Is it a good idea to self publish?

Self Publishing
Self Publishing | Source

The question is, should you or would you ever self publish? I am guessing this question stems from the fact self publishing used to be thought of as 'vanity publishing', and that if someone wasn't a very good writer and could not get a publisher to accept their books they refused to accept this, and went off and paid to publish their books themselves. People who knew the author had 'self published' would then assume that the content of the resulting books was likely to be inferior in quality and not worth reading. Whilst this was probably true in many cases, I do believe that things have changed in recent years, especially with the arrival of ebooks that cost nothing to publish and allow authors to cut out the middleman who would take so much of their profits. Many book publishers won't even look at a manuscript now unless it comes from a formerly published author with a proven track record. This leaves a huge amount of potentially excellent writers unpublished if they don't choose to publish their own books, (either as ebooks or as printed copies.)

My Stepfather now has three books published, the first two of which were originally accepted by a publisher legitimately. The problem was that the publisher was taking such a huge percentage of the profits from each book that my Step Father was only making about £1 a copy for himself. For this reason when he wrote his third book he chose to publish it as an eBook, (with a fair bit of formatting help from fellow Hubber Sandy Spider.) I then went on to set up the same book with Createspace as a print on demand copy so that he could sell it in hard copy form as well, (therefore maximising his profiting potential.)

eBook
eBook | Source

The Advantages of Self Publishing

Self publishing has some great advantages over going through a recognised publisher. Just a few to consider include:

  • Better profit margins for the author.
  • No need to submit your manuscript to numerous publishers until one eventually accepts your book.
  • No need to make endless edits to the manuscript in order to comply with the publisher's demands.
  • You can make sure your book is promoted effectively (my Step Dad's publishers were pretty useless in this respect.)


The Disadvantages of Self Publishing

Naturally there are bound to be a few disadvantages to self publishing too, and these include the following:

  • It might cost you quite a bit of money in order to have a really impressive book cover designed.
  • It may cost you some money to get help if you are publishing it as an eBook and are struggling with the formatting process.
  • You will still encounter people who see it as 'vanity publishing' and don't take your published book seriously.
  • You will be responsible for promoting your own book as no-one is going to do it for you unless you pay them.
  • You won't have access to a professional publisher's proof readers who can point out obvious mistakes like punctuation, grammar, spelling etc.

Things to Remember when Self Publishing

Self publishing is very rewarding, and my Step Dad is already seeing results. Other people I know such as Shadesbreath (John Daulton) here on Hubpages has recently self published and is doing ever so well with his Science Fiction novel 'The Galactic Mage'. Last time I heard an update he was in the top ten Science Fiction books on Amazon.

Just a few important things to remember if you choose to self publish:

  • Writing the book is only the beginning, you need to then proofread it yourself at least twice, and then get at least two other people to proof read it as well. We often don't see the mistakes we have made ourselves because our brain instructs us to see what we expect to see, even if that isn't what is actually on the page.
  • Spend whatever is necessary to ensure you have an eyecatching cover because this can be the difference between making a few sales or making a few thousand sales.
  • Don't just publish it and forget about it, spend time promoting it online and in your local book shops (latter if you have published an 'in print' version.) Organise a book signing at your local book store and get your local newspaper to attend.
  • Don't overprice your book. Remember right now no-one has ever heard of you, so why should they take a risk on spending money for a book they might hate? After your second or third book has proven to be a success you might be in a better position to put up your prices.
  • If you have both a printed version and an eBook available, ensure the price difference reflects the fact it costs you money to print a book, but nothing for a download. This might mean selling a hard copy of the book at $14 but the eBook download at $5 in order to ensure the buyer does not feel like they have been overcharged.

I hope this has helped you to make the decision as to whether or not you should self publish. Personally I would strongly recommend you do, (assuming you are confident your writing is of good quality.) To actually see your book for sale on Amazon, or even in your local book store, is a feeling money can't buy. My Step Dad (James Cassaday) is over the moon with seeing the results of my efforts (and Sandy Spider's), and I know he would be the first to recommend self publishing. If you want to know more about his writing and his books I have written about all three of them and the links are:

Rough Sea Justice

Bailiwick Gold

St Elmo's Fire

Self-Publishing vs. Getting a real publisher

Have you ever self published?

  • Yes
  • No
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Do you believe it is okay to self publish or is it vanity publishing?

