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On Self-Publishing

March 19, 2011 3 comments

I’ve been reading a lot of stuff about self-publishing lately.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer and I’ve been serious enough about it that I’ve read about how traditional publishing works. Until recently, I never even considered self-publishing an option if I wanted to be a serious author. As far as I knew, self-publishing was something people did when they couldn’t have real publishers.

Over the past few days, I realized that view was ignorant of the way things are going. A good writing podcast I follow called Writing Excuses recently had an episode about epublishing, centering around publishing online. After I saw this, I started to get curious and I read up on the issue. To my surprise, not only is self-publishing becoming a reasonable channel to reach readers, but many have already been quite successful at it and likely made more than they would if going through traditional publishing. JA Konrath has a very informative blog dedicated to talking about this, after he proclaimed he made more money self-publishing than he did when he was published traditionally. Other authors, such as Amanda Hocking and Wil Wheaton, have had a lot of success with publishing their work online.

Mind you, this doesn’t mean every author who self-publishes is going to make money (in fact, most don’t because sadly most of the stuff people do publishing online really isn’t that good). However, it does seem like self-publishing might not be a bad idea for writers who have talent and work hard to tell a good story and revise their work into something presentable. It’s definitely something I’ve been thinking a lot about. I’m currently working on a novel and was fully prepared to spend a long time trying to get it published after I finished and revised it. After reading all this, I still intend to make it presentable but I’ve considered trying to publish it myself on Amazon. Amazon allows people to publish their work as a digital download (priced anywhere from .99 to 3.99) and the author gets 70% of each sale in the US (35% for each sale everywhere else). Compared to the 15% royalties authors usually get, that’s not bad at all. Not to mention that most people wouldn’t mind as much spending only 99 cents on a book. I haven’t made a firm decision on whether I’ll attempt this with my novel (it’s too early to think about that anyway since it’ll be a while before it’s finished and revised), but I think I might experiment with it by putting a short story on amazon for 99 cents.

Self-publishing seems like it might be a smart way to distribute short stories considering most publications now pay very little for short stories. Selling a short story for 99 cents doesn’t seem unreasonable. I’m seriously considering putting a short story up and talking it up just to see how many would read it and how well it would do. I don’t expect to make any substantial amount of money from a short story, but it would be a nice experiment and I certainly am anxious to see how it would do.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my thoughts on self publishing. Anyone whose interested should definitely check out the links in this post since they have of good info about it.

Now I should probably get back to working on that novel. Until next time…