SELF-PUBLISHING; FRIEND OR FOE?
Ever thought about self-publishing, but afraid to take the plunge? I have, as I am sure many of you writers are considering the possibility as we speak.
In the not-so-distant past, self-publishing, or “vanity publishing” as it once referred to by media, publishers, editors, etc. , has quickly emerged from an “unserious writer” who published their own work for vanity purposes – i.e., to see their name in print and hold their own printed book in their hands, to enlightened entrepreneur.My former brother-in-law, for instance, decided in the 90s to self-publish a non-fiction “How To, manual chock full of his brightest ideas of how to become very successful, ala Anthony Robbins. Problem is, he lacked the real knowledge, even successful experience in the private sector to come across as authentic to convince buyers to purchase his novel. All he actually knew how to do was to take trusting, unsuspecting investor’s money from members of his nationality (Jordanian) and invest small amounts in short-sided, irresponsible real estate investments that never profited and live life on the hog with the rest.His narcissistic deeds eventually caught up with him and suffice to say, he is now my ex-brother-in-law, has filed bankruptcy twice in fifteen years, been forced to move two three different cities for fear of reprisal from angry investors, lost his family of over twenty years and currently selling real estate out of the trunk of his car.
This tale of woe is not to scare writers from considering self-publishing as a viable alternative to traditional publishing, even the more recent trend of e-publishing with an online eBook publisher, who may or may not offer, POD (Print on Demand) to customers. Instead, my reason for mentioning this story is to warn of the potential pitfalls self-publishing can deliver to the unsuspecting, ill-informed and reluctant business person Also, I wanted to highlight a recent feature published on Bloomberg.com a few days ago titled “The Real Cost of Self-Publishing”, written by Bloomberg Rankings and Nikhil Hutheesing. You can link to the article here: Bloomberg.com.
The Bloomberg article detailed the associated “real costs” of self-publishing, which I found not only impracticable and daunting, but scary. Surprised – and noting several traditionally published authors I know have recently ventured into self-publishing, I wanted to reach out to them for their opinion of the Bloomberg piece to share with readers of my blog and to measure the facts of the article against their own experiences.
One author/friend of mine who has published numerous mysteries, both in print and eBook form, with traditional publishers companies advised me his experience in self-publishing actually proved far less costly (we’re talking less than $200, cover and all).
Another author/friend with twenty years publishing experience and over 200 novels published, both print and eBook, said that his self-published four novels completely free. He designed is own covers, edited, formatted, obtained the ASIN(eBook)/ISBN(print book) and uploaded them to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks, etc.
Another popular author, Joe Mihalic of “No More Harvard Debt”, has self-published his novels FREE, too. Don’t be daunted, the process can be done. Another first-hand account of self-publishing can be found in the online version of New York Times written my Neil Pollack; The Case For Self-Publishing.
So, the question still remains; is self-publishing your own novel super expensive? The project can be, depending on the route and method you employ.But, can self-publishing be a less-costly alternative for authors who want more control while enjoying new and exciting experience?
I leave it up to you to answer that ten-thousand dollar question for yourself based on your individual goals and needs. If you choose this route, please follow-up with me and let me know your experience. I will be thrilled to post updates. If you have already gone through the process and would like to share your experiences, pro or con, I’d welcome to share those with readers of this blog, too.