Saturday, November 20, 2010

Why self publish? ...I'll tell you why I did.

I write books I and others consider entertainment: good entertainment, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-drawers adventure. Fantasy you can believe in. I self-published them.

I did it because I could. Print on demand makes it possible to publish my books without paying upfront fees, earn good royalties on sales, and have the books available to a worldwide audience. I own the copyright for every bit of fiction I've ever written.

Self-publishing has a bad reputation. I think it has a bad reputation in large part because traditional publishing houses want it to have a bad reputation. The implication--sometimes not so implied--is that if a book was any good at all, it would have an imprint from a publishing house with a Manhattan address. Self-publishing also has a bad reputation, in my opinion, because of the vulture-like speed and persistence with which places that print self-published books strike. Want to see what one of those strikes looks like? Call the 800 # or send an email to one of them and see how fast they contact you to sell you on their services. I clocked one at 10 minutes after I sent an email--and I sent the email at 11:00 PM!

There are advantages to having a publishing house publish your work. I won't kid you. If a publishing house called me tomorrow, I would give serious thought. I know that's not going to happen, and my plan involves having enough sales of self-published books to make a publisher take a serious look at my books. I'm sure there are publishing houses out there that won't touch a self-published book...but guess what. They don't need an official excuse to reject my work. I'm not going to worry about a traditional publisher rejecting my work because it's been self-published. Frankly, if they can't be confident that their house can't sell more books than I can as an individual, I sure as hell don't want to sell them my copyright.

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