  • It's okay
  • It's vanity publishing
  • I just disagree with it, you should use a publisher.
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Comments 114 comments

WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

I have been thinking about this, since it is so hard to get your foot in thre door, anymore. I edited a self-published book, and I think the author came out way ahead of what a publisher would have bilked him, plus, I knew him and could interpet what he was fumbling to say in a rough spots (we all have them).

I am tempted tp leave a link, but I will be happy to leave a . . . Thanks!


MG Singh profile image

MG Singh 4 years ago from Singapore

A wonderful and informative hub. Enjoyed it


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks for commenting WD Curry. I am sure you are right and he will have done far better financially than if he had gone through the publisher.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks MG Singh, delighted you enjoyed this :)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

I am considering self-publishing, so right now I am trying to read others views on their experience. Your hub is very helpful. Thanks.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Pamela99, I am pleased you found this helpful and good luck with your book.


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

mISTY, THANK YOU FOR THIS. good info to know.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

You are welcome cleaner3, hope it is helpful to you :)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California

Hi Misty. You did a great job on this hitting really important things that people considering publishing on their own should think about. Readers of ebooks have a new mindset that didn't exist in the old days of vanity publishing. There is a large and growing readership who are willing to forgo a LITTLE bit of editorial polish for more stuff to read and at a great price. That's the big difference. Bookworms can have tons of stuff, some free and some just really cheap (free vs paid is another topic all together). But they still expect some level of quality, even from the free stuff, so I'm glad you point out the value of editing and having proofreaders. You're not just writing a book, you're creating a BRAND.

That video with Ramit Sethi and Tim Ferris is a really nicely balanced thoughtful conversation about it, too. Good pull that.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Shades that is a great comment and adds to the useful info I have tried to provide in the hub itself. As you said, 'You are creating a BRAND'.

Really glad you liked the video. I watched a few before settling on that one because I felt it offered some really good advice and in a very 'easy to watch' conversation.


the clean life profile image

the clean life 4 years ago from New Jersey Shore

Cindy, great hub and great information. I have a eBook that is on my blog but I really don't have any idea about getting it out to the public or selling it on Amazon. If you have any ideas on how to do thishttp://www.spiritualriver.com/wordpress-2.0.4/word... please let me know.

Great job Cindy! Voted Up and Useful!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Mark, it is easier than you might think once you have it formatted for uploading to Amazon and Smashwords, (each like it done differently). If you struggle to format it the way they want it check out Sandy Spider (the link is in this hub) as she can do the formatting for you in return for a fee.

To sell and upload to Amazon you need this link:

https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin

To sell and upload to Smashwords you need this link:

http://www.smashwords.com/about/how_to_publish_on_...

and to look into print on demand and selling it as a hard copy book through Amazon's Createspace go to this link:

https://www.createspace.com/


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Hi Misty: I did, I got ripped off, I will never do it again

Bob


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

How did you go about it Bob, i.e. if you go to a printers and buy 'x' amount of copies it is easy to get ripped off, but through Amazon and Smashwords I can't imagine how they could rip anyone off. For a start it is free for eBooks to go on sale and you get commission on the sales made. With Createspace it only costs you the price of your proof copies, which in our case was about £6 each inc postage. The service is print on demand so after this they pay you your commission per book they print and sell, so there is no requirement to order multiple copies or hold any stock of your own. It is a win win situation.


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

I have self-published two books and have been struggling with sales. I have not, however, ordered a stack of printed copies or done any book signings. Whether self-publishing or publishing via the traditional route, the marketing is up to the author. Many think a traditional publisher will do all the legwork for them - this is simply not the case.

I have also heard about some self-publishers who have been offered a traditional publishing contract. These authors are a smaller risk to publishers as they already have their platform in place. I can only hope it will be me in that situation some day, but for now I am happy with where I am at.

The "vanity publishers" today will charge you a certain amount of money to publish your book. If anyone is asking for money to publish, be very cautious. I personally have worked with Lulu and am very happy with the quality of their books. Buying a proof copy is not required, as it is with CreateSpace and Wordclay. Granted the royalties on print books are less, but I agree with not charging a lot of money for them.

