Top 10 Reasons…To Self-Publish

First some housekeeping before I get into the meat of this blog:
**I recently started a tumblog for those times that I want to put a quick link, pic or vid out there. So make sure to follow me there. This wordpress blog will still be for my long-winded diatribes.
**There’s a Dark Matter Heart Facebook page now too.
**Dark Matter Heart is now available at iTunes for iPads etc: http://bit.ly/DMHitunes

Now, about that title up there. I had to shorten it. The full title of this blog is:

“Top 10 Reasons That I Decided To Self-Publish.”

Almost immediately after announcing Dalton Gang Press and DARK MATTER HEART the same question kept being asked of me: “Why did you decide to self-publish?” So I’ll use this forum to answer that question. Here are my top reasons why:

10) I’m lazy. I didn’t want to spend the amount of time and effort it would take to try to get an agent or publisher to like my work enough to work for me. The thought of formatting an e-book, designing a print book, designing a cover, and spending countless hours getting the word out to potential readers that the book actually exists is more appealing to me than writing a single query letter.

09) I’m impatient. I wrote my book. It’s done. There’s no way in hell I want to wait 2 or 3 years for a publisher to put it out. I’d rather take 2 to 3 years to build up sales for Dark Matter Heart.

08) I’m not good at asking permission. I’m not all that into asking (begging/pleading) someone (an agent/publisher) to read my work and publish it for me.
To lift a phrase from Jason Brubaker’s Filmmaking Stuff website, the old way of book publishing is “asking permission” for someone to put your book out for you. I don’t need to ask, I can just do. Why ask a half-dozen people (agents/publishers) to read your work when you can ask millions of people (customers/readers), simply by making it available and enticing them to read it.

07) I’m ‘hands on‘. I’d have trouble letting someone else design my covers, and do all that other stuff that publishers are supposed to do. That’s not to say that they would make a bad cover or that my covers are the best for my books, but that is to say, that I like to do that stuff. Like making promotional pins.

06) I’m greedy, possessive and I don’t like to share. It’s tough seeing my movie “Hunting Season” out there handled by someone else and only getting a cut of the proceeds. Do I appreciate Gravitas and Bosko Group’s efforts in getting the movie out there and available? Sure. Do they get it to an audience that I probably wouldn’t be able to reach? Sure. Does it suck that I can’t do whatever I want, whenever I want with my own movie? Hell yes. I want to be able to do whatever I want with my books. Like release a special edition of Dark Matter Heart that includes the original screenplay that it’s based on.

05) I don’t want to be pigeonholed. If you’ve seen my movies you know that I don’t do the same thing over and over. Yes, I will be putting out a second Cor Griffin Novel, but I’ve also got some hardcore horror stuff to put out, and some sci-fi to put out, and some dramatic stuff. I have a lot of different stories in a lot of different genres and styles. Signing with a publishing house would probably mean that I would have to stick with YA Paranormal. Without diversion. For at least a little time. Maybe that’s not true, but I believe it to be.

04) Here’s a quote from my pal Joshua Jabcuga: “You did it on your own terms. That’s art in its purest form, in my opinion. Fuck compromise.” I agree. Getting published means getting edited. Which means compromised for the purpose of marketability. Maybe that’s good for the book. Maybe that’s good for the story. I don’t know. All I know is that the book and story that is out there is exactly the one that I wanted to put out. Writing isn’t collaborative like filmmaking is (unless something is co-written). It doesn’t necessarily improve with more cooks in the kitchen.

03) Have you read J.A.Konrath’s blog? It’s a very convincing fantasy site about the gazillions of dollars a self-published author can make.

02) Have you read Dean Wesley Smith’s blog? It’s a realistic approach to the hard work and time that goes into building a self-publishing business.

01) To quote my pal Josh Jabcuga again: “Cor Griffin is proof-positive that the best investment you can make is an investment in yourself.” or as I’ve said in the past: “If I’m going to bet, I’m going to bet on myself.”

So that’s it. I’m sure these are the same reasons J.K. Rowling is self-publishing the Potter e-books. Let’s discuss.

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5 Responses to “Top 10 Reasons…To Self-Publish”

  1. Regina Richards Says:

    My favorite is #8 “I’m not good at asking permission”, but they’re all good. Followed you here from Twitter. Glad I did.

  2. Marten VanZwietering Says:

    Very interesting stuff! I agree with both you and Regina above that I am not fond of asking permission to make my own creative works.

    My only problem is I hate marketing, and I liked the sound of someone else having to go to Barnes and Noble and all the smaller book stores to ask if they would like to carry my works.

    Still, our webcomics are at least semi-successful already so that does help :)

    • nwrann Says:

      Here’s my two cents.

      If your book is done now and you signed with an agent today, and that agent got you a publishing deal tomorrow, your book would probably not be published AT LEAST until 2014. That’s 3 years away. Who knows if Barnes and Noble will still exist? What will be the state of the smaller book stores?

      On the other hand, if your book is done now and you self-publish it (kindle, nook, smashwords, createspace, etc) it’ll be available in 72 hours and start selling. In 3 years it (as well as its sequel and the third in the trilogy and the 8 other books you can write between now and then) may have sold enough that instead of YOU having to ask Barnes and Noble (if they still exist in physical form) to carry your book, THEY’LL be asking you.

      And if they don’t, it won’t matter anyway because you’ll have 10 books out selling and bringing in money that you don’t have to share with an agent.

      Just my two cents.

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