To Self-Publish or Not to Self-Publish

At the London Book Fair I attended many presentations on self-publishing.  The companies sounded great and one purported an 80% return.  That’s music to my ears.

At one point during a presentation I remembered a time when one of my friends attended a presentation on selling knives.  I don’t know if many of you remember seeing commercials in the 90s about amazing knives that could cut through aluminum cans and such.  Well my friend interviewed for a job to sell those knives door to door.  After the presentation he told his mom all about it and how he could make a ton of dough.  His mom put the kibosh on his new career.  Who knows, he may have been successful.  But she always wanted him to become a doctor, not a door-to-door salesman.

Now, I’m not saying that self-publishing is comparable to selling utensils that are more powerful than Superman.  What I’m wondering is, are these companies making promises that are pie in the sky?  Sure, we’ve all heard about success stories of authors who couldn’t find a publisher and then self-published and made millions.

This posting sounds like I am bashing self-published authors and I would like to state that I’m not.  In fact, I’ve enjoyed many self-published novels.  My concern is that people who attend these seminars will come home like my friend, eyes full of hope to make a zillion dollars.

As of now, I am keeping all of my publishing options open and I’m looking into self-publishing, eBooks, and traditional publishing companies.  I know that since I am an unknown author I have a difficult road ahead of me.  Could self-publishing open the door to more opportunities?

I know that my friend followed his mom’s dreams and became a doctor.  And he hates it.  Maybe that job could have assisted him in finding a job in business—the career he wanted.

As I wade through all the resources online and the books I purchased to help me pursue my dream it is hard not to get discouraged.  Millions of books have been published.  How do I get one more out there?

What do all of you think about self-publishing?  Is it the wave of the future?  Is it the present?  Do you read self-published authors?  Are you one?  Any and all advice or opinions would be appreciated.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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106 Responses to To Self-Publish or Not to Self-Publish

  1. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but at the end of the day I (naively?) believe it is the quality of the writing & content that make success. As long as it is outthere, & if you can get people talking about your book. Used to be the realm of publishers, now with internet, & social media, not to mEntion Oprah!!

    • TBM says:

      Thanks for you input…it is very encouraging. Can you imagine getting the endorsement of Oprah? It would take a lot of effort to get the word out there, but I don’t like to shy away from a challenge. Thank you for taking the time to share your input. This is an exciting and scary time for me. I have always wanted to be a published author. And now I am really pursuing this dream.

  2. I don’t have any knowledge of the publishing world, but I do think you are very smart to keep all of your options open and not put all of your eggs in one basket. I just know your book will be a success whichever route you take!! 🙂

  3. dsbutler says:

    Have you written a book yet? Or is your project still a work in progress?

    • TBM says:

      I am editing it. If I self-published I would hire a professional editor as well. What route did you take to publish your books?

      • dsbutler says:

        I self-published, and I hired a freelance, US based editor. Self-published genre fiction, thrillers, romance etc, seem to do well on Amazon. I released my first book in March, and I have been pleased with how it has sold so far.
        I think there is still something to be said for traditional deals. The marketing drive the big publishing companies can give you is something that no indie can compete with. I think it is brilliant that we get both options!
        Good luck with your book, whichever option you go for.

      • TBM says:

        Thanks for your comments. I checked out your site and your book sounds great. Do you do print on demand for the paperback edition? Were you happy with your editor? I’m still kinda clueless about finding a good editor.

        Good luck with your book!

  4. Carl V. says:

    I think it is a shot in the dark either way. It is certainly worth pursuing traditional publishing avenues because if they give you a contract then you at least know that you have the resources of the company trying to sell your book and access to all the markets they put books in. On the other hand self-publishing can offer a lot of freedom that you might not have otherwise.

