Self-Publishing Primer: Part I – Introduction

This is the first in a series about self-publishing. I touched on the subject in Finding a Publisher, but recent posts on other blogs and comments from my clients have convinced me there’s a need for more depth on the subject.

You will find links to the other posts in the series at Self-Publishing Primer.

In recent weeks, the following disparate views of self-publishing have been posted:
Richard Hoy, in The Supposed Problems With Self-Publishing on the BookLocker Guide to POD and Ebook Publishing, said: “But here is the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about – the traditional publishing process sucks. Many manuscripts go unpublished every year not because they are bad, but because traditional publishers don’t know how to find the book’s market in a cost-effective manner. That is where POD publishers like BookLocker can provide a real service, as long as the return on investment is good.”

Paul Genesse, in How do I get published? on The Blog of Fantasy Author Paul Genesse, said: “Self-publishing non-fiction is somewhat accepted if you travel and give talks on your area of expertise and have a need to sell material to people in your field of interest, but if you are a fiction writer self-publishing can be the kiss of death.”

In a recent conversation, my client, David Bowles, author of The Westward Sagas, told me how glad he is that he decided to self-publish his historical fiction. “Unless you’re a big name or have a big platform that would attract a national audience, self-publishing is the only way to go. You row your own boat, but to be successful, you have to research and line up a good editor, designer, and printer.”

A new client, an interior designer writing a book to help people decorate their own homes, listened to the information that you’ll find in the next few posts and determined that self-publishing was the best route to publication for her.

You might be surprised at some of the successful authors who have self-published their work, throughout history. Visit John Kremer’s Self-Publishing Hall of Fame to learn more.

To the cynic, it might look like I am a fan of self-publishing because much of freelance editing is for self-publishing authors. However, that is the reverse of what actually happened – I was a fan of self-publishing first and then started working with writers who want to self-publish.

However, self-publishing is definitely not for everyone. The Tricky Art of Self-Publishing by Foster J. Dickson at Writer’s Resource Center gives a brief overview of the topic and suggests some cases where self-publishing is appropriate.

Future posts in this series will cover information you need to decide if self-publishing is appropriate for you.

[tags]publishing, self-publishing, writing[/tags]

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