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  1. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    Do you self publish because?

    Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by Thundair, Jun 28, 2019.

    Is it lack of confidence, fear of rejection, or what?
    Like me I think about writing a query letter and my tail goes between my legs.
    The only genuinely positive comment I've received for my writing was my resume when a manager thought it was the greatest piece of fiction he'd ever read.:)
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
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  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Control, personal preference...?
     
  3. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    Impatience, intolerance, hostility issues...
     
  4. ZoomerWriter

    ZoomerWriter Banned

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    I've haven't published anything period. But if I did self publish it would likely be because my work would be too controversial or transgressive for traditional publishers to want to sell.
     
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  5. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Thinking... Supporter Contributor

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    I self pubbed after getting a couple of rejection letters.
    I can kinda see where/why they did looking back on
    that time. But it is easier and doesn't take 3-9 months
    to get your book out there. :)
     
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  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I chose to after speaking to a number of authors who'd moved from trad to self, because I wanted control over creative content, timescales, covers, title and marketing.

    self pub definitely isn't an easy option for the faint of heart - you may not get rejected by an agent but readers can be savage, plus you have to allocate the time to do all your own marketing etc
     
  7. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

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    It's the best choice for my goals and desires.
     
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  8. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    I do like the fact I can go back and correct points that were brought to me by my readers.
    I hate the advertising part, but I've had cards made up with the book cover and web page. Now when someone comes to the door they get a card, and when I go to the dentist, they get a card even setting in the doctor’s office I'll strike up a conversation and they get a card. Everything I've learned as a child about self promotion has changed.
     
  9. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Active Member

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    I like the control. I haven't published yet but I have two works in progress which I am hoping will go somewhere.

    If I have the material and the money, I can publish in one month. Then I have to start marketing and getting my book out there so that people can buy it and read it.
     
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  10. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It may take a lot of work, as @big soft moose suggests, but at least you aren't wasting time chasing agents and publishers if your work isn't something they're interested in. Maybe it doesn't fit neatly into a genre, or is too long or too short. These things have nothing to do with quality—only with current fashion. If your writing bucks current fashion, it's great to have self-publishing as an option. Your work may not set the heather on fire, but at least you can get it out there. And who knows? Self-publishing (that isn't with a vanity press) is a relatively new thing. So we don't yet know how much impact it will have, long-term.

    It's up to you, to write and edit to a very high standard, give it the best presentation possible, and do effective marketing. But from what I've been hearing, unless you're already a bestselling author, publishers expect you to do a lot of your own marketing anyway. And after a short time, your books get reduced in price or get taken out of print. And, of course, you don't have editorial control with traditional publishers.

    With self publishing you control most of what it takes to produce and sell your book. At least until the big online booksellers change their approach to selling, or go bust. Then we're in trouble.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  11. Viridian

    Viridian Member Supporter

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    I'm still on the fence between trad and self. If I'm honest, the main reason for trad would be the acceptance that comes with an agent then publisher saying 'yeah, your book is good enough.'

    The big draw for self is the control over my career as a writer - because that's where I'm headed, but also impatience. I don't want to sit around and wait while half a dozen people decide what should be changed about my book. What the cover should look like. What the blurb should say. I want to do ALL of that stuff myself. I enjoy editing. I enjoy proofreading. I enjoy the creativity of coming up with and executing a book cover (never done it before). I'm enjoying learning how to use Gimp because photoshop is too damn expensive. I'm also too impatient to wait another 2 years for my book to be out there once I've finally finished it. I'm also too impatient to wait for the money coz let's face it, the likelihood of a mahoosive advance is miniscule. I'd rather be done, put it out for purchase and receive monthly payments from Amazon however small they may be, and take my chances that I can make a success of writing without a publishing house backing me.

    But like I said... I'm on the fence :supershock:
     
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  12. Cephus

    Cephus Senior Member

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    I do it because I'm in control. I don't have to sit around for a year between books. I write a lot faster than that. If I want to put out a dozen books a year, I can. Nobody else gets to tell me what to do. I make the choices and I live with the consequences. I've had a traditional deal offered and I turned it down. My agent agreed with me. He says lots of people are just sick of the way traditional publishing works. Now that people don't have to go that way, a lot of people, even people who could easily get traditionally published, are choosing not to.
     
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  13. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Supporter Contributor

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    None of the above. My novel doesn't fit into the confines of one genre and/or my readers don't fit the demographics for them. My characters are too old for YA, there's a love story element but Romance wouldn't be a good fit for my predominantly male readership and there aren't enough sex scenes for it to be that genre, the setting isn't "historic" enough (1980) to fit Historical Fiction, and my writing style isn't Literary. Yet the scenes I've had beta reads on got very good feedback and people seem to want to read more. So...I'll likely end up self-pubbing.
     
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  14. Mike Coville

    Mike Coville New Member

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    I self-publish because I am an entrepreneur who likes to take control of my own success.
     
