Amber Skye Forbes

Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes

Some Reasons Amazing Authors Choose to Self-Publish

I was at a writer’s group meeting Thursday about the e-zine we wanted to start. Before the founder of the group even came, we were discussing self-publishing. Many in the group are strongly against it, and I did my best to defend it, telling them the one story about a friend of mine who sent out over 400 queries. She received rejections for every one, and most of them were the same: “Love it, but not a fit for us”– basically meaning they don’t know how to market it. So she went and self-published and didn’t regret the choice and seems ridiculously happy she made the decision because now people are reading her books and she’s making money doing what she loves and has a fanbase and doesn’t have to split her profits but with the distributors–and she just seems to be doing pretty darn well running her own creative business.

They did admit there were good self-published books, but they were of the opinion that those books should have gone the traditional route.

Ahem.

Need I point to the above story? There are many reasons an amazing author may choose to self-publish. Let me list some.

  1. They tried to publish traditionally but basically were told that there would be confusion on how to market said book.
  2. They like control, don’t want to share profits, and are business-minded enough to know how to sell well on their own.
  3. They don’t want to wait ten thousand years to see their books in print. I get it. They stand less of a chance at being able to make a full-time job out of it, but let’s not judge those writers who just make writing a part-time job and are satisfied with that choice.
  4. Some have already gone the traditional route but weren’t happy with the entire process of going from draft to print. And it happens, and so they choose to take it upon themselves to self-publish because they already have this established fanbase and have experience just from having been traditionally published the first time.
  5. Some people don’t want to risk the meager advances they may get, coupled with the pitifully low royalties.

I just don’t think we should pick at people’s choices for wanting to self-publish, even if it is a book you think would have been traditionally published. I know if I were self-publishing and making bank, the only way I’d let a publisher buy me out is if they gave me a 6 figure advance. As it were, self-publishing WELL is costly, so I’m very happy with my decision to be with a small press.

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5 comments on “Some Reasons Amazing Authors Choose to Self-Publish

  1. Vy Chazen
    June 17, 2013

    Self-publishing is an awesome option. There are success stories too. Amanda Hocking to name one. The only thing I will say is that I wish more self-published authors would find an editor. I know editors are costly, but it really helps take the book to the next level as well as help their chances with potential publishers who are looking for new talent.

    • amberskyef
      June 18, 2013

      Exactly! Some are really insistent about going at it alone, but books that are not professionally edited are often lacking in the quality department. It’s just not possible. Perhaps you can design the cover on your own by finding a stock photo, but writing is not a stock photo.

  2. cassandracharles
    June 18, 2013

    Good article. I get why some people don’t think that self-publishing is a viable option, but for some people, it really is the best option, especially if you like to be in control of your destination. Self publishing, in some ways, allows you to do that, gives you the freedom to do it your way.
    As you said though, it can be quite expensive, especially if you want to do it well.
    A good small press can be the answer, if you get accepted that is. They allow you a certain amount of freedom without having to spend a fortune to get it.

  3. japchae
    June 18, 2013

    Thank you so much for liking my short entry earlier. Likewise, I found your blog so meaningful, the mere fact that I really love writing. I want to publish some of my work but don’t have much idea on how to do it. Perhaps I’m just fully secluded in my own world. Honestly, I’m already a year in WordPress but not explored much in here. I will read more of your blog when I come home later. Have a nice evening ^_^

  4. Pingback: Choosing where to publish | Rebecca Hurd

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