How Not To Self Publish

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Make Your Bad Self Published Novel

You just finished your novel. It's a masterpiece. Dozens of people will want to buy it. And you don't want that mean publishing company to take most of the money they'll give. Besides, they don't recognize your genius. All you have to show for your submissions is a stack of rude rejection letters.

Much better to do it yourself, keep all the profit and laugh all the way to your holiday in the Bahamas. Well, here's how to do it.

Have a Clip Art or 3D Cover

Even ebooks need cover art. Why bother hiring an artist when you can put together a cover out of all the wonderful free clip art out there? Or...wow. There are all these sites that will create a book cover for me, for free, with almost no work.

There. You've got your cover. Oh, you need a nice title font. Plenty of those for free, too. Pick one that has plenty of nice curls to it. Or maybe one that looks like a robot typed it for your science fiction novel.

Easy. You have your cover.

Make Your Cool Layout

All books have the same font. It's really boring. So, how about having yours printed in an elegant font that looks like your handwriting. It's bound to stand out and make readers pick your book up.

Or maybe you can use these gorgeous clip art capital letters you found at the start of each chapter. Or the start of each scene.

Don't forget to put funky little symbols next to or, better yet, around the page numbers. It'll look great. Especially on e-readers.

Add A Sexy Picture

You're not just good at writing, you're hot. If your book is going to be a paperback, then don't forget to include a picture of yourself. Make sure you look sexy. Find your best revealing outfit - especially you, ladies.

Don't forget to wear plenty of makeup and get yourself photographed somewhere with a really cool background. Your best friend can handle it...sure, she only picks up a camera once a year, but as long as it's a reasonably clear picture it will do, right?

Oh, even better, you already have a picture. The one from last year's office Christmas party. You know, the one where your boss brought that wonderful single malt.

Forget The Editing

Your work is a masterpiece. It's absolutely perfect. It doesn't need to be edited. You finished it a whole two weeks ago and it's ready to go.

Besides, readers are stupid. They won't notice the typo on page 47 or the fact that your villain is bald in chapter 4 and has flowing red locks in chapter 10. They'll be too wrapped up in your wonderful story to care about little details like that. If they criticize your grammar, tell them you're a literary great and are doing it on purpose. Ooh, maybe you can refuse to use quotation marks. That's trendy right now.

Use Your Distributor's Free ISBN Service

Ooh! You don't have to pay for an ISBN. Your distributor will gladly put one on for you. Of course, then they'll show as the publisher.

Oh well. That's not a big deal. I mean, everyone knows they're just posting my book to their website and I did all the work. Right?

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Comments 15 comments

peramore20 profile image

peramore20 5 years ago from Turtle Creek, PA

I loved it! You definitely nailed the common mistakes of self-publishing and did so in an interesting way. Very good hub!


KoraleeP profile image

KoraleeP 5 years ago from Vernon British Columbia Canada

Great hub!it's so true, you don't need to spend hours writing, make it quick easy,and sexy!


jenniferrpovey profile image

jenniferrpovey 5 years ago Author

I'll confess, I've used a distributor's ISBN...for a short story when I wasn't sure (I'm still not) about going seriously into self-publishing. Unfortunately, the problem with buying ISBNs and the reason, I'm sure, that most self publishers don't do it is that ISBNs cost $275 for ten...and can't be transferred, so you can't set up an ISBN-buying cooperative to help out people who only need one or two. If I self publish more stuff, though, I have an imprint name in mind (I just need to find the $275).


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 5 years ago from Ruskin Florida

Voted UP and Funny! Been there and Done That, as they say. I have three lethargic books on Amazon right now.But ..... I did it MY WAY!

What no one explains to you is that a book MUST BE MARKETED!

Otherwise, is just sits there on those electronic bookshelves of the great Amazon, waiting for someone with money to throw away on an unknown book without reviews or publicity.


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

Very funny! I'm working on the final edits of my ebook and have been doing a lot of research about publishing. I'll definitely NOT follow the tips above!


jenniferrpovey profile image

jenniferrpovey 5 years ago Author

I would recommend at least making some effort to find a publisher first as then you can get them to pay for cover art and editing.


jfay2011 profile image

jfay2011 5 years ago

Very interesting hub. I've self published and its a very hard industry


shesacraftymom profile image

shesacraftymom 5 years ago

Funny! I wonder how many people do all of these things. :)


jenniferrpovey profile image

jenniferrpovey 5 years ago Author

I've done the last one and now regret it, but I really didn't have almost three hundred bucks spare at the time.

But one look at Lulu or CreateSpace will at least show you how many people do the clip art or bad 3D cover art.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 5 years ago from Wisconsin

This illustrates the many problems with self publishing and one of them happens to be that real publishing houses just simply know how to do it right. The only caveat to the joy of self publishing is that it allows so many bad books into the mix that real readers will only flock to real writers published by real houses. Wow, that's a mouthful. Point being simply that even if your book IS truly salable, and even if you truly CAN write, and even if the self published book IS worthy of landing on a bookstore shelf, many readers may never even bother to give it a look just because it's a self endeavor and it's therefore not worth the risk of the expense, and the risk of wasted time to read it.

I've said it before that self publishing in a forum such as this one, or in blogging is fine. But when you write your own War And Peace, you want a third party to dissect it and give it the grand okay. When that happens, it doesn't mean you'll land on the bestseller list or even secure another book being published. But at least even if it never does much more than see its way to print, it is legitimate, and you can therefore also call yourself (legitimately) an author.

In my mind, this is the only way to become published.

Fun hub to read.


girgismcs 5 years ago

great hub relay useful one good work


jenniferrpovey profile image

jenniferrpovey 5 years ago Author

Personally, I think correctly done self publishing is perfectly legitimate. Also, not all real publishing houses know how to do it right. Or want to do it right.

Both paths are legitimate, but you do have to understand the industry and be VERY business savvy to self publish and have any success.


AJReissig profile image

AJReissig 3 years ago from New Richmond, Ohio

Funny hub! I think you nailed most the sins that will kill the sucess of a self-published book. That having been said, there are some very good self published novels out there. I have also read trash cranked out by the big publishing houses.


jenniferrpovey profile image

jenniferrpovey 3 years ago Author

If you know what you're doing, if you have done your research, hired an editor to make the best product, then you can produce a very high quality book on your own.

Sadly, most people who self-publish don't.


nochance profile image

nochance 3 years ago from Duluth, MN

This is hilarious. Thank you for sharing.

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