    In both instances you have people who succeed and those who don’t. Either way it is worth taking those risks if you want to get your work out there. For all the many unknowns out there, there is a person like Hugh Howey who is all over the internet because of his self-publishing success. Here is a brief interview with him:

    • TBM says:

      I like the way you put it: a shot in the dark. Self-publishing is tempting since it would get the work out there and it might help me get noticed by readers and maybe publishers. I read an article in one of the book fair magazines about a self-published author, Jamie McGuire who sold 140,000 copies. She is turning down publishers. So I think you have something when you say that it offers you freedom.

      And thanks so much for the link to the interview. I found it informative and inspiring. I love his point that one shouldn’t self-publish to make it rich…that it takes time or it might not happen. It is a difficult route to take, but so is the traditional route. Even if a publisher picks me up, it doesn’t guarantee success.

      You have given me much to think about. Thanks for your advice Carl.

  5. I can relate to what you are saying – I quite recently went to a photography expo, and afterwards it felt to me everyone had hopes to become “seen” or “published” – it is quite demotivating to see how a small fish in a very big pool one is… but I have also read about becoming self-published!!! My opinion of it is if you have something worthwhile (not like me who has many ideas, but not one down on paper or in working), then it might be worth it to try it!!! But obviously I am not speaking from experience, only opinion!! 🙂 **

    • TBM says:

      I felt the same way at the London Book Fair. It was inspiring and deflating to see so many trying to break into the world of publishing. And I felt like such a small fish. I’m sure you have wonderful ideas and I hope you get them down on paper. Thanks for your opinion…it means a lot! And good luck to you!

  6. aFrankAngle says:

    Good point about people seeing potential dollar signs in self-publishing. At the other end of the spectrum is the person who just wants to publish. Two other points.

    1) Ginsu Knives!!! Actually this commercial is from 1978.

    2) I hope you saw my very important response to your comment on the grocery store post!

  7. Caroline says:

    It all depends. I’ve been working for an editor for years and know how hard it is to get accepted. I’ve written more than one novel and tons of short stories but felt I wanted to wait until I’m doing anything with it. Self-publishing was always out of the question for me BUT this has changed. I would say it depends on the nature of the book. What kind of book, what genre is it? If it is so-called literary fiction chances to be read are minimal, even more so, I’m afraid if you self-publish. Genre is different but self-publishing means self-promoting. Do you want to do that?
    Either way there is no certainty that it will be a succes. Nowadays I think there is nothing worse than a bad contract with the wrong publisher.

    • TBM says:

      And I should mentioned that I am afraid of jumping at the chance to be signed by any publisher and then regretting signing the contract. I obviously don’t have an agent and I would be fearful of signing something and getting locked in for years. How do you know if a publisher will really try to promote your book? I know they are in it to make money, but they can’t devote gobs of time and money to all the books they publish. Then again, they know what they are doing and I don’t. It is so easy to go back and forth 🙂

      • Caroline says:

        It depends on the publisher but it can be risky. I’ve seen a few very unpleasant things happening.
        I think an agent is a useful thing btw.

      • TBM says:

        I need to look into agents. Someone else has suggested going that route as well. I’ve heard some real horror stories about bad publishers. Do you think self-publishing could also help finding an agent?

  8. Caroline says:

    I wasn’t finished… i wanted to add that if you love your book and it is a genre novel – go for self-publishing unless you land a contract with your preferred publisher roght away. In any case. I wish you that it works. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      Do you mind if I ask why you are now considering self-publishing. It is a genre novel, which is why self-publishing is very tempting for me. The self-promoting seems daunting, but I think I would also enjoy it. Of course I haven’t even started that process so who knows how I will really like it. And I know that it will be a ton of work, but I’m willing to do it to chase after my dream.

      Thanks for your encouragement…I think getting a contract right away would be difficult since I’m an unknown. But I like this avenue to try to still get that publisher.

      I would love to read your novel and short stories…are you looking into self-publishing soon?

      • Caroline says:

        I love independence and the idea of selling what I want to sell. Inevre used to write genre before, so i didn’t consider the options + I wrote in German. I write English now and think the market is more open to self-publishing.
        There is always the possibility to be disocvered by a publisher after having self-published.