I have also written articles on this topic; my advice to authors is simple - do your research before deciding which route to take. Self-publishing is not for everyone.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi brsmom68, thanks for the great in depth comment. I totally agree that even if you are published by a conventional publisher they will expect you to self promote as well. Publishers have promotion departments but they expect you to do your bit as well.

I would question what you said about having to buy a proof book with Createspace though, as although we chose to (because of course it is important to check through it and make sure there are no errors you have missed), it does actually say it is optional, although they recommend that you do buy a proof copy.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Excellent information, Misty, for any writer who has ever considered self publishing. I believe the stigma is slowly disappearing with the advent of ebooks. Thanks for your interesting tips and valuable research.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks for the feedback drbj, I really appreciate it :)


the clean life profile image

the clean life 4 years ago from New Jersey Shore

Hi Cindy, Thank you so much for the info you have given me. the Kindle KDP Select seen pretty easy. But before I continue to put it on Amazon I was wondering if you had time could you read it and let me know your honest opinion if it would be worthy enough to place it on Amazon. The link would read spiritual river .com because I couldn't change it over to PDF so a friend did it for me and placed it in my blog. http://www.spiritualriver.com/wordpress-2.0.4/word...


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Leave it with me Mark, and I will read it. Just remember it will need to be converted to a Mobi file before you upload it to Amazon as this is the format they prefer it in. The length of the book won't really matter as you simply adjust the price according to the length of the book. They start at $0 and go up from there, so even if it is short it will be fine. I know you emailed me an eBook once before a long time ago and I read it and it was really good. Is this the same book as if it is I am sure it is very publishable?

I can't promise how quickly I can read it if it isn't the same book as I am up to my neck in writing with this 30/30 Challenge right now, and I am out tomorrow night. I do however promise I will and will let you know when I have :)


the clean life profile image

the clean life 4 years ago from New Jersey Shore

Cindy I forgot I emailed that to you. If I did, you know I'm getting old LOL it is the same book Cindy as before.Now I have a problem of not knowing how to convert to a Mobi file, I am really not good at all when it comes to thing such as these.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

This is why Sandy Spider is so helpful Mark. Mainly because the actual conversion to the Mobi file is not the hard part, (that can be done using a free download of a small program) the hard part is things like page breaks and not using 'Word' formatting etc in the document itself. She can advise you on this better than I can as this is why we paid her to do it for us. Honestly she is very fair and does not charge much for her services. Email her and arrange to send her the document so she can quote you for the conversion. The less that needs doing the cheaper it gets, plus she can design you a book cover. Tell her I sent you to her because I knew she would look after you :)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Awesome Cindy - I'm nowhere near ready to write anything longer than a hub - but I'll save this and bookmark it for later! Thanks for doing all the research:) excellent and I liked the conversational video too!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Weird VioletSun, I just got an email saying you had published a comment here, but when I came here there was no comment. Did you delete it or would you like to post it again?


the clean life profile image

the clean life 4 years ago from New Jersey Shore

Cindy, All done and have published my ebook and converted to Amazon, Now we will see if it sells. I really appreciate all you help. It is in review now and should but up and for sale in 12 hours.

Thank you !!!!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Kelly, I am sure it won't be long before you are more than capable of publishing a book. I really like your writing style, so you only have to brave enough to take the next step :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Good Lord Mark, how on earth did you manage this so soon after my last comment to you? That is truly amazing!

Congratulations by the way :)


the clean life profile image

the clean life 4 years ago from New Jersey Shore

I am very determined to succeed in my writing and make some money, It truly amazes me that me that Hated school and now writing thousands of words per week. How life changes right Cindy. I took the night off from the 30/30 but I did post one this morning and I think I am on #21 or 22 /30.

Thank you much Cindy and will keep you informed. It really wasn't hard at all.for a dummy like me LOL. My ebook was in PDF like I said and amazon excepted it and converted it in only about 1 1/2 minutes.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Well done Mark, that is brilliant. I am so glad there were no problems with the formatting for you. They state they prefer books to be uploaded in Mobi format, but I am glad they were able to convert your existing file. That is such good news :) It just shows you don't know what you can do until you try.


the clean life profile image

the clean life 4 years ago from New Jersey Shore

So true Cindy, I am so glad you posted this hub. If it wasn't for reading this my ebook would still sitting in my blog for free LOL. Now I will be able to gets lots of exposure throughout the world and just maybe make a few bucks too. You put the idea in my head to publish it on amazon and I thank you for that!!! Although the terms are that I had to remove it from any website or blog because i chose KDP Select on Amazon and that a no no to have the book anywhere besides Kindle for 90 days.

