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Self-Publishing ~ Pros and Cons June 25, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, Writing & Writers.
56 comments

IMGP4187There are two main avenues (with lots of cross streets, thoroughfares, and traffic to traverse) when you’re ready to publish your words as a book or e-book:

* Find a publisher

* Be a publisher

Both approaches have Pros . . . and Cons.

When you self-publish, you have complete control over the process ~ from the title of your book, to its length, to the design you select for the cover.

You get to call all the shots.

You don’t have to send queries to agents or publishers to get them to sign on to the project.  Once you’re satisfied that your words flow in the intended direction, you can upload to Create Space on Amazon (or elsewhere) and send your words out to the World.

On the downside, if you self-publish:

(1) You won’t receive the external validation that comes from hearing an agent and/or publisher say they believe in the worth of your words enough to invest time and energy in marketing your book.

Who needs them?

If your book sales skyrocket, you’ll receive even more potent validation directly from readers (or the Academy!) ~> “you like me, you really like me.”

(2) You won’t get the benufit of professhunal etiding unless you higher someone to fill that roll for you.

(3) You have to wear three hats ~ writer, publisher, and agent.  For writers who are already borderline schizophrenic, this can be a real challenge.  They must struggle to quiet the voices in their heads long enough to come up with a viable marketing plan, handle press releases (to create a buzz), and set up book signings.

If this is a problem for you, here’s the solution:  Assign each role (writer, publisher, agent) to a different voice or character.  Let them brainstorm together while you go out and get donuts.

Despite its challenges, self-publishing is a legitimate tradition which allows authors to make more money, get to press sooner, and maintain complete control of their work.

Need more convincing?

Many well-known and/or best-selling authors have self-published ~ Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, Benjamin Franklin, Rudyard Kipling, Henry David Thoreau, Anais Nin, Thomas Paine, etc..

Here’s a few contemporary examples:

* Richard Nelson Bolles, What Color is Your Parachute?

* James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy ~ over 5.5 million copies sold

* Strunk & White, The Elements of Style

* John Grisham, A Time To Kill ~ first sold out of the trunk of his car

* Richard Paul Evans, The Christmas Box ~ later sold to Simon & Schuster for $4.2 million

If they can do it, so can you.  (Once you quiet those voices in your head.)

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Truths About Self-Publishing (Linda Cassidy Lewis) * Self-doubt, self-publishing, and other selfish writer-isms (Eric J. Baker) * One Year Later ~ Self-Publishing Review (Christine M. Grote) * How to Make an E-Book Using Open Office * The Thrill of Victory & The Agony of Defeat!

And from Global Mysteries:  How to Promote Your Book For FREE * How to Do an Author’s Book Event * What to do When a Publisher Rejects Your Novel