      • TBM says:

        You name two ingredients of why self-publishing is appealing. Genre novels can do well and a writer may gain attention from a publisher. And it does give you independence…even though the self-promotion can be difficult. I wish you luck with your writing. Can’t wait to read your stuff!

  9. This is my question, TBM: Have you even approached an agent? I just went to a writers “platform” workshop, myself, and the speaker there suggested that a writer should not even considering self-publishing until he or she has had 125 regections by an agent! You have a nice platform with the following you’ve attracted on this blog, and that is extremely important to agents and publishers. I suggest that you focus on a strong query letter, synopis, and pitch, and try the traditional route first. Good luck! (And, may I ask, what’s the genre?)

    • TBM says:

      125 rejections by an agent…did the speaker give a reason for this? That seems like a lot of time and effort. I haven’t approached any agents actually. I didn’t even think that publishers and agents would even care about my blog. I haven’t ruled out traditional publishers. And yes I am working on query letters and such. I don’t know if I want to wait around for over a 100 rejections though. What was the name of the speaker? I am really curious about the reasoning of waiting so long to pursue self-publishing.

      • If you have a nice following (which I am sure you do), publishers and agents will absolutely care! That is part of your “platform.” Her point in throwing out that number is that rejection in this field is very common, and not to get discouraged by 7 or 10 rejections. “The Help” was a runaway best seller in the U.S. and I understand that the author was rejected 60 times!

      • TBM says:

        Thanks for pointing that out Robin about the platform. For some reason I thought they would be like, “everyone has a blog, so what.” Whew…I see her point. I know rejection is part of the game. Even though it isn’t easy, I would like to use it as a way to learn. I know many writers complain though, that publishers just send form letters out and don’t offer advice or anything. Did the speaker say how agents handle the rejection process? Do they also send out form letters? Sorry to keep bugging you with questions. I’m very curious as to what the speaker suggested.

        I wonder how many publishers are kicking themselves for turning down “The Help” or J. K Rowling. It is a tough business to break into and these authors show just how hard, even though their works are loved my many today.

  10. Self publishing has its downside – you have to spend more time on self promotion than on writing itself. It’s a great avenue for new authors, but, as a reader, I tend to be picky, with a short attention span. I read about 5 self published books. I only stayed with one. The other four were abandoned after 20% – 30% read (via my kobo ereader). Now I stay away from self-published books. those I read were ridden with typos and bad grammar. The only SP book I finished was quite interesting, but it kept me wondering about why the language was so …unsophisticated. Long story short, when I am ready with my books (hopefully it will happen sooner or later), I’ll try to go the traditional route.

    Whatever decision you make, good luck! But if you are self published, I may not be among your readers, unless you tell me it’s YOU. 🙂 then I’ll read it.

    • TBM says:

      The self promotion can take up a lot of time that’s for sure. And ebooks do make self-published authors easier to find and cheaper in most cases. I’m sorry you haven’t had much luck finding many self-published authors that you enjoy. I would never want to put anything out there without having an editor work on the book. I think bad grammar and typos make many self-published works look bad and turn too many readers off. I’ve read a few and they make me cringe.

      I wish you luck on your own novel and finding a traditional publisher. Thanks so much for your honest feedback. Your insight is much appreciated and helpful!

  11. Daniel Bean says:

    I am all for social and technological change that helps us move in the right direction. The term “social media” means that the media is now in the hands of the masses. That being said, that doesn’t mean that the physical ability to publish makes one’s work any good. The same principles which make one’s work successful will always remain the same: ingenuity, execution, creativity, timeliness, etc. etc.

    The cream rises to the top, whether under the old, crumbling system of traditional publishing and physical books, or the new system of self-publishing and e-books. What makes you successful as an author hasn’t changed a bit: the ability to write well.