I have to hit the hay as they say LOL I am beat, so I'll talk to you tomorrow I hope. 12:10am here

Night


the clean life profile image

the clean life 4 years ago from New Jersey Shore

So true Cindy, I am so glad you posted this hub. If it wasn't for reading this my ebook would still sitting in my blog for free LOL. Now I will be able to gets lots of exposure throughout the world and just maybe make a few bucks too. You put the idea in my head to publish it on amazon and I thank you for that!!! Although the terms are that I had to remove it from any website or blog because i chose KDP Select on Amazon and that a no no to have the book anywhere besides Kindle for 90 days.

I have to hit the hay as they say LOL I am beat, so I'll talk to you tomorrow I hope. 12:10am here

Night


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 4 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Cindy, No I didn't delete it, my comment disappeared. :( HP is acting weird today.

I commented, that I self-published my book, but I am not very strong with promotion, but went ahead and asked two local shops if they would carry my book, and also asked the library if they would like a donation of my book. One said they don't want to add more books but invited me to a book signing fair they have where I can sell and sign my book. Also, I read last year that he major publishing companies are losing business, so they send agents to bookstores to look for self-published books and if they like it buy the rights from the author.

Thanks for this hub, the tips are great! Voted up!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Mark, all sounds good. We didn't go down the KDP Select option because we already had the books on Smashwords too, but those I know who did noticed a good result. Now all you have to do is a bit of promotion, e.g. write a few articles here and there linking to where people can buy the book :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi VioletSun, glad you got your comment on here in the end. Weird how the last one vanished. Interesting what you said about the publishing companies too. Thanks for the votes :)


the clean life profile image

the clean life 4 years ago from New Jersey Shore

Ok Cindy I will do just that. You have many great ideas dear. Thank you.3:30 am and wide awake but I have to get back to bed and try to sleep :)


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Misty. There were another 60 authors who published with "DIGGORY PRESS." The publishing and product was fine, my 3 books still appear in large book shops.

But NO ONE got any royalites, although my books have been selling consistantly for 4 years.

We took Diggory to court and WON the case, but the judge refused to penalise this bitch or make any judgement re the royalties. (I did a hub about all this).

Anyhoo, I had had enough of all this plus losing all the money i had paid (About 1500 quid), and as I got into debt while waiting for my gamble to pay off, I went bankrupt, passed the intellectual rights to the receiver and let him chase Diggory for any money.

He did nothing, of course, and Diggory got away with hundereds of thousands in royalties.

If it wasn't you, Missy, i would't have explained all this again as it's a closed book (ahem) and I don't want to talk about it or remember it.

Be warned, don't under any circumstances deal with Diggory Press (I heard it had folded) or this bitch Rosalind Franklin.

Bob


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

Regarding CreateSpace - I haven't checked with them lately, although I do know when I wanted to publish my first book with them almost 2 years ago I received a notification to buy a galley copy. They may have changed their policy since then. Thank you for the update! :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

No worries Mark, and good luck again :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks for sharing your story Bob, ouch, that must have been awful for you. I assume they also own your copyright then or you could republish it with a different publisher, or do what we did and transfer it to Createspace or Kindle etc as our own copyright. I honestly wouldn't let this put you off publishing again though, as with Amazon (both Createspace and Kindle KDP) or Smashwords, you are not parting with any money, you are not selling your copyright (it remains yours) and they pay up directly into your account, either Paypal or your bank account depending on whether you use Amazon or Smashwords or both. It is not really much different to publishing here on Hubpages in that respect. Like I said before, the only outlay for you is the proof copy of the book you will probably want to order to check the quality and that you haven't missed any mistakes. This was only about £6 for us, and that included shipping from the US to here in the Channel Islands.

