8 comments on “Why I Chose Self-Publishing

  1. Since my work does not fall neatly into any genre, I’ve long been aware of the difficulty of breaking into the publishing industry, especially as the vise began tightening in the ’80s and even sympathetic agents were replying with bewilderment at the changes.
    I did have one novel published by Fithian, a Santa Barbara press, in 1990 and another by PulpBits as an ebook in 2005, and the experience opened my eyes to the difficulties afoot.
    Now that the ebook has finally arrived as a major segment of the market, and one that’s infinitely more affordable for both the reader and the writer, I’m plunging ahead that way at Smashwords.
    Getting the work out there, even for a small but active readership, beats the frustration of getting it out only to overwhelmed agents and overwhelmed editors and overwhelmed critics. You know the odds on their reactions anyway.

  2. I’ve published traditionally. Even with some manuscripts I haven’t been able to publish, I haven’t wanted to self-publish. First, my work doesn’t fall into a neat genre, which makes it hard to publicize; there’s no ready-formed community to address. Second, I’m not particularly good a self-publicizing, so self-publishing isn’t a natural fit for me. Third, and maybe most important, I really value what a traditional editor can do for my writing. I worked as an editor, but I can’t do for my own writing what I can do for someone else’s–I’m too close to it. It takes someone coming in from outside to see how it could be more, where it’s not working, where it could be pushed further. I’ve been lucky in my editors–each of the three has understood the book she was working on and made it better. It’s true that writers can hire freelance editors, but a freelancer (and I’ve been one) doesn’t have quite the freedom than an in-house editor does and may not push as far. So although I’m glad self-publishing’s a possibility, and I don’t argue with anyone who chooses it, I don’t.

    • It’s interesting, because I wrote this post so long ago that I haven’t thought about it for a while. I think the more experience I’ve gained the more I’ve been convinced that everyone’s path is different – no matter if they choose the traditional or indie methods.

      Like you say, I think it’s good that both routes exists and offer their own pluses. Thanks for your input, Ellen.

  3. Glad to have found your blog. Great poetry and about this subject of publishing is good to have another perspective. My own wrtings, not the ones on the blog that´s mostly poetry which is an art I haven´t mastered but I have too much fun doing, but the short stories and my novella in progress i find it that it doesn´t fit nicely in a specific genre as I see in Amazon or I even looked at the New York Times best sellers. So self publishing is certainly something I´m looking at, but a question- how much do you spend money wise in doing so?

    • Thank you very much. I’m glad you stopped by.

      As for the cost of self publishing, sadly there is no definite answer, as much as I’d love to give you one. It all depends on the route and methods you take for various aspects of the process – It really can go from nothing at all up to thousands, depending on how much you actually do yourself and how much you hire others to do.

      For example, there’s editing, proof reading, formatting, cover design and marketing that all need taken care of (to name a few). If only it were as simple as just writing, eh? 😉

      Sorry for the rambling. I’m sure it wasn’t the concise, coherent answer you wanted but it really is the truth that no two experiences of self publishing (or traditional publishing) are ever the same. If you have the finances to spare, you can go all out and get lots of help, but if you’re on a strict budget, there definitely are ways to reduce the price, so long as you’re willing to embrace the true DIY approach.

      Thanks again for your comment. I wish you the very best of luck with whatever decision you end up making! 🙂

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