    • TBM says:

      Hi Daniel. Thanks so much for your comment. I agree with you 100%. The key is to produce a good story that people want to read, not just to see my name in print. And if my first book isn’t a success I would want to keep writing to improve. I find that sometimes the best way to learn is to keep doing it. Many of my favorite authors have improved over time. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. You have a great point, if a novel is good it can succeed no matter what channel the author pursues.

      • Daniel Bean says:

        Excellent. And you have a great point, which reminds me of a chapter called It’s Okay to Suck in the book Write Good or Die. Perfectionism stops us from even beginning. We have to realize that yes, in the beginning we will probably write a lot of stuff that sucks. But that’s the only way to get better. I too want to keep getting better each day. I look forward to reading more from your blog and hopefully in the future your book!

      • TBM says:

        Perfectionism is a difficult obstacle. None of us want to put out a work that isn’t great, but you can’t keep editing and editing the same novel and never let it go. It is better to keep writing and to keep mastering the craft. Thanks for you support Daniel!

  12. Daniel Bean says:

    Reblogged this on Daniel Bean and commented:
    I am all for social and technological change that helps us move in the right direction. The term “social media” means that the media is now in the hands of the masses. That being said, that doesn’t mean that the physical ability to publish makes one’s work any good. The same principles which make one’s work successful will always remain the same: ingenuity, execution, creativity, timeliness, etc. etc.

    The cream rises to the top, whether under the old, crumbling system of traditional publishing and physical books, or the new system of self-publishing and e-books. What makes you successful as an author hasn’t changed a bit: the ability to write well.

  13. patricia says:

    Loved those knives and the commercials. I think self-publishing is a great way to go.

  14. niasunset says:

    My experience in my country (with my own language) was the most difficult one in my life… All I can say I gave up to write in my own language anymore… Makes me so sad… But now, I keep watching, reading your sharing about this… Good Luck dear TBM, I support you with all my heart and I don’t think that it would be so hard as in my country. Thank you, with my love, nia

    • TBM says:

      Nia I am so sorry to hear that it is difficult in your country to get published. You have such a way with your words and pictures that I bet you are an amazing writer and storyteller. Thank you so much for your support. Your words are always appreciated and valued.

      • niasunset says:

        I had two books published but what an experience… maybe one day I share the stories of them… Everything is about the change of my country’s political standing… Nothing goes well and also in democratic way… But everything seems like in a big democratic land… What a contrast!

        You are welcome dear TBM, and Thank you too. Your exciting walk on this way, makes me excited too as much as you… Good Luck, and be sure, I want to be your first reader when you get it published. With my love, nia

      • TBM says:

        When you are willing, I would love to hear about your writing and publishing experiences. But I understand that you aren’t ready to share your story yet and you may not reach that point. It sounds like it was quite the ordeal.

        And thanks so much for your encouraging words. My blogging experience has been wonderful and you are one of the people that makes it so. So many are so supportive and you have always been there cheering me on. I want to say thanks. It means a lot to me.

  15. Adam says:

    There are pros and cons to each side of the argument. The biggest pro towards traditional publishing (which is also the biggest con towards self publishing) is that they do all of the work for you. Why would you hire a freelance editor when the traditional publisher pays the editor? I’ve seen the numbers that people have presented – a traditionally published novel gets the writer about 20% of the cover price per copy sold while a self published novel gets them about 70% of the cover price. But you then have to consider the fact that you’re going to be paying an editor (which will take a decent chunk out of your 70%), you’re going to be paying someone to work on the cover art, and then on top of it you’re going to be doing all of the promoting for the book (which is going to take up time that you could use to write the next book). The biggest weakness of traditional publishing is the difficulty to break in, that and you could possibly wind up with a bad agent or a bad contract with a publisher.

    I don’t know if I would wait for a specific number of rejections before I self published, but I would definitely try to traditional route first.