Thanks for the warning to everyone about Diggory Press and Rosalind Franklin.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi brsmom68, they do send you an email saying your proof copy is ready to order, but I am fairly certain it isn't compulsory, (unless the first one is). We ordered one of each book and were very glad we did because upon an actual read through of the proofs we realised we had missed a significant number of minor errors, such as punctuation or minor typos, (all our mistakes, not theirs). I went back in and made the changes, uploaded it again, and then again we got notification our proof was ready to order. This was when I noticed that when you go to the site and go the place where the progress on your book is listed, it says 'Proof is Ready to Order', but it also states you can skip that step although it is not recommended. We opted to order a second proof too, and still managed to find a small amount of errors we had missed. I am in the process of correcting those for my Step Dad, but the next time I know it will be okay, and at that point I am going to opt to 'Skip' the proof step and go straight to the pricing, distribution etc.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

I am going to publish one of the books again in Mexico where I am out of this receiver's jurisdiction

I never want to do anything again in RIB, stinking country

Bob


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Sounds like a good idea Bob. I really hope it works out better for you the next time, but I don't blame you for being really angry and bitter right now. I would be exactly the same, and I too have been through the bankruptcy thing, (twice now, one myself, and once when my late Husband went through it.) It is not pleasant at all.


kj force profile image

kj force 4 years ago from Florida

published with a company where I did ALL the work and merely downloaded to them and in four days had my book and NO money out of pocket. They sell from their site only, and you cannot contact them other than e-mail, I have rec'd apprx. $ 40.00 in royalties..Then last year I published with another company, paid over $1500.00, was a nightmare and they did list on over 50 sites...I know books have sold from these sites..however..I have rec'd NO $..The call me periodically to sell and I ask about the situation, they say someone will get back to you..they never do ,this is a company that has been sold several times in the last three years, of course I find this out now..there is a website for complaints against them now.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Golly sounds like you got badly stung kj force. I never fail to be stunned at how many people don't realise they can publish for free with reputable companies like Amazon (although you are not one of them), and then they get ripped off as a result. The golden rule is to never ever part with any money, as if they ask you for a significant amount of money it is probably HOW they make their money, not through book sales.

I really hope you will now have better luck using a company like Amazon instead.

Good Luck


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

Rough spots . . . we all have them. My computer was fried and I went to the library. They have so much blocked that spell check didn't work. It looks like I am the one who needs an editor!

Might I add . . . my friend is doing okay with his book. However, he puts a tremendous amount of effort into promoting it. I don't know that the average person (myself included) could keep up.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi WD Curry, sorry about the computer problems. I always have my notebook computer to fall back on if my laptop dies on me, although at best that would only be a temporary measure because it is too fiddly to use all the time.

Glad your friend's book is going well. I do agree there is a lot of effort required to promoted your own book, and this is almost as important as the book itself. I would say that if you get a few online friends to get interested and post links to it on various places on the net, or sign up as affiliates with companies like Amazon and then write articles promoting the book, then the effect can snowball. Even putting a new eBook out free for a few weeks before putting a price on it can help greatly, mainly because it will get some reviews in that time which will help it to make future sales. There are other ways too, (like the KDP Select program) etc etc.


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 4 years ago

I am glad I found this hub! I am a new self published author of One life's Journey. It came out in Oct 2011. I understand what you mean about "vanity". I was one of those who didn't want to sit back and wait. I have made minimal amount of sales since the book signing. This is due to my lack of promotion and getting it out there. This first one was a message to those who have hurt my children and me with lies and slander accusations. I am currently in the middle of two books. One is a fiction and the other is an anthology collection. I am trying to open a publishing company. It gets discouraging sometimes. I am so glad that I am hanging in there despite little dissapointments along the way. I hope anyone who has the "I can do this" attitude will hang in there too. Great hub! voted up and shared. :) Take care and wishing you all the best! :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Jo, I am really glad you are already published, and additionally glad you are working on your next books and determined to make them successful. Like I said before though, remember that you will need to stop writing long enough to promote what you have done already, in much the same way as backlinks help online articles we have written. There is no such thing as a truly 'passive income', working to promote what you have done already is essential.


tarajeyaram profile image

tarajeyaram 4 years ago from Wonderland

Great hub for those who are thinking of publishing their work. Awesome and voting up and up. Great work.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thank you tarajeyaram, a lovely compliment, and thanks for the votes :)


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago

Great information--I've always wondered about that. From what you said, it's definitely a route worth going if I'm considering self-publishing. Thanks.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thank you anglnwu, I hope you do consider it as opposed to relying on a publisher who may just reap all the rewards from your hard work.


