Thursday, September 30, 2010

Don't Listen to Me...Part 8 of Why Self-Publishing Is Better Than You Think

We've reached the end of my self-publishing series. It's filled with a lot of information...some from me and some from other writers with experience in the arena. Although I just self-published my novella and many people have said I did it "right" and "professionally," I'm scared to death someone is going to follow in my footsteps and be extremely disappointed and angry in the end and, consequently, blame me, even if they never say it out loud.

Here are a few things I'd like everyone to remember:

1. I never queried Cinders. I wrote it specifically to self-publish it.

2. I have lots of resources at my fingertips to might not have those same resources and this might cost you (a) more time, (b) more money, (c) more headaches and emotional investment than it cost me. Or it might not. See, you must remember that...

3. The decision to publish in any way is a huge decision and must be made with your eyes wide open and...

4. The decision to publish in any way is an extremely personal decision.

5. I also feel that self-publishing is not the right thing for all of my projects. Why? Well...

6. I currently have a manuscript on submission to a small publisher who did not require an agent for me to send in the work. I hope to hear back from them soon. This would mean that if they offer me a contract, I will be traditionally published. This means that...

7. Obviously, I feel both traditional and self-publishing are valid ways to publish your work and that you must always remember there are other options out there if one option is not working out for you.

8. There are also many different ways to self-publish your work. The route I took may not be the best option for you.

So I guess I'm imploring you to not listen to me too closely when I talk about how absolutely wonderful an experience self-publishing has been for me. I just spoke with a friend of mine who also self-publishes her work, and she shared with me some of the sales she makes every day. My jaw dropped open and my jealousy meter shