Notes about Self Publishing

One of my decisions when writing my novel was whether to get a publisher or to self publish.

Finding a publisher would involve query letters, waiting to hear back, finding a good match in my genre and a lot of other things that felt a lot to me like randomness. As a first time author, there is virtually no chance for a large advance. I also learned that many publishers will ask you “What is your marketing plan?”. Shouldn’t that be something they do for you? So, with a publisher, I might find a good one, I might get an advance, and I might be waiting for 10 years to hear back from them….

Self Publishing was reserved for novelty authors up until came along. Now, as an author, I can submit my manuscript to or, and they will print it on demand and drop ship it to anyone that buys it. Here is a guide to, BarnesandNoble and more: Self Publishing Companies. These services offer just-in-time inventory, which I think is pretty cool.

Either Way

Whether you go with a publisher of self-publish, you still need to get your book written. You will also need editorial assistance – developmental and then proofing. After you have a solid book, you need cover art, need to setup the printing and delivering with a self-publishing company, and then you need to market your book. Here is a good guide for the basics of a good story. I especially like numbers 5-11 of that post and followed them in developing my story line.

Moving Forward

As I move forward with writing my novel, I am going to do a parallel task. I will self-publish a side-project novella that I have had sitting on the shelf for a year or so. I do not plan to market the novella, but I want to have the experience of going through the self-publishing process. And of course there is the ego-thing of having a printed book with my name on it on my shelf.

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