SAR2811 4 years ago

I self published the first edition of my first book and it was an okay experience. I found my own cover artist and his work is awesome, though it did cost a couple of hundred of dollars to get done but I love the cover. I did some book signinigs the first year and left it on the market for another. When I decided to revise the novel I stopped printing and now that the revisions done I'm shopping around for an agent so I can have a chance with a commercial publisher. I support both options for publishing.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks for sharing your experience SAR2811. It sounds like you have had an okay experience with self publishing, so not really sure what you can gain from going through a commercial publisher now, (although no doubt they will gain from you more than you will from them). Just be careful that you don't assume they will not take loads of commission (leaving you with little), and won't make too much effort to promote your book, therefore meaning they make all the gains, and you get little in return. I strongly suggest you get a contract from them that states clearly what they are committing to do in terms of promotion on your behalf, as without this you might be better off sticking to self publishing.


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

After commenting earlier in this Hub I went into my CreateSpace account and was given the option to digitally proof my book. Needless to say, it is now available on Amazon (or will be within a few days). Thank you for setting me straight. :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

That is great news brsmom68. I am so pleased for you and hope you do really well with it :) Thanks for letting me know.


SAR2811 4 years ago

I'm not really concerned overly with the money. I know most authors don't end up like Rowling. I didn't make anything with my self-publisher. The books I sold paid for printing cost. I know the commercial publishers take a BIG chunk but they have the whole teams to work on editing and formatting and they do some promotion. The self-publisher I used didn't. If and when I get offered a contract with a publisher I will hire a lawyer to look at it and make sure it is to my benefit as well. I'm not in a rush. My big thing is sharing my stories with people.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Well good luck on that basis SAR2811, I hope it works out okay for you and you get lots of people to read your work. Remember though that if you self published with say Kindle (as an eBook) or Createspace (as a hard copy), you would not have the issue of paying for printing costs. Certainly if you only want to share your stories with people you could publish as an eBook and sell it at such a low retail price that you would get loads of people buying your book and you would still be independent.

Also don't rely on all the big publishing houses having huge teams of people formatting and editing as that is rare. When my Step Dad first had his two books accepted and published through a well known publisher they simply came back to him and told him what they wanted HIM to change after their proof reader's had read the books. This involved him going into more details in certain areas and rewriting some chunks of the books. They didn't do the work for him, merely told him what he needed to do. When I went to ultimately re-publish his books (several years later) on Createspace, Kindle and Smashwords, I found loads of mistakes they had missed, so they weren't all that great. The promotion efforts they made were rubbish too. This publisher is well known and is called 'Pegasus Elliot' aka 'Vanguard Press'.

Just don't want you to be disappointed by the reality of 'commercial publishers'.

As I said before, good luck and I hope it all works out for you :)


zanaworld profile image

zanaworld 4 years ago from Bangalore

Very interesting and useful article on self publishing. Couple of year ago, I did publish a hub on Self Publishing.

http://hubpages.com/literature/self-publishing-wri...

You hub and the comments are worth bookmarking.


SAR2811 4 years ago

I will definitely check out kindle and createspace and smashwords though.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi zanaworld, thanks for commenting and the compliments. I have allowed your comment, but normally I would not approve a comment that included a link to a person's own hub because it is against HP's TOS to self promote on another hubber's comment section. Generally it is better to ask the author first :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

I hope you do SAR2811, I think you would do well there, and probably not only sell more copies, but also get a better commission as a bonus. :)


tarajeyaram profile image

tarajeyaram 4 years ago from Wonderland

I have added this hub as one of my fav hubs for the week of March 25, 2012. Great hub again.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Wow, thanks tarajeyaram, that is really flattering. Delighted you liked this so much :)


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

Hi Misty,

I was just hub hopping

when I saw your name

it kept on poppin

up on the pages of fame

that I looked to for

your fresh face to

take me baby

out of my blues

so I wanted to just say hi

to a beautiful woman

while I was passin by

see you tonite in my dreams

a sweet angel it surely seems


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Cleaner3, that was really sweet of you :)


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

some one should write you sweet poetry

If we were together it would be me

a fine woman a sexy mate

the other women

look at you with hate

cause you are sassy

and so, so sweet

late at night

bet you are a treat

so my lovely Misty

this poem is for you

hope your man doesn't mind

that I could love you too..


