their cut, but you don't need to pay all the costs of publishing, like you do if you self-publish.

Whether you self publish, or publish conventionally, you're pretty much on your own for marketing. So that's not a real consideration. But all the other things are. If you self publish, you will net more on each of your sales; you can set your own price, and be in charge of your editing, cover and all those other details that need to be addressed.

Self publishing is now far easier than it has ever been, and if it interests you, go for it. Just remember, you are then the publisher.

Gitty Up ~ Dutch


  1. I've self-published my first mystery novel and I loved the experience. The book is selling well in both paperback and e-version on 13 sites. I went with for all the ISBN, cover, e-conversion etc. and then for the second printing. I am now attending online classes on how to get it to a bigger market. I am still actively looking for an agent but in the mean time, I have the first book in the series out and my horse-loving and non-horse readers are clamoring for the second!

    1. Great, Cher!! - Thanks for sharing your success! And how you did it!- Helping each other along the way is how we do it! and CONGRATULATIONS, too!!