Wednesday, January 23, 2013


People who don't know me very well may wonder why I have chosen self-publishing, at least so far.   Those who are better acquainted usually understand my reasons.    Like most things in life, there are some advantages and some disadvantages.
The Advantages of Self-Publishing:
1.  The buck stops with me.   I make the decisions and  I also have to bear responsibility for the consequences.    I can choose to have some aspects done by others--for example, covers-- but those people work under my direction.  Traditionally published authors may have input on title and cover but they do not decide.

2.   I decide the pace at which I proceed and when a book is published.  It can be published faster or slower but it is to my schedule.  I don't have to wait for someone to give their approval or decide that my book fits into their plans.

3. The amount of profit from each book is greater.  That is, the profit to me as opposed to the publishing company or agent.   When I read in an article that a traditionally published author, the person who made the entire book possible, received 5% of the cover price in payment, I cringe.

The Disadvantages of Self-Publishing:
1.  Formatting!  Actually, I am better at this now, I think but there's no doubt that my technical expertise is sometimes shaky.   There was a time when I didn't know what dpi was and I
still cannot embed fronts.

2. Promotion.   I must freely admit I don't have a lot of skill, talent or desire to pursue self-promotion.   I hope word of mouth will continue to provide sales.

3.  My books will rarely be in a bookstore.   Publishers pay for preferential placement in stores.   Books need to have returnability.  That means that the store can return unsold books to the publisher within a specified time, usually a year at the outside for a full refund, less a re-stocking fee.  This practice has been around for decades but I can't think of another retail product where this is possible.   

4.   Sometimes it would be helpful to have advice from someone who has a lot of experience.  Instead I rely on the internet and other writers, in addition to my own perspective and analysis, of course.    Members of my family will share their point of view or provide critique.

5.   There are a lot of books out there, ergo a lot of competition for readers.

So as the saying goes:  You pays your money and you takes your choice!

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