Pros and Cons of Self Publishing

I have looked for publishers and self-publishers for so long, my brain is fried. 

 There are so many things you have to look for, so many small details that really make a huge difference, but publishers like to exclude them from their long speeches of how wonderful they are and how they are *SO* much better than other companies.  I have to spend hours on just their websites reading, searching, and calculating, and then see what the BBB (Better Business Bureau) has to say about them, and lastly read the complaints of other authors who have published with them and decide whether or not I’d be willing to deal with them.

And then….I eat chocolate, drink a Dr. Pepper, and take a nap to rest my wearied mind.

Ugh….I thought I had found a good company that was willing to give me a great discount on a great deal – custom cover, editing with my approval, distribution world-wide, marketing kits, interior design, and lots more.  Sounds too good to be true right?  Sadly, after a LOT of research, I realized it just wouldn’t be right for me.  I was very excited and the publishing consultant was calling and emailing me…but that company just isn’t for me.

I was sad, and still am, but then I searched even deeper…and I think that my brain is now permanently fried.  Hey, I never pretended to be completely sane.  Hehe  😉   Ok, so my idea is that out of the zillions and zillions of publishers, there has to be at least one that is affordable, and actually cares about doing the job right, and making a nice book.  I think that I might have actually found one.

It’s called CreateSpace…how many of you out there have heard of it?  According to their website, with CS, you can publish practically anything FREE, or if you want it to look really nice, they

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have tons of services available at affordable prices.  As I’m looking at different options that’ll fit my book, I think that I may be able to publish my book through them for under a thousand dollars – then pay $5 a year to keep my book on the printer.  I can do that!! 

With the discovery of this, I might just be saving hundreds of dollars on my book.  Yes, it’ll be POD (Print-On-Demand) and self-published, but the quality of it will still match any book out there published by a traditional company.  If you would like to check out CreateSpace, click here.

There are lots of up-sides to self-publishing….

  • You keep ALL your rights.  Traditional publishers retain most of your rights.  Don’t you think YOU should keep YOUR rights on the novel that YOU’VE CREATED, not the publisher?
  • You get higher royalties.  With what I’ve read on CreateSpace, you can set your price and get 80% of the royalties, instead of less than the 25% you get from traditional publishers.
  • CS advertises that you’ll have a non-exclusive contract.  Meaning, after you publish, you can still publish with others to get your book out more.
  • You have complete control of where your book goes and what happens to it.  Nobody can do ANYTHING to it without your say.
  • You don’t need to have an agent to self-publish.

Those are just a few of the pros for self-publishing.  Now, not all self-publishers are the same way, and quite a few of them act better than traditional publishers, but end up being a scam.  No wonder self-published books get a bad rap.  Some book reviewers won’t even think about reviewing self-published books because they don’t want to deal with the scamming companies.

That’s part of the downfall to self-publishing:

  • It’s hard to get book reviews because of stereotype companies.
  • You have to do A LOT of marketing if you want people to know about your book.  Meaning – book signings, video book trailers, talks, bookmarks, postcards, business cards…ect.  With traditional publishers, yes you get well-known.  But is the fame worth it if you only receive like 80 cents per book and you have no control over what happens to it?  Marketing is an adventure, so have fun.  Besides, you get to meet soooo many new people!
  • It’s harder to get bookstores to stock your book.  However, with enough demand, they might just stock it.  (That means that once I’m a published author, all of you have to go to your nearest B&N, and request “Holding the Future Hostage.  😉 )

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  • You don’t have the big, well-known name of a publisher for your book.  Some people search for books by names of publishers, so if you self-publish, you most likely won’t have a common name to go with your title.

Overall, I think that self-publishing is a much better deal for me – with CS or not.  With being a writer, you have to get used to disappointment, whether it’s through traditional publishing and your manuscript being denied time after time (which is why most authors end up self-publishing their book), or you not being able to find the “perfect” publisher for months (or years) on end.

Also, just because your manuscript is denied by a traditional publisher and you decide to self-publish, that doesn’t mean that your book is no good!  Look at Christopher Paolini – he wrote Eragon, self-published it, and now it’s made into a movie and video games!  Lots of traditional publishers are too picky, and make you feel bad.  But, disappointment is part of life.  You may have too high of standards for your book.  Don’t expect to be the next Best-Seller….but if it happens – GREAT!

So, I might have found a plausible publisher for my book, and you now have the pros and cons of self-publishing under your belt!  However, I’ve decided to have some fun, and I would like to take a poll of how many like the idea of self-publishing, or traditional publishing!  😀

8 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Self Publishing

  1. Though I’m more familiar with the music industry than the writing industry, in general I’m pretty jaded when it comes to publishers. In this age of technology and the ABILITY to publish on your own, I think that publishers are usually too demanding and full of themselves. In our current era, I’d say that the publisher works for the author, not vice versa (which is a change over the last two or three decades). So unless you can find a publisher who acts like you are the one choosing them, and they only exist because of authors like you, I’d vote for self-publishing.

    Plus, as you pointed out, publishing houses usually only look for things that their R&D says should be a top seller. Two problems here. 1) R&D is often wrong about what “the masses” are looking for. 2) Just because your work doesn’t fit their top-seller-creating formula doesn’t mean it has no potential audience.

    Sorry for the rant. The evils of record labels and the music industry in general is one of my soapboxes. I’ll get off now. 🙂

    • Yeah, I completely agree with you. The publisher should act as though you are choosing them…because after all, they’re gonna end up getting money off of your book. Thanks for the comment!


  2. Please, please please seriously think about using Createspace. I have lots of author friends who have been extremely happy using them. Just remember – it’s smartest to use Createspace for the printed version of your book, but also use Amazon’s digital marketplace to offer a Kindle/ebook version of your book – which can double your sales. You can always pull your book from their system any time if you change your mind or find yourself in a situation where you’re entertaining offers from a mainstream publishing. The downsides of Createspace/Kindle publishing is that you will have to either format your work yourself (not that hard, really) or pay someone to do this – as well as design a cover (or pay someone.) I recommend Aaron Shepard’s books about how to format your book for Amazon and sell on Amazon – he makes the formatting part really simple.

    • Thank you so much! I have been excited to hear so many positive things about CreateSpace! I have been thinking about the eBook version also, and I think I’ll do it, even if it’s not quite right away – but eventually. CreateSpace is sounding really good. Thanks for the name; I’ll look him up. Thanks for commenting! 😀


  3. Hey Tia! 🙂

    I’ve really enjoyed looking around on your blog! I love what you’ve done with it, and I look forward to your future posts and your book! Keep up the good work!


  4. Pingback: I’m actually going to use a topic from “The Daily Post”! « Holding the Future Hostage

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