Should You Self-Publish?

I have recently come across a number of people talking about the failing of Self Publishing. What they are really complaining about is marketing and selling of books. While I am not an expert in the field of Self Publishing, it is what I do at the moment. Why do people self-publish? There are a variety of reasons, but I can really only judge as to why I Self-Publish. I don't have the time to find an agent, and I don't have time to wait for someone else to discover what I already know. I am a damn good writer.

Should you self-publish? Beats the hell out of me.
ComicBook Creator

I can tell you what I did. I wanted to publish a satirical comic book. I got online and found a marvelous software package called Comic Book Creator, which unfortunately no longer exists or
works. However, I was able to use this software to create “The Shrub Chronicles”. But creating a comic book does not publish it. I wasn't looking to mass produce the book, but I did want to get it out there just to say I did.

Then I found a series of comics, volume 1 through 4 on “How To Self-Publish Comics …Not Just Create Them” by Josh Blaylock from Devils Que Publishing. While my interest at the time was to just get my comic published, I was also hoping to get it into comic book stores. Guess what, comic bookstores really aren't interested in dealing with self-published authors directly. What I came away with was a pretty good knowledge about self-publishing. Shortly after my brief excursion into the world of publishing I went back into the world of computers, gaming and the internet.

Before you worry about publishing, write. What is great about self-publishing is that you can publish anything. For the moment, we will assume that you have something to publish. So here are some questions to answer to determine if you should self-publish.

Are you a teacher with a book on the subject you teach? There are a lot of other questions to consider if the answer to this is yes that have to do with certification, quality of work, and the grade level of your product. But if you meet the criteria of those and other considerations then The answer to self-publish may be a resounding yes, especially if you have a built in audience.

Are you writing about a subject upon which you are considered an expert publicly? Then find an agent and try the traditional houses of publishing. After if all fails, the self-publishing route is always available.

Are you James Patterson, John Grisham, Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, or any other household name in the already published community? It's up to you, but use you known name, or you might discover what self-published authors already know, getting books sold can be tough.

Are you doing this for your family? Definitely, get it published and buy a bunch of copies and distribute it to your family and friends.

Are you out of college and just starting out? No! Write a book, take some more classes, find a mentor, get an agent, and learn how to write, because most likely you don't really know how yet. Yes, I know there are exceptions, but if you are young, find a hook and exploit it through the traditional publishing world. Get rejected, learn humility, and build up your ego.

The next series of questions are designed for a novelist, because that is what I am, but if you write non-fiction most of these questions are also relevant.

Can you really write? I don't mean your friends think you are cool, or your family thinks what you write is great. I am not talking about a writing teacher who likes your style. I mean can you come up with an idea and talk about it to another person? Can you create a tagline? Can you outline a novel? Can you develop backgrounds for characters that will never show up on a published page? Can you subplot? Can you come up with a twist? Can you write fifty thousand words or more and put it away before you start your rewrite? When you rewrite, is that when the real creative process begins? Can you hand your baby to another person for criticism? Do you know grammar well enough to break the rules? Do you feel guilty when you are not writing, or do you wish you were writing? Are there days when you just don't want to write?

I know they are a lot of questions, but you have to be able to answer most of them honestly with yes. What does this have to do with self-publishing? Not a damn thing. Before you can decide to self-publish, you pretty damn well better be a writer first.

I found Smashwords, and Createspace and I self-publish with both. Before you decide, look into what they will do for you. I am on a very strict budget, so if it isn't free I do not do it. I have successfully published two paperback books and eBooks. I have revised both a couple of times. I created my own book covers, and I have marketed them and sold them. I have not yet sold enough to claim I am a successful writer financially, but people who have paid money for my books are waiting for the third book and tell me I need to write more than one book a year. I am working on it.

Want to know about self-publishing, go to the sites I listed below and read J. A. Konrath's blog.
J. A. Konrath

He is definitely a financially successful self-published writer.

Here are the two publishing sites:

And I wish you good luck.

My Book Series' page

Like my page and get a free eBook out of it.

You can email me at and tell me if you want a Kindle, Nook orPDF and you will get a copy of “Jonas Watcher: The Case of the Running Bag

Good writing, good luck.

Gene Poschman

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