1. Im just here
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    Im just here New Member

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    So, what are the benefits of self publishing?

    Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by Im just here, May 6, 2016.

    I was wondering why some people would want to just publish their own stuff.

    Is there something about it that is better than having someone else do it for you?

    I've been writing for a long time for fun, but never got like super serious about it. Just in case I do, I would like to know what route to take.
     
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I like to write novellas. Publishers don't publish novellas. I decided to self publish just to see what it was like and what would happen. No earthquakes, no flood of money - yet - :) but it is an interesting experience to be totally responsible for the product I sent out to people. The most mind boggling aspect is trying to figure out the look of everything - templates and uploading it in the compatible format, and cover art and editing.

    Why I'm going to continue self publishing - I'd like to build up a name for myself ... but it's going to take more output, more branding on my part. I like having the option of something outside of a contract, something I own and have complete control of. I'm not giving up on trad publishing but for my short stories and novellas I like being able to put these out and experiment.
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Primarily to retain legal and creative control over their products, to avoid time delays and other roadblocks associated with traditional gatekeepers, and retaining a much greater percentage of each sale.
     
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  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I self-publish in order to keep options open. I prefer working with publishers, but who the hell knows what direction this business is taking, and it's good to know that at least SOME of my books are in a more diversified area.
     
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  5. JLT
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    JLT Active Member

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    I was drawn to self-publishing because I could control everything, from the type face to the cover design. And the return seems to be higher, in terms of royalties, than a conventionally published book, although this depends on how well-known you are, of course, and how much time you've invested in marketing the book.
     
  6. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    The first and most obvious answer is because you can. Seriously. You can't choose to be traditionally trade published. You can only choose to throw your hat in the ring with thousands of others and hope the agents and publishers pick you. But most - by a very wide margin - will never be picked. And of those that do finally get picked will probably have to go through scores of rejection letters and years of submitting before it happens.

    Ignoring the psychological impact of this, it's important I believe in every writer's development that s/he be published. That the work get out there and be judged. Writing is a communicative art, and if you aren't ever going to be published, I don't think your artistic journey will ever be complete.

    As to the advantages after this, the others have mentioned them. But there are disadvantages too. And the biggest one is that from the moment you make that decision you become your own agent and publisher. You have to learn a lot of new skills, many of them complex and difficult to master - eg editing, cover design, marketing etc.

    In the end it's very easy to self publish. It's very hard to do it well.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  7. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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  8. Mike Kobernus
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    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

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    I am both a writer and publisher. I created a publishing company with the specific intent of putting out my own work. This snowballed, and now the company has grown to include a lot of others too. However, the primary purpose was to professionally 'self publish.'

    As others have already eloquently stated, my reasons were like theirs. Control. Money. Timeliness.

    I resented the idea of having to jump through hoops, in the hope that some agent would glance my way. I resented the idea that someone would have creative control of my work. I wanted to design my own covers. I wanted to be in charge of type setting, proofing, etc.

    I control every single aspect of my work.

    I am not lost on the irony that I have joined the ranks of those 'gatekeepers' that I tried so hard to steer clear of, but I try to run a moral company. One where an author is a partner, not just a client.

    Self publishing is a great opportunity, but must be taken with professionalism at every step. No corners should be cut. For example, if you cannot afford to hire an editor, don't self publish. Same with cover design, etc. Either do it right, do it well, or don't do it.

    Too many self published books are simply not ready. Everyone is impatient and wants to 'get out there' but rushing will backfire on you.

    What we put publish today will live 'forever.' So let it be something to be proud of. Let it be, at least, edited! Proofed! And have a cover that does not make people want to puke. Let there be no widows or orphans. Eliminate rivers.

    Having a good story is one thing. Having a professional looking product is quite another. To self publish, you need to be a writer, but you need to think like a publisher.

    At least, that is how I see it. But novels like '50 Shades' go a long way to undermine my philosophy, so what do I know...
     
  9. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Mike Kobermus
    Yeah, I know, I know. But if that's the case, I'll never be published, because a paid editor would cost me 2/3 of my monthly income. And I'm working four jobs already (besides writing).

    Or maybe I should start one of those GoFundMe campaigns we were laughing about on another thread?

    *Gets depressed and slumps off to bed*
     
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  10. Mike Kobernus
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    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

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    I fully understand your pain. I sold a motorcycle to get my first book edited. Then I used all the money from that book to edit the second. Guess I will sell a kidney for book three.

    Writing is not about the money, because if it was, we would all be working McDonalds and making more per year. No, it is about creating something lasting. Something good. Something we can be proud of.

    That cannot be done without a good editor, in my opinion....
     
  11. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I became so damn annoyed at a story I found about a GoFundMe type of page. It was more of a Patron type thing where people pledged X amount of dollars a month to "support" someone so they could pursue their art. That didn't annoy me but it was who was doing it that pissed me off. I am not going to go into names but I will say it was a person who already married to a successful celebrity and I bet had more money in the couch cushions then cost of us make in years of working. Point is... well I guess I do not have a point right now, I have had little coffee so far and I guess your post reminded me of that story...
     