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

lol, you are a bit of a charmer cleaner3. Nice words :)


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

Just curious, what time is it where you are.?

it is !0:00 p.m. mtn time here in america.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

lol, it is 05.10am here (I am a late bird), but off to bed shortly as I have the last night of the winter 8 ball pool league to play in tonight and need to be alert to play properly.


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

Sweet dreams, you gorgeous bird of passion. good luck and don't be to mean to your opponent, at least give them one shot, but only one. I will drop in on you from time to time to give you my poetry of admiration for your loveliness and womanly charms that any man would be very happy to enjoy.


SAR2811 4 years ago

What is a Mobi file?


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Mobi is short for 'Mobile' so a Mobi file is essentially a portable eBook file. When you save your book in 'Mobipocket Creator' (a free download), the resulting file appears as an icon that looks like a small blue book. This kind of file will immediately open as a book if you drag it into your Kindle PC reader, or plug in your Kindle as drag it into the book files. Of course when you upload it to Amazon it is used as the file downloaded when people buy your ebook.


SAR2811 4 years ago

Thanks!


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 4 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Very informative on self publishing. Thanks for dropping my name.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

You are very welcome Sandy, I know how good the service you offer is from personal experience. Sharing this here will hopefully benefit others who need help formatting their eBooks too :)


tanyasee 4 years ago

Great Hub! I was think of self publishing also. Great advice :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks tanyasee, delighted you found this useful :)


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

misty , I want to publish a book of my poems and I am all new to yhis . How do I start?


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

That is a huge subject Cleaner3, and not one I can really cover in a comment. I would start very simply by putting them into a Word document, and then look at a site like Amazon Createspace (for converting to an 'in print' book) or KDP (Kindle Direct publishing) for an eBook (links at the end of this article). The links I have provided will explain how to convert your text into books, (either in print or eBook), but if you struggle to do this I would then suggest using Sandy Spider (also linked to here) in order to get your book of poems converted into a format that works for publishing. She does eBooks, but you can do 'in print' Createspace books easily (check it out, it is so easy anyone can do it).

Hope this helps.


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

thank you so much Misty,

I owe you a poem.

one that is

all of your own

Thanks again,Misty!!!!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

You are welcome :)


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

Do you mean to copy every poem onto its own page first. then go ahead with the other ?


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Think of it like a book. You will probably create one document, and then like you say, add your poems to each page of that document until you have the completed book. Then check out the requirements for Amazon KDP select (link above) regarding page breaks etc. Get a cover created, covert all of this to a mobi file or a PDF, and upload to Amazon KDP. If you get stuck contact Sandy Spider and ask her to quote you a price for doing the formatting, cover design and conversion for you.


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

Thanks, Misty. you are special. Sorry for taking your time away from important things like playing pool.LOL


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

No worries. Off out now, so good luck with your new poetry book :)


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country

About 9 years ago a friend of mine and I decided to publish a childrens book. I already knew that going 'traditional' would take a lot of time and effort-- and might not even work. So we got an ISBN number and found a book printer. We set up each page with camera-ready art and text. We ordered 2600 copies, so we could get enough of a price break to be able to sell wholesale. We were very pleased with the quality of the books. (It cost us about $6000 for the printing.)

We sold books locally, and schools invited us to give programs where we sold more. We set up a website and an Amazon Advantage account-- and I sent copies to reviewers to get noticed on Amazon. Then I began emailing book buyers at nature centers and nature gift shops and began getting orders from all over the US. Luckily our subject matter was a small owl who has a wide range across the US--

We worked hard and learned a lot. We eventually earned enough to repay our investment and operating costs. Meaning we have sold about 1600 copies.

My partner decided she wanted to do some other things so a couple of years ago we dissolved our partnership and split up the remaining inventory. I still have about 500, and still occasionally get restock orders from Amazon and from a few of our regular customers.

All of this happened before Print on Demand and things like Nooks and Kindles came on the scene. If we were starting today, I'm sure we would have done it differently. Nevertheless, I am glad we had the experience of doing it 'our way'.

