Is self -publishing smart?

Before posting in this marketing forum, please try to read 10 Step Plan to Promote Your Book: Online Book Marketing on Any Budget. This forum is mainly for followup questions and discussion after reading that book. This forum does indeed allow for much broader discussion of marketing and promotion than just that book, but it's good for everyone to be on the same page about the basics.

Please note, this forum is not for self-promotional plugs. It's for discussing how to promote your book or other writing.
User avatar
Posts: 14
Joined: 25 Mar 2018, 13:25
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 4
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 35
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Sigfried’s Smelly Socks! by Len Foley

Re: Is self -publishing smart?

Post by Mana_Hale »

Personally, I'm a writer who after finally earning a Masters in Creative Writing learned that I not only enjoy writing, but all aspects of the production of a story - for me, self-publishing is both a hobby and part of my job. I love having the creative control to do as I please with my characters and story that I've put so much work into creating, hosting art contests, lending them to game makers, doing crossovers... writing the book has become a "core" of sorts, but for me the entire creative spectrum is what I'm interested in, which makes self-publishing the best move I feel I could make, especially given I write for a niche audience that not many agents know how to deal with.

In the meantime, I even publish drafts of the story chapters at a rate of 1 a month via Patreon and have garnered a small following after only a year of publicly putting out my work - it may only be a small amount compared to working with an agent and publisher "proper," but I couldn't be happier having such control over my own work!

User avatar
Posts: 16
Joined: 13 Feb 2018, 15:00
2018 Reading Goal: 12
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 0
2017 Reading Goal: 0
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by McFatter »

ladywithglasses wrote:
13 Jan 2017, 17:38
Would you say it is better to self publish or to go through an agency? Does anyone have any experience publishing a book these ways? I would love to read your opinion. Thank you and have a wonderful day!
Querying for an agent is tough, tough business. So, if you are going to go that route, you should prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. Agents are very specific about what they are looking for and each of them only takes on a few projects a year. Writing a good query letter is a whole other mystic art that has to be learned. And it's a long waiting game. Many agents don't respond, and the majority of the ones that do understandably cut and paste a stock response--and you have to prepare for that. If you win the lotto and are lucky, an agent will reply asking to see your whole manuscript. If you win the lotto a second time, they will want to represent you.

Self-publishing offers up opportunities to writers that never existed before. And yes, while we do have more creative control by going it alone, it is very wise to get help from folks that can assist you with telling the best version of your story possible--like an editor.

I have self-published my first novel and it was a challenging journey with a lot of lessons learned along the way. And while I am still learning, I have found this process to be very rewarding.

Much luck to you, whichever way you choose.

User avatar
Posts: 132
Joined: 29 Jan 2018, 09:18
2018 Reading Goal: 10
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
Favorite Book: The Bible
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 13
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Health Tips, Myths, and Tricks by Morton E Tavel, MD

Post by See_B00kReaDs »

cluznar wrote:
21 Jan 2017, 21:54
Yes, self publishing is a good way for the new writer to start out. Instead of spending a year trying to get a publisher to pick you up, only to find out none will. With self publishing you can pretty much do as you would with a publisher. But you pay for it. I self published my first book with Outskirts Press and they are great to work with. They have editing available, also marketing. There are also many self publishers available. Each author must look them over and decide which fits their need. But at least with a self publisher you can get your book out there in front of people.
Thanks for the tip! :D
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”
– Francis Chan

God bless you! :D

Posts: 157
Joined: 21 Apr 2018, 01:56
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 21
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Barnyard Buddies STOP for Peace by Julie Penshorn

Post by love_b00ks »

I am also an aspiring author, this thread is so useful. :)

Posts: 157
Joined: 21 Apr 2018, 01:56
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 21
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Barnyard Buddies STOP for Peace by Julie Penshorn

Post by love_b00ks »

It is difficult to get your book published by a professional publisher, it goes through a lot of process that's why I think it is wise to do self-publishing, at least at the onset.

User avatar
Posts: 679
Joined: 24 Feb 2018, 16:04
2019 Reading Goal: 40
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 127
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 95
2017 Reading Goal: 0
Currently Reading: Moth Flight's Vision
Bookshelf Size: 94
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The 11.05 Murders by Brian O'Hare

Post by rave_2 »

Self-publishing is great if you know what you're doing, and do it right. Otherwise, you may as well wait so many years just to get a literary agent to notice you.
Just reading... :techie-studyingbrown: :techie-studyinggray:

User avatar
Posts: 4
Joined: 24 Mar 2015, 19:12
Bookshelf Size: 1

Post by andreandhispen »

It is a lot easier to self publish and puts you in control of your book. A traditional publisher will take some of the control away. If you have the budget to market the book it would be the way to go. The mistake I made is I did not market the way I wanted to, which cost me a lot of time and I had to sell books word of mouth. Whereas with a traditional publisher would eliminate that it is still a better option, because you have the creative freedom and you keep more money which is the way it should be.