    (I mentioned paying for a cover artist in the first paragraph. Another blog that I follow had an interview with a self-published author, and showed the book cover. The cover was an ugly, pixelated picture that I’m assuming was supposed to show a scene from the book. I read the interview and it was interesting, but I would never have even considered buying the book – in large measure due to the cover. There’s a reason that traditionally published books have professional authors working on the covers, it’s the first thing you typically see about a book and it’s a big selling point.)

    I should also say that I’ve written very little and I have not tried to publish any of the few things that I have written. I have however listened to quite a few interviews and lectures online concerning publishing. If you haven’t ever looked at it, go to, it’s a wonderful podcast about writing and there are several podcasts that deal specifically with publishing your book. You’ll have to dig through the archives to find some of them, but if I remember correctly episodes 12 and 13 of season one involve the podcasters talking to a professional editor. It’s something to look into. Hope my rambling helps in some way.

    • TBM says:

      Thanks Adam! You raise many great points about the cost of self-publishing and what that does when companies say the writer will get a great return. Self-publishing does not come cheap, yet I have a feeling the prices aren’t as bad as they were ten years ago. And then I keep thinking about the cost of sending my manuscript to publisher after publisher. I wonder if anyone has calculated and compared these costs. I would be interested to know. I’m thinking that self-publishing would cost more than sending out manuscripts, but I could be wrong.

      I’ve read a few horror stories about writers signing with bad agents and publishers. That would be a nightmare. At first it would be exciting to break in and then to find out that you made a huge mistake. How awful!

      One of the presentations I sat through was about how to make a great cover. I was not impressed with the presentation at all. I know they were doing it on the spot, but it didn’t work for me. That is one of the first things people see and I don’t want potential readers to be turned off by a hideous design. I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but it is hard not to. So yes, this is an important point that you raise.

      Thanks for the website. I hadn’t heard of it, but I will be checking it out.

      I really appreciate all of your thoughts and suggestions Adam. You have been a great help.

  16. Lynne Ayers says:

    I just came across this today that is very timely for you: “To self publish or not to self publish” at

  17. Lynne Ayers says:

    No no no it is Traditional…POD…Indie – OH MY! Publishing Choices, Part 2 by Susan Spann at I got my tabs mixed up!

  18. I am trying to find a home for an illustrated children’s book I recently completed. I started with the traditional publishing route—querying literary agents. I did not query many, only ten, but since I was finishing school I did not really have the time to find literary agents that might be interested in my book. Now that I’m done with school and have more time, I’m not sure that I want to try my hand at traditional publishing for a children’s book. I’m going to try turning it into an ebook and hope that it goes viral. But for a novel, you might want to consider the traditional publishing route. I know that self-publishing usually requires the writer to put out a lot of money and do his/her own marketing. If you’re up for that, then I guess self-publishing is for you.

    • TBM says:

      I wish you success with your children’s book. There were a few authors in the presentations I attended that were thinking of self-publishing their children’s books. I know self-publishing won’t be cheap and there is a time commitment. I’ll have to think long and hard about my choices. I am still keeping all of my options open and I am only beginning the process of getting my book published, either with a publisher or self-published.

      And congrats on finishing school…that is a wonderful achievement! Thanks for your thoughts and good luck to you!

  19. Novroz says:

    Selfpublishing sounds great but also risky. I am for one is the kind that don’t buy books by authors I don’t know. I will read any book by a friend but not by someone I never even heard, unless someone recommended it, someone with same taste of book as I am. Risky but worth to try.

    Here in my country, self publishing will be very very hard.

    I hope you can have your book published one day 🙂

    • TBM says:

      Thanks Novroz. I know there is still a stigma for self-published authors and that it is a risk. Getting a book out there and noticed would not be easy. However, I feel that is the same for an unknown author that is published by a traditional publisher. Like you said, name recognition is key. I need to figure out how to get my name out there 🙂

      I appreciate your comments. I like your attitude, that it is risky but worth a try. Thanks!