Your information and experience is very interesting and useful. I'm keeping it on file, just in case the urge to publish comes up again. Thanks for covering the information so well.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Rochelle, that was a great comment that is a good suggestion for anyone new to self publishing. As you have said, Print on Demand today could have made things a whole lot easier if it had existed then. Who knows, you may get the chance to use it in the future :)


mikeydcarroll67 4 years ago

I love to self-publish! I also take my ebooks and turn them into apps as well! That often can help to reach a larger market than before!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

That's an interesting idea mikeydcarroll67, although is that not the same thing as Smashwords do for you anyway as if you publish your eBook with them they distribute it to the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony Reader Store, Kobo and the Diesel eBook Store. I would have thought the Apple iBookstore would have been the same as an App unless I am missing something.


mikeydcarroll67 4 years ago

Apps tend to add a little extra functionality. I think there isn't much difference, but I tend to go with doing apps since I feel like that's been a wise investment. Plus I can do a premium ad free version and a free version with ads, so I feel like I can drive additional sales from people that don't want to see the ads on their device. I guess that's just me though.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Sounds all good then mikeydcarroll67, I can see how that would make sense. This also offers another option to 'would be' self publishers so thanks for sharing the idea here :)


mikeydcarroll67 4 years ago

You are welcome! I tend to add that when it comes to Apple. I use BookBaby to reach out to the others-Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks mikeydcarroll67 :)


CR Rookwood profile image

CR Rookwood 4 years ago from Moonlight Maine

Great hub and really interesting comments. The hub is informative, but the comments are an education in themselves! Thanks. :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Glad you enjoyed this and found it helpful CR Rookwood :)


independentminded 4 years ago

Self-publishing; Hmmmmm....never heard of it, but it sounds like an interesting idea. I'm thinking I might like to do that one day, but i'd start with a long essay, first.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

I am stunned you have never heard of self-publishing, (are you sure on this?) Self publishing does not have to be a long piece of work, especially if it is an eBook. Even a 'long essay' could be published, just make sure the price reflects the length of the piece.


independentminded 4 years ago

Hi, mistyhorizon2003. I'm guilty of sheer ignorance on the subject of self-publishing, as I'd never heard of it up until now. Thanks for the heads up regarding price and everything else.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

You are very welcome Independentminded.


SAR2811 4 years ago

I have to say Mistyhorizon, I just finished formatting my book on createspace and it looks WAY better than what I paid for a few years back. I am definitely going to continue with them. Thanks so much for encouraging to try the self-publishing route again!


SAR2811 4 years ago

I have to say Mistyhorizon, I just finished formatting my book on createspace and it looks WAY better than what I paid for a few years back. I am definitely going to continue with them. Thanks so much for encouraging to try the self-publishing route again!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

So pleased you liked the end result SAR2811. I have to say my Step Father preferred the Createspace copy of his second book to the one that was originally in print through the professional publisher that had accepted it the first time round, especially the cover which I created using the 'cover creator' tool on the site.


SAR2811 4 years ago

Yeah I liked the cover creator tool. I had artwork done by a great artist and kept the original picture. I just uploaded it into one of their covers and added the text. It looks great. Next step is to get it on Kindle!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL, we did the same SAR2811, and the latest book with this cover went live tonight through Createspace.

https://www.createspace.com/3744648


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi Misty, I was googling for this and you popped up! lol! this was really helpful, but can you tell me what is the best royalty 35 or 70 percent? I have just finished and published my ebook and I know there are different reasons for going for both these amounts so what do you think? I have started off with 35 but should I change it to 70? Thanks!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Nell,

I couldn't see any real advantage to going with the 35% option unless I missed something, so I put all three of my Step Dad's books on the 70% option. It wouldn't have been worth his while doing the 35% option anyway, as by the time the IRS stopped the US tax rate and then the Channel Islands (here) taxed him on the bit he received afterwards, there would have been very little left to call profit.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Thanks misty, that's really helpful, I will go over and change it, thanks!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Thanks for the help, I have gone over and changed it to 70, I just thought there may be a catch! lol!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

No problem Nell, it certainly hasn't caused any problem being on the 70% rate :) Good Luck with the book.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

I have thought about writing a book - haven't actually gotten around to making a dent in writing it though, and was wondering about self-publishing vs. going through a publisher. I think that once my book is written, I think I will self-publish, depending on the book I wind up with. As you said, it needs to be thoroughly edited, and either paying an editor or making sure many of my smartest friends see it and help me with edits will be the way to go.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Good Luck Millionaire Tips, I am glad you found this hub useful :)


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 3 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Great advice on self- publishing your book.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Sandy :)

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