I think I have to start off with a disclaimer here: I don’t know much about self-publishing and my attitude toward that particular market has been ambivalent at best. I’ve read very few self-published books, and even less that I thought were good, BUT, there has been a lot of change in the publishing market in the past decade and self-publishing is an exploding market. It’s gotten my attention and I’m curious to see how it will evolve over the next decade.
One of the biggest things I see changing these days is with the small publishers and niche markets, publishers who publish books for perhaps a more selective and unique audience. Those publishing houses are dropping like flies, unable to keep up with the quickly changing tides of publishing and book sales. And make no mistake, the big publishers are feeling the squeeze too. They’re scaling back in lots of areas, including the amount of books they publish. Not every well written and worthwhile manuscript that passes their eyes will get published. That’s just a fact.
Maybe you’ve gotten great feedback from editors or agents but the response, for whatever reason, still remains a no. Does that mean your book has no merit? Does it mean your book isn’t good enough or that no one would enjoy it? I don’t think so. Just because someone wasn’t willing to bet money on it, doesn’t mean it isn’t actually worth money and more.
Sometimes self-publishing can give a book and an author the chance no one else would give them. Look at Richard Paul Evans, Amanda Hocking, Julia Cameron and many more who started out self-publishing and went on to great success. Self-publishing is the ultimate way of taking your writing career in you own hands.
BUT, before you jump on the self-publishing wagon, I suggest you take some time to consider what it all entails. Self-publishing is a lot of work. You are the writer, editor, designer, printer, and publiscist. You do it yourself or pay someone else to do it for you. Either way, it’s all on you. Some might think of this as a good thing. Total Control! But while it might seem nice that you don’t have to worry about hating your cover or disagreeing with your editor over why a certain section needs to be taken out, you can exhaust yourself with the details. It takes a crazy amount of confidence, courage, energy, and time to self-publish if you want to do it well; all things I’m not certain that I would have enough of to embark on the self-publishing path.
But if you believe in yourself and your work, if you’re willing to put in the time and energy, then I say CARPE DIEM! Live your dreams and don’t let anybody hold you back.
I’m so pleased that I know someone who does have the courage and energy and talent to self-publish. Ali Cross has decided to self-publish her book BECOME, a YA urban fantasy. I met Ali at the WIFYR conference two years ago and not only did I love her, but I loved her writing. She is talented. She is skilled. She has big, amazing ideas. I am proud of her for taking this step in her writing journey and I’m honored that I will be reviewing her book here on my blog next month. Ali will also be doing a guest blog post at the end of this month. Stay tuned for her greatness!
Self-publishing is growing like crazy. There are those who are going to rise to the top, no matter the obstacles and we are seeing some great talent come out of the self-published market.
What do you think? Do you read self-published books? Would you consider self-publication?