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Is Self-Publishing for You?

This has been a question under endless debate for the last few years. There are many who stridently stand on one side or another and a few who balance that line. I tend to be among those who balance the line. I think choosing self-publishing versus choosing to work with a publisher is a very personal decision, sort of like choosing to run a restaurant owned by someone versus owning your own restaurant. There are pros and cons to both and the decision you make has to be one that’s based on what you’re looking for and what your strengths are.

Author Claire Cook wrote a very informative post for the Bookbub Blog. Now I think it’s worth pointing out that since this post was for Bookbub it’s not surprising that it leans toward pro self-publishing. That being said, what I liked about it is that it’s an author who is effectively looking at both sides rather than touting how one is so much greater than the other.

The beauty of publishing in today’s world is there are so many different options. No matter what you decide to choose you need to know that choosing what’s best for you is the right decision, no matter what anyone else says. It’s also important to know that if you choose one route now it doesn’t mean that you can’t change course. As evidenced by the history of BookEnds, I’m a big believer in exploration and a change of course. It’s probably why my GPS broke. Way too much “recalculating”.

–jhf

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4 comments

  1. "The beauty of publishing in today's world is there are so many different options." — that's it exactly! I self-published a book in 2011, non-fiction, limited market, somewhat time-sensitive, in my area of expertise so I could promote. It hasn't made any sales headlines, but I'm very happy with it. In 2012, a traditional publisher (small press) published another book, which, for this publisher, has done great, close to triple their "we're happy" sales. I've been completely happy with both approaches.

  2. Agreed! I'm all for folks who want to dive into self-publishing, but I suspect that a lot of people dive in without knowing what it really means to run a business. It's nothing to be ashamed of to admit that you don't want to do all the background work of a publisher, either.

  3. I love the options, and ideally, I think it works well to have a foot in both camps–traditional publishing and independent publishing. I don't self-publish–instead I use an assisted self-publishing company which takes care of the time-sucking details of doing it entirely on your own, (professional editing, cover art, uploading,etc) but still gives me the freedom lacking with traditional publishing ie: pricing, release dates, promotions, etc.. It also gives me a monthly paycheck, which, considering that trad pubs generally pay twice a year, is nice. On the other hand, I love the advances traditional publishers pay, and the better visibility and promotion through their marketing and publicity departments which also helps my indie sales. Now if I could just figure out how to add a few more hours to my day, it would be absolutely perfect.

  4. I like the options. I still struggle with the reputation of self-published books, and often find that complaints about proofreading and style in self-published books are all too valid. I am stuck with a proofreader's eye and the minute I see a "typo" I check to see if it is self-published and this derails the entire reading experience, even when I don't WANT to be that picky. And I don't want to read something that sounds like a high school student's work, although I myself would likely need a triple dose of "all the help I can get" to develop my own style….

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