Monday, 1 June 2009

Self Publish, or not...

Only onto my fourth post, and already I’m questioning what I wrote in my second post. A few days ago, I put forward the idea that self-publishing using POD publishers would open the door to a democratizing of the publishing industry, a removal of the gatekeepers and the possible death knoll of the publishing industry.

I developed these ideas after reading a few books on the subject and after reading around the internet, gleaning whatever information I could on the subject, and as the idea of publishing my own book filled me full of vigour, focus and the belief that it was only a mtter of time before I had a number one best seller, I was careful, subconsciously I guess, to only chose the website and write ups that would extol the virtues of self publishing.

Once the initial burst of energy subsided however, I felt it time to explore the other side of the argument. My first stop was of course the excellent Absolute Writers forum, and it was this thread that given me due cause to stop and think.

Within that thread I found a few erudite first person accounts, and good links to other relevant websites. There were good arguments both for and against, and is obvious that to decide between self and traditional publishing is not an easy one to make. I urge anyone who is considering following the Self Publishing route to visit this thread and others within the forum.

I am not about to say that my mind has been changed completely. I still stand by some of the points raised in my earlier post, in that I think with development and time, the act of publishing will become easier for the writer, and that marketing skills will become as necessary a skill as the actual writing, if anyone wishes to meet success using this method. I will say however, that I don’t think I am ready to follow that route just yet.

I have only queried about eight agents with Russalka. I need to follow that path further and put a lot more work in before I am satisfied that I have exhausted that route, and before I can confidently change tack. There is a niggling feeling that to abandon trying to gain success through a traditional publisher is, at this stage, a compromise.

Tomorrow I hope to write a short piece on the virtues of the work by Nassim Nicholas Taheb, one of my favourite non-fiction writers, and how his books on randomness have totally changed my perception of being accepted by a traditional publishing house, in a positive manner.


  1. I am convinced Publishing On Demand is the way to go. Having said that you have to be willing to be a publist if you want to sell your book. I have a nonfiction project I hope to publish in the next couple of years and intend to ensure I learn all I can about publicity before I do.

  2. I am envious of your clarity! I feel that I need complete focus before I can put my full energy into something, and don't feel I have that with self publishing. I still need to exhaust the trad route. Good luck with your endeavour though, let us know what you find out about self publication on your blog!