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  12. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    And of course, you have to work hard to find that good editor.

    I have one professional editor, whom I met through another writers' forum, who checks in with me from time to time via Facebook PM to see if I can (finally) afford her services. Nice lady. Not pushy; she's just being a good businesswoman. She contacted me just yesterday and I answered no, not yet. But I got to thinking: her being nice and our having mutual friends isn't enough, is it? So this morning I went on her site and scanned the titles in her editorial/proofreading portfolio. Having picked one at random, I clicked over to Amazon.com to check out its Look Inside offering. And oh, dear. Right there in the Prologue and first chapter is some very bizarre punctuation. And we have the POV character, who's supposed to be an A-student, saying she "had went" somewhere. Not to mention the novel boasted(?) what I regard as some pretty cheesy prose. And bad/inadequate research. Oh, my. O dear. And this sweet wanna-be-my-editor had missed it all.

    Anybody who edits or proofreads my work for money had better be more hardnosed and bloodyminded than I.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
  13. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have nothing against Patreon, myself, when it's used properly. I know (in the sense you "know" anyone you get acquainted with online) a woman who has an ongoing Patreon page to fund her webcomic. The comic is brilliantly researched, educational, and the art, if sometimes inconsistent, is really good. It takes her a lot of time and work to produce it, and she has a fanbase who are glad for the chance to support the effort.

    I guess you have to ignore the exploiters and leeches and be glad these funding modes are around to bring good art to the audiences who want it. Me, I ain't to that level.
     
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  14. Mike Kobernus
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    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

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    This is the perfect attitude and I totally support it.

    A good editor will DO the research to check your facts, and will ensure that your punctuation is consistent (there are a couple of schools one can follow) and will smooth the writing out...weeding out nonsense words that do not need to be there. But that is not enough.

    You need a structural editor. One who is not afraid to say, "This is not good. This is too heavy or This is simply not relevant" and can SHOW you a better way to do it.

    I would say, before taking on an editor, do what Catrin did, and CHECK out their work. Look for those awful, convoluted sentences, or bad prose. If they are also a writer, read their work and see if it is good. If not, look again.
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Biggest benefit, the gatekeepers can't keep you out. I'll take a traditional publisher if one will have me. But if not, ... hooray for the new world!
     
  16. Witchymama
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    Witchymama Active Member

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    I recently self published first on Kindle then on Create space. Holding my book in my hand was and still is like hugging my children. Nothing comes close. Everything that has been mentioned already is true.
    I self published because I have a story to tell and I think that most traditional publishers would over look it due to market saturation of this type of story.
    That being said, after I first published on Kindle, as soon as it was live, I found errors. Mostly with formatting. I resubmitted the revised version, found create space and submitted there too. I am still finding things that need correction, still trying to figure out how I want it to appear. How to format it in a way that is correct and pleasing to the eye.
    It's is easy to rush the process, but the beauty of self publishing through the venues that I chose is that I can make as many changes, revisions, or updates as I want. On both Kindle and CS, the turnaround for those corrections going live is about 24 hours. Not too bad, in my opinion.
     
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  17. Raven484
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    Raven484 Contributing Member

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    Congrats! Have you posted in the bookstore so we can check it out. If not what's the title so I can check it out.
     
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  18. Raven484
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    Raven484 Contributing Member

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    Sorry, just saw your link. I am stupid!
     
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  19. Witchymama
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    Witchymama Active Member

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    There's a link? Guess I'm the stupid. I don't remember posting a link here, cause I am a ninny and scared? I'll be happy to pm you the link if you want.
     
  20. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Your sig looks like links, but they aren't. But you can find it quickly on Amazon from the title.

    Contact @Wreybies to get it into our bookstore here. It's just a link to the Amazon site but the forum gets a small fee or something back when people purchase it through the forum. :D
     
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  21. Witchymama
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    Witchymama Active Member

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    Maybe, but I'm still too much of a ninny. If somebody is interested enough to track it down, more power to them. But once I'm happy with the things I mentioned earlier I might do it, to help the forum in a very teeny tiny way.
     
  22. Raven484
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    Raven484 Contributing Member

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    @Witchymama How are your sales going?
     
  23. Witchymama
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    Witchymama Active Member

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    I have lots of downloads from the free promo I ran for Kindle. Only one paid sale. But then I haven't actively done any promotion since mercury went retrograde.

    Retrograde is a big meanie.
     
  24. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think JSA's a common benefit for the self-published.
     
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  25. RikWriter
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    RikWriter Member

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    I write to tell the stories I'd want to read. I self-publish to try to make money from doing something I love. I would have traditionally published had either of my first two books (back when I had an agent and was trying to get published by a big publisher) been picked up. In retrospect, it's good they didn't because I don't know if a publishing company would have paid me to publish the follow on books, and from what I understand, I've probably made more money this way anyway.
     
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