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Choosing to E-Publish

A reader asks:

I came across a list of eBook publishers. No agent required. I’m looking for a home for my debut novel. This is tempting. Your thoughts.

Any time you publish a book you will be considered published, whether you self-publish, publish with a small press, or publish with a big five. How the book sells with that publisher will be looked at when another publisher is considering your next book. That doesn’t mean I deter you from getting your book published in whatever way possible, it’s just something everyone should know before making a major business decision.

My only warning about eBook publishers is to make sure you vet them first. The best way to do this is by talking with other authors and getting to know Writer Beware and Victoria Strauss.

I’m also not a fan of any publisher who asks you to pay money upfront in order to have a book published. I don’t believe any reputable publisher would ask you to do that. However, if it’s just about having books for yourself (this is especially good for nonfiction authors doing a lot of speaking engagements or workshops in which they will sell the books), go ahead and consider them too. Just understand what they are and are not providing for the money you are spending.

Thank you for another great question.


Category: Blog



  1. Does that mean if you’ve ever self-published that you’ve already shot yourself in the foot for ever getting an agent or publisher?

  2. Publishing on Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace, both subsidiaries of Amazon, are free. The responsibility for marketing rests solely on your shoulders. As a veteran of self-publishing (12 novels), I can attest to the difficulties that arise. I published my 11th and 12th after querying literary agents. I’ve given up on giveaways on Goodreads as an avenue for garnering reviews. I’m trying another one now. My 13th novel has garnered a single request for more pages and I’m in the process of querying my 14th (only no’s so far). I’m continuing with my 20th so I have a lot more material to present while I continue with the process.

    Good luck and good writing.

  3. It’s really tempting to want to get your book out into the world, but you need to think about what you want from your writing (career or hobby, go it alone or someone to negotiate contracts, small or large audience). There is no right or wrong, it’s whatever works for you. But based on what you want aim for that path from the get go.

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