What’s Your View on Self-Publishing?

The other day John Bolton asked this on the Working Writers Facebook page:

Can I poll people here on their views on self-publishing? I’ve done a couple of Podcasts surrounding this issue and would be very interested to hear people’s thoughts. There are links on my FB page, which people are also very welcome to like!

I’m interested in this too – what are your thoughts? Have you considered self-publishing? Do you have some questions about it? Leave a comment here and let us know.

Here’s my two cents. I have self-published in the past. In 2004, I self-published my first book, a collection of poetry called The Difference Now. At the time, I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. This was after years of dealing with verbal abuse and all kinds of crazy stuff from my childhood. I never tried to get an agent or find a traditional publisher, because to be honest I wasn’t thinking in terms of books sales then. Also, because it was poetry, I didn’t think twice about self-publishing. Many poets have done this from the beginning of time, mostly because poetry is generally not a money maker. I also didn’t think I could make money this way. But I was wrong, and seeing what happened after I published changed my views about self-publishing and building a writing career from that point forward.

I’ll expand more on that in the next few days and weeks. In the meantime, give us your experience. Please note, this isn’t just a means to promote your book, although you can certainly link to it. Instead, we want to hear about your opinions, your experience, your thoughts…

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4 Comments on "What’s Your View on Self-Publishing?"

  1. I first self-pubbed in 08 and haven’t regretted it. I’m scheduled to put out two books this year, in fact.

    That said, though, if I ever finish this blasted draft, I’ll look into whether it has a shot at a bigger contract (with promotion! That’s a deal-breaker for me). I’m cool with going either way.

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  2. If publishing eBooks fall into self-publishing, I’ve done it twice. I think the freedom to create and distribute is great. I just need to learn how to do more promoting.

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  3. Back in the Stone Age before the advent of the ebook, I self-published a spoken word collection to support my performance poetry. It was a really great experience. There’s something fulfilling and cathartic about seeing your work in print and it didn’t matter to me that it wasn’t through a publishing company. It was my own.

    I’ve been toying with the idea of self-publishing novella in an ebook format lately. I kind of look at it this way – I write for the joy of writing not the publishing credit or the paycheck. Also, I kind of figure that my first time doing anything is pretty likely to be a flop.My first time out with a novel, I’d rather have the freedom to practice and experiment than feel pressured to get it perfect. With self-publishing, if I flop, it’s a learning experience not a potential career changer.

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  4. In circumstances where it is very difficult to get the support of either a literary agent or commercial publisher, self-publishing – in spite of my earlier scepticism about what was called vanity publishing previously – has offered me a route to finding readers for my work and, more importantly, to receiving independent feedback. I don’t write to make money, but I do take what I do seriously and want to improve because I enjoy doing it.

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