  20. orples says:

    This is a tough business until you become known, it seems. I’m a newby, but I can see now, I have my work cut out for me. Writing and publishing seems like the easy part of writing. It’s becoming known, that has me asking questions and seeking answers.

    • TBM says:

      Me too…no matter what route I go, I still am an unknown. I haven’t published yet, so that part doesn’t seem so easy for me. I really enjoy the writing part 🙂 I wish you luck with your writing and if you figure out the mystery please share. Thanks for your comments.

      • orples says:

        I am using to self publish through. I love them. I pay an editor to fix my pathetic punctuation errors, and maybe readdress a paragraph or two, to keep my stories flowing, then do everything else myself. Once I’ve laid out my pages (I am working on illustrated children’s books), I put them into their template, print it out as a PDF, work up the cover pages, send the information to the createspace team, and they do the rest. I did pay to have them format my soft-cover book into an e-book through KDP. Upon review of that, I was thrilled with the outcome. I intend to repeat the process of book 2 on book 3 (which should be out soon). You can go to ‘orples overview’ on my margin and check out some of my stuff, to get a better idea, for comparison ideas, of what I do, verses your style, if you like.

      • TBM says:

        That’s great that you are happy with the final product. You seem to have a great system and to know a lot about putting a children’s book together. I will check out your work and I wish you much success…keep up the good work!

  21. Anje Vela says:

    Self-publishing and Publishing with a known book publishing company are both risky. It depends on several factors. With self-publishing you have to really know the company and what they do to get the word out about your book (marketing aspect). Even if you published with a known publisher there is the risk you are published, but no marketing. So it’s all in how you approach the publishing and really knowing what is to be expected after the publishing company takes on your book/project. Mostly it’s about the contract and what it states they will do. I know iUniverse is a good self-publishing company. There are some self-publishing companies out there that actually are scams though and it’s really about you paying them to do this or that. In that case it’s better to go through self-publishing with say Amazon but really really do your research on whatever avenue you choose. Be cautious and understand the terms of the agreements. Make sure that there is going to be Marketing and perhaps if you self-publish maybe you can just do it yourself through or the like and do your own Marketing?? That’s if you choose to take that route.

    • TBM says:

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. I will check out iUniverse. The contracts are a scary aspect to both avenues. I don’t want to get locked in with a bad publisher or a bad company that helps self-published writers. I have been doing endless amounts of research and I don’t feel like I’ve scratched the surface 🙂 But I agree with you, I need to know what I am getting into, what to expect, and to feel comfortable with my decision. There is so much to think about and everyone is raising really good points. Thanks!

      • Anje Vela says:

        If you did self-publishing and you have a following you might consider doing something like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to get your book published. In that case, I’d just do everything myself and find a good printing company (Uprinting or other) and then you are pre-selling your books. I had a friend that sold via iUniverse and now because of it’s success has been picked up by a large publishing company. 🙂

        Yes. Contracts are no joke and should be considered with great attention to detail. You don’t want to work hard and tell your story for someone else to take it over.

      • TBM says:

        Thanks for the tips. I’ve written them down. And it is so refreshing to hear that one of your friends has had luck with getting noticed via self-publishing. Very good to hear!

        I’ve never been a big fan of any contracts since they are so hard to understand. I want to make sure I know what I am doing and what I am signing.

  22. Anje Vela says:

    I want to add, also be sure to understand terms through either avenue. You might find in fine print that some of them will actually have limitations on your work. They may own rights for x number of years or such. Or they may not allow you to do certain things within their perimeters.

    • TBM says:

      This issue was raised in the one of the presentations. One author wanted to self-publish a work he thought his publishing company wasn’t promoting but he was locked into a contract and they owned the rights for the next few years. I felt horrible for the gentlemen. He was extremely distraught about the situation and I would like to avoid this if possible. Like you said: Research! Thanks!

