Thursday, June 12, 2014

Top 10 Not-So-Brilliant Reasons to Self-Publish

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

I always said I would never self-publish.

Not because of any stereotype, but just because I didn't want to.

But here I am, in the midst of preparing to do just that.

The reasons to self-publish vary, and I'll be sharing my OWN journey to that in two weeks.

I thought I'd use today to detail some not-so-stellar (in my personal opinion) reasons to self-publish.

10.) Because publishers are aliens who have come from outerspace to steal all your profits. 

(Most) publishers goals are for you to sell a boat-load of books and that you BOTH make a ton of money. If you are approaching self-publishing just because you think publishers are stupid and greedy, then your motivation is out-of-whack, and it won't bode well on your future success.

9.) Because publishers/editors/agents are telling you that your writing reeks of sour milk, so you are going to take your curdles and do it yourself, dad gum it.

Telling someone their craft needs improvement isn't always easy. So if multiple people are telling you this, and you decide YOU are right and THEY are idiots, and put your stuff out there anyway, then you have a great potential of publishing sub-par material. No writer wants that.

8.) Because you'll be the next SHACK success...

Odds are, you won't. Sometimes the truth just hurts.

7.) Because you want to quit your day job with all your plethora of earnings... (since those publishers aren't taking their greedy profits...)

Maybe just take a few vacation days first just to see....

6.) Because you have an eye on a nice Corvette....

see #8

5.) All your friends told you to...

If you friends tell you to jump off a bridge, would you do that too?

4.) It's just so EASY...

Easy is in the eye of the beholder. If you're going into self-publishing thinking you can just slap some words on a paper, use MS Publisher and already downloaded clipart to make a really cool cover, and click a few buttons in Createspace and WOOT, a book is done, 24 hours later... You are mistaken.

You might have a book out there.... but you also might not have readers either.

3.) You'll finally have READERS...

You know the age old question, if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it... did it really make any sound?

Well, if a book is put on Amazon for purchase but no one knows about it, will you have readers? (beside your mother and family....)

While it is fine to want people to read your book, the desire for readers alone is not a good reason for self-publishing. (there is one exception to this, see my post in 2 weeks for that!)

2.) Because I want to publish the super secret story about my ex-boyfriend and let the world know what a cheater he is...

I've never heard of anyone doing this. The more I think about it, it might be kinda funny, although not very Christian regarding the whole "revenge is mine" says the Lord thing...

Regardless, telling someone else's story without their permission when you have no right to it probably wouldn't be a great idea. (have a lawyer handy....)

1.) Just because.

I mean, well, you can do it just because. But it's kinda a dumb reason. Just sayin'...

Anyone have some reasons, silly or real, to NOT self-publish? 

Krista is a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mother, and author of Sandwich, With a Side of Romance . She blogs about finding JOY in the journey of LIFE at She is represented by Rachelle Gardner.


Jeanne Takenaka said...

This is a fun post, Krista. Let's see, one reason I'm not considering self-publishing at this point in my writing journey is because I don't know enough to do it well. I also don't have the platform built up that would sustain self-publishing. Also, at least at this point in my career, I would rather have a dedicated team working with me to make my book the best it can be. I don't know enough yet to do self-publishing well.

My hats off to you, and others who are ready for the self-pub route! I hope you're very successful at it, Krista!

H. R. Sinclair said...

Love these reasons!

Ashley Clark said...

Great post, Krista! I think self-publishing often gets glamorized, when in reality, it can be even harder than traditional publishing because, unfortunately, many people (who are unlike you) have little to no experience, and end up drowning in all the ins-and-outs of it. Also, I HATE the way that a stereotype now exists about indie books because so many self-pubbed books are filled with atrocious errors. You are absolutely right-- being rejected by a bunch of publishers does NOT give self-publishing an automatic go-ahead. If anything, it should be more of a warning sign to people. That said, I LOVE when I see people like you striking out into the realm of self-publishing because you already have that foundation behind you, and you are already an expert in the field. Great post!