  15. muscle979

    muscle979 Member

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    I understand that sentiment, and I've felt that way about traditional publishing before too. I've seen a million different opinions on the topic. But there was something that made me really challenge this idea of "good enough." There's a guy I worked with about ten years ago in the military. He liked to write and asked me to be a beta reader for a couple of novels he was writing. I did that and tried to give him the best feedback I could. At the time I remember reading and thinking, "this probably isn't publishing quality." Anyway, he self-published some of his work and he started sharing a ton of it on Wattpad. I was checking out his profile and shared work not too long ago and I noticed he has over 50K followers on Wattpad now, and there were a substantial number of members who were leaving him comments raving about the work he's posted. I can only assume this has led to him making some money off of that work. Will he get rich off of those particular books? Probably not. But who is to say those readers are wrong for thinking his book is good enough?

    I agree with you completely about the creative control of self-publishing, and also the previous post about taking the approach of an entrepreneur. I'm not saying I'll never end up sending anything to a traditional publisher, but while I'm waiting for that I plan to start putting some things out there. I don't think there's much to lose. I'm making exactly zero right now from writing. If I write something and 50,000 people in the world decide they like it, that's a big win in my opinion.
     
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  16. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    I self-publish because I just want to say I have a book.

    But for serious projects, I only really want to go the traditional route.

    I totally respect the fact that lots of people have good reasons for self-publishing and that sometimes that can be the best route, but for myself, I know I won't promote the book. I know I won't market it or invest money in it. I don't have that interest or that kinda time, either to study how to do it properly or to actually do it in the first place. As such, if I self-published, the book will be online but no one would ever find it. Thus, for me, the self-publishing venture, until I change my efforts and attitudes, can only ever be for the joy of having a book and nothing serious. Self-publishing is a business and too many writers go in as writers and not businessmen. And I think that's a mistake.

    Writers are, like a lot of artists, prone to being overly sensitive, sometimes arrogant, and generally not being critical enough towards their own work. Not all writers, but a lot of them I think. This lends itself badly to self-publishing because you think you're pushing out treasure when it's utter trash and you don't even know it, nor would you ever admit it. And it's another fatal business mistake. I think, again, it can be linked back to a lack of a business mindset vs an artist's mindset. You look at just some of the covers and you know already how critical they are towards their own book - if you are not aware of your utter lack of taste in design and how terrible it looks to the general public, what hope do you have of seeing flaws in a book you've worked day and night and cried over for God knows how many years? It doesn't have to be the case, but it's not exactly a good sign.
     
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  17. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    First, if you are considering submittting query letters, I recommend Formatting and Submitting your Manuscript by Chuck Sambuchino. https://www.amazon.com/Formatting-Submitting-Manuscript-Chuck-Sambuchino/dp/158297571X/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=chuck+sambuchino&qid=1574782842&sr=8-1. Knowing that at least you have things in the right format is a big confidence builder.

    I self-published because at age 71, I didn't want to spend my remaining creative juices on query letters. If you want to go traditional, count on send out a hundred or more personally tailored queries (and getting that many rejections) before you get a bite. Not because of the quality of your work, but simply because of the volume of queries agents receive. Out of 5000 or so queries per year, they pick five to ten to work with, and which they pick has to do with what their publishers are looking for, not necessarily the quality of your work. Just accept the rejection, and send out more queries.

    Having said that, my third I submitted to the US Naval Institute Press, because it is a Navy non-fiction story, and because the head editor liked the brief description I gave last year, He, of course, moved on before I finally submitted, but True Believers is still somewhere in their review mill by new head editor. I will probably self-publish the sequel to The Eagle and the Dragon, because I am more or less committed to that track, and also a full-length non-fiction on relativity physics because I am an engineer with no credentials in the field to get past per review, though I think it is damned good, as do those who have read it. My contribution to the learning curve.

    I get a distinct sense of lack of confidence in your writing. You might think about working on that, because if you don't believe in your work, it will be very hard for you to convince others that it is worth reading, whether you go trad or indie.
     
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  18. muscle979

    muscle979 Member

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    I guess we can pretend that traditional publishers never try to sell trash. Completely agree though that a person won't succeed with self-publishing if they're not willing to treat it as their own business and brand.
     
  19. Cephus

    Cephus Senior Member

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    But that's also true with traditional publishing anymore, at least with the big houses. They're not going to put up with anyone who isn't professional and willing to work just as hard to market their books. The days of just writing and letting the publisher handle the rest are long gone. Self-publishing is no more work than traditional publishing, you just get paid a lot better.
     
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  20. Raven484

    Raven484 Contributor Contributor

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    If I ever finish my work, I would probably go self publish. I probably will not make any money, but I can say I published something. I find self published authors more interesting than some of the traditional books I have read. They are raw, but tell better stories. In the last 5 years, the best stories for me have been by authors who self publish. Don't get me wrong, some are just horrible. To me, they just didn't have better beta readers who would be more honest about their stories.
    I'm not in it for the money. The pure enjoyment for me is the reactions I get to my story. I know I am not the best writer, but from the feedback I get, I think I tell a decent story to keep peoples attention and having them want more.
     
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