  23. Fergiemoto says:

    Awesome, I hope it works out well for you! If I like a book, I don’t care if it’s self-published or not. I have a friend whose novel has not been accepted by a publisher yet given many tries. I have another friend who is self publishing her book right now and it will be ready soon. There are pros and cons either way, but she did her research and found this to be the best option for her right now. I read her book in draft form and I like what she’s done. She is an educator and her main purpose is to use the book as an educational tool, not make a lot of money. She is also arranging speaking engagements and developing a website to promote her book. Keep it in perspective. Personally, if I do a book, I will probably self publish and my first purpose will not be expecting to make a lot of money.

    • TBM says:

      You make a great point, if you enjoy a novel does it matter where it came from. The whole point about reading is to find a story that speaks to you on some level or at least entertains you. Do you happen to know what company your friend is using to self-publish? I wish her all the success. And I also hope your other friend can find a publisher. It’s great that both of them are pursuing their dreams even though they are both taking different routes.

      I don’t think a self-published author could expect riches, especially not right away. It is more about pursuing my dream and seeing if I can open more doors. What those doors are, I don’t know yet. But I like the prospect. I wish you luck with your writing and if you do self publish, do let me know. I would love to read it! Thanks!

  24. vikingpet says:

    Thanks for the post. Regarding self-publishing are you familiar with digital literacy?

    Doug Belshaw ( did a Phd research on this. The intriguing thing was that he made it as a wiki, so it will be constant subject to change. However, the framework and academic body is still there! Perhaps you should check it out for inspiration? Also, the Russian Fiction 2033 was launched online in Russian first, but has since then been launched in several languages and countries! The author just did it as a hobby and post chapter by chapter online! Now, he is viral, and other authors are buying into his universe! Pretty impressive no?

    • TBM says:

      That is very impressive and quite intriguing. The internet is really transforming the world in new ways all of the time. That is great about the Russian author. I wish him much success. I’ll check out Doug Belshaw’s site to seek inspiration. Thanks for your comment!

      • vikingpet says:

        Doug is quite an interesting person and he presents some interesting thoughts on digital literature. Oh, and a small correction for the book it was named “Metro 2033” and written by Dmitry Glukhovsky 🙂

  25. thirdeyemom says:

    This is what I was wondering about too. There is a Minnesota author here who wrote a ton of teen series books focused on vampires, self published them and sold for I think 99 cents each. She made millions and has been written up in all the

    • thirdeyemom says:

      Oops… I wasn’t finished. Anyway, she decided to take a chance and made it all on her own marketing and using social media. This is rare yet I Lso know how hard it is to get a first book published these days. It also takes so long from the time the deal is sealed until the book gets edited and printed. I know writers who have gone both ways. I think with the digital revolution the printed book industry is bound to change. I hope to finish my book someday too but will probably wing it and self publish as I like the control and also it would be a way to get out there and break in to the market. Great post!

      • TBM says:

        I have heard of so many authors who have been successful going the self-publishing route. However, it is a difficult road to travel down. Many of the conferences at the fair were for publishers. I didn’t attend them but I checked out what they were about, and many of them concerned self-publishing and should publishers fear the new trend. You are right, the book industry needs to change. Not just because of this but because I want publishing to survive all of the changes over the last 20 years.

        Good luck with finishing your book!

      • thirdeyemom says:

        Great comments! I took a book writing class several years ago and felt discouraged by the book industry and how hard it is to get published. I think that was why initially I felt like trying to do it myself. SInce I don’t have an income anyway (I’m a stay at home mom right now) for me there would not be much to loose. However, if I was trying to professionally break into the market I would probably go for a publisher. THen again, I spent a year and only got 100 pages done so it is a huge time commitment to not take it seriously. For me, with two kids I didn’t have the time to fully commit to writing as it was always late at night or an hour here or there. BUt someday I will again and if so, I’ll use you as my role model once you break through the publishing industry!!!!!! 🙂

      • thirdeyemom says:

        P.S. My teacher who is a published author himself (we have a lot of literary folks here in MN) highly recommended blogging and social media as a way to grow an audience. So you are headed the right way!!!!

