Scared Out Of Self Publishing

I want to talk about Self Publishing. At the beginning of the year, I hinted that I had a plan with regards to getting some of my work out there by way of self publishing. Because these stories are either flash (up to 1k words) or short (no more than 15k words) its difficult to find anybody interested in publishing them, unless I submit to anthologies. So I wondered about the viability of putting together my own collection of stories and marketing that along the Self Publishing route.

Lol, notice that I keep capitalising ‘Self Publishing?’ Its because in my recent research, I’ve found ‘It’ to be a big, scary bug bear, full of pit falls and traps into which an author can fall and languish should they not be prepared.

It was this post that frightened me. Odd, because I know full well that what this chap is saying is true (to some degree). However I can think of very few people out there who have £500 (and more) lying around that they can use to hire an editor. Hiring an editor is all well and good and it will, of course improve the quality of your writing beyond your wildest dreams. But if you don’t have that money – and I don’t mean if you have other things to buy with it, I mean if you just don’t have that kind of money spare, nor will you ever! – then what are you supposed to do? Not self publish?
From a personal point of view, every scrap of spare change I have right now is going into a savings account for my kids. There isn’t even much of that because there’s shit-loads I’m going to need to buy for when they arrive (you think having a baby is expensive, try having twins!). So does that mean that I have to give up any thoughts I had of self publishing until my babies (not even born yet!) are old enough to fend for themselves?
Double humph!

However… after reading that and panicking for a half hour or so, I read this blog post. Which helped me to realise that wanting to Self Publish does not meet leaping onto a leaky raft by yourself and casting yourself out to sea. There really are people out there who understand that the industry is changing and that, believe it or not, there are quality authors who are forced down the Self Publishing route, because traditional publishers are too hot on making money to take a ‘risk.’

In my opinion, there is a market for everything, you just need to know where to look for it. And I also feel that traditional publishers are missing out, because of their stubborn stance. More fool them to be honest; because with eBook sales roaring there’s loads of money that they just won’t get any more.

With Self Publishing becoming so easy to do, yes, of course, there are going to be some authors who just don’t give it the professional effort it needs. These are the people who have helped to develop the stigma around the practice. But there are also authors who do everything they should, come up with work of incredible quality, with clear, individual voices and fabulous stories, who get skipped because they struck out on their own.

Hmm. I think I’ve talked myself in a big circle there – I do that a lot. My final assessment/thought/decision however, is that Self Publishing is not as big and scary a beast as I initially thought, and so long as I treat anything I might one day self publish, as if it were being sent to a traditional publisher, there is no reason why my work cannot be as polished and enjoyable as anything released by the Big Six.

So nyah!

About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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6 Responses to Scared Out Of Self Publishing

  1. Mark Cotterill says:

    I think Self Publishing used to have a lot of stigma attached to it, it used to be known as ‘vanity publishing’. Anyone with a few thousand pounds could give one of these company’s the money and end up with a big box full of books, regardless of quality or content.

    Now we have things like Blurb, Lulu and eBooks and ‘the Internet’ and a massive revolution in publishing. Anybody can upload a book to the kindle store or the iBook store, the question now is can you market it? Asimov used to say If there’s 15,000 people who want to read your book, it’s viable. It’s simply a question of finding them!

    Good luck


    • 15,000 eh? Goodness, that sounds like a lot, but in terms of making a book worth selling I suppose that’s the bare minimum, right?

      Hmm. Luck, time and hard work; that’s what I’m going to need! So thank you for the luck par! ^_^


  2. Emlyn Chand says:

    Hi Ilieandra. You read the scary post on my website–I even came up with the strongly worded title. Don’t be scared; the fact that you care at all says volumes. And quite honestly, even authors who do put out poorly edited manuscripts can still sell well. Isn’t that sad, though? One person’s lack of professionalism can hurt anyone saddled with the title “indie.” I chose to self-publish despite having an agent, and, no, I don’t regret it one lick. I did put in the money for professional editing, cover design, an ad campaign, and I think readers have embraced me. Not a single person has said, “Aww, that’s good… for a self-published novel.” That was my goal, for it to be good–period. Of course, not everyone can like your work, but you may find that a lot of people do. Recognize that the process is harrowing and a lot of work but so, so rewarding if you take it seriously. Bottom line: don’t be scared, be prepared!



    • I like that; ‘don’t be scared, be prepared!’ So true and heartening too.
      I’m really enjoying hearing from people about this post, so thank you, very much, for commenting on it.

      It is a little harrowing to see poorly edited (and in some cases poorly written) work going out there and seemingly doing well, but I’d much rather take my time over it and know that I’m doing the very best I can do.


  3. Hi, Ilieandra. Thank you for your comment on my post Write It Sideways and for linking to it here. I was so excited to interview April Eberhardt precisely because she is taking the scary out of self-publishing. It will still be a lot of work, and may still require an expenditure that some writers cannot afford, but I think she’s forging a different path, one that will raise the self-publishing bar. I wish you continued good luck on your journey.


    • Its wonderful isn’t it? I’m keen to see if there are any more people like April willing to help authors pave that alternative path. There is so much that so many stand to benefit from it, that I’ll be keeping my eyes open for similar ideas and/or work.

      Thanks for coming by and thank you for commenting! x


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