User avatar
Louanne Piccolo
Posts: 134
Joined: 01 Jul 2018, 07:59
Currently Reading: A Judegement in Stone
Bookshelf Size: 88
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Sigfried’s Smelly Socks! by Len Foley
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Louanne Piccolo »

Agencies cost money. So, if you have a limited budget, try self- publishing first. There's a lot of information on the Internet and Amazon, if you use it, makes it fairly simple.
It's likely I will die next to a pile of things I was meaning to read - Lemony Snicket

User avatar
Posts: 10
Joined: 28 Dec 2018, 05:50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 14

Post by hana2012 »

I began writing my first novel and was thinking whether I should self-publish or not. I'm glad I visited this post and I will consider the suggestions and see :)

User avatar
Posts: 2
Joined: 10 Jun 2018, 19:41
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Dennis189 »

Self publishing is great when you want to have control over your writeup. The only challenge with self publishing is marketing and promoting the book. It becomes your sole responsibility

User avatar
Posts: 10
Joined: 08 Jan 2019, 16:52
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 43
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Lara's Journal by A. Gavazzoni

Post by Randysgal »

Thank you for this information. I am hedging on my final chapters and have been researching the best route and company to go to. I have found such a variety of services and prices that I must suggest that you look at more than a few self-publishing companies before you delve into this. Another thing I have found of interest to me is the companies that are sort of middle-of-the-road publishers like Ingram Spark. These companies offer a low-cost option where you can control the process but they have a selection process and are pickier than the regular self-publishing companies. In this way, they can offer bigger savings to the author while maintaining their professional image. There are many of these companies out there and I am still going through them, researching reviews and costs involved as well as what each offers. These companies have editors, marketers, cover artists, etc. These are options only and are not required. You will have to pay for whatever you choose, but that comes with having control of the process.

Posts: 16
Joined: 25 Jan 2019, 16:36
Currently Reading: A Police Action
Bookshelf Size: 19

Post by Cowgirl87 »

For me just for laughs I put one of my books I wrote and sent to publisher. Not even a week later did they want more of my book. They wanted almost 2,000 dollars down to start I did not have those kind of funds. Like I said I was not expecting him to reply back

User avatar
Zora C Penter
Posts: 262
Joined: 10 Dec 2018, 16:19
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 18
Currently Reading: Every Ghost Has Its Story
Bookshelf Size: 16
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Reel Sisters by Michelle Cummings

Post by Zora C Penter »

If you are looking for the ultimate creative experience (without having chunks cut from your book and little to no input on the cover), you should probably self publish. However, it takes a tremendous amount of time to market your book which means less writing time for the next one!

User avatar
Posts: 240
Joined: 20 Feb 2019, 10:13
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 23
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Sex on every Paige by Graham Spaid

Post by lisalynn »

Times have changed. It's almost impossible to find an agent or publisher these days unless you're already famous for something else. Self-publishing opens the door to everyone. But it's a lot of work to put out a top-notch product, so be sure you're ready to put in the time and money.

User avatar
Posts: 204
Joined: 03 May 2019, 07:33
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 95
Currently Reading: The Biography of Her
Bookshelf Size: 70
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Mindset by Ace Bowers

Post by Bhaskins »

I love your suggestion of meeting with other local writers. That can help network, provide advice, and get your work out there. Such a good point.
Marcus Nannini wrote:
20 Feb 2017, 14:10
It can be very smart. Think about the countless hours spent preparing query letters then tailoring them to fit a particular agent. Of course that implies spending adequate time to learn what a specific agent is truly seeking.

Take it from me (if you like) when I say what an agent might post on a agent-list-type of a website and what she or he really wants generally do not match up. I will take that one further and state even when you believe you know what he/she is seeking in a book, you better look at the books they have published in the last couple of years. Typically they do not match up with what you would have expected.

So, sure, send out a few dozen well-drafted queries while simultaneously seeking the best self-publisher for you. And remember, you will need to have an editor if you self-publish as they are worth their weight in dimes.

Further, if you self-publish, have a game plan and stick to it every single day of the week. Get a basic website, and a blog too. Expand your friends on social media. And create a journal for yourself in which you enter what you do every day...this creates a reference for where you have been, where you need to follow up and avoids needless duplication.

Remember J.K. Rowling was rejected more than 700 times. Today, instead of spending all those hours in vain, she would likely choose to self-publish. But if you do so, have a realistic budget for your marketing campaign and give it an honest chance to succeed.

Finally, get involved in local author clubs. Check MeetUp for one near you.
"I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book." -J.K. Rowling

Post Reply

Return to “Marketing and Promotion for Writers”