      • TBM says:

        I am happy that so many have offered their opinions and suggestions. The blogging world is very supportive and I appreciate all insight. I do hope that you continue writing. I understand with your family and charity commitments that it is difficult to find time but I would love to read your book in the future. And thanks for the positive encouragement. It means a lot.

      • thirdeyemom says:

        Keep on going! As my dad always says, CARPE DIEM and the World is your Oyster. You’ve got one shot so go for it, follow your dreams! That’s what I’m doing!!! 🙂

  26. Wow. Lots of good comments here. 125 rejections? You would have to mop my self-respect up off the floor. Yikes. Guess I’d better get started with the agent queries. Good luck. And please keep us informed on your journey.

    • TBM says:

      I know rejection is part of becoming published, but 125 rejections is a lot to handle. Good luck with the agent queries! I’ll be looking into that as well. I’ll do my best to keep you informed about my progress and/or stumbling blocks. Thanks for the comment.

  27. Pingback: One Reader’s Perspective on Self Publishing « Reflections in a Puddle

  28. Grace says:

    I don’t read many self-published books because there are a lot that haven’t been professionally edited and are just not ready for publication. At the same time, there are some self-published novels that I have loved. Personally, I think the way of the future is going to be the small press because they can guarantee that a book has been edited while still giving a larger cut to authors than traditional publishing. What’s your book about?

    • TBM says:

      I have read many self-published novels and the ones that aren’t professionally edited are painful to read. I would never put something out there without working with an editor. Small publishers are great. However, they only have the capacity to publish a small number of books. I do think that looking into the smaller guys is a good step though. I know that not many, if any large publishers will even given me the time of day. Thanks for your comments Grace. It is always appreciated to hear about people’s preferences and experiences with self-published authors.

    • TBM says:

      That is interesting. Thanks for passing it along. The article makes a lot of sense and offers great insight. And thanks for passing the link along, I’m not following and I hope to learn more. I might have to reread this posting for it all to sink in.

  29. The Hook says:

    You already know where I stand; my self-published book has been revised a few times, but the end is in sight!
    Great topic. Good luck!

  30. nrlymrtl says:

    With any book, self-pub or not, I want to see that the author and publisher care about the details. It took effort for me to earn the money that I put down on your book. So I want to see minimal typos (or none at all), correct verb tenses, be able to tell who is talking in a multi-person conversation, etc. If the author/publisher is not willing to put in the effort/time to get these basics right, then why should I give up my money to buy the book and my time to read it?

    Good luck. Writing is not an easy career to pursue.

    • TBM says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I’ve read self-published works and works put out by a publisher that have made me mad. Mistakes happen when you write and that is why all writers need an editor. And I’m hoping that when I work with an editor it will be a great learning experience and it will help me grow as a writer. Thanks for you comment.

  31. pagesofjulia says:

    I do not have advice for you myself so much, but are you aware of Chuck Wendig’s outrageous little corner of the internet? He is funny (and curses much, beware) and more importantly for you, offers lots of advice for writers, including quite a bit on the pros and cons of self-publishing. He’s quite a helpful guy. Find him here:

  32. zelmare says:

    Wow – you had a gazillion comments! I didn’t read through them all, as I’m (still) trying to catch up, but my humble opinion is that well-known publishers are inundated with manuscripts, and they don’t have the time or the inclination to give the proper attention to all the manuscripts sent in for consideration. So, I would try doing it through a publishing house, but I won’t keep trying if after say, three attempts I don’t get any joy. Then self- publishing becomes a good option, I think… 🙂

    • TBM says:

      Thanks Zelmare…I think you have a good attitude. Try the publishers first and set a goal as to how many attempts I want to invest in and then consider plan B–self-publishing. Now I need to set my goal…how many attempts would I find worthwhile and such. You have given me much to think about.

  33. Pingback: Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran | 50 Year Project

  34. Pingback: Why I Self-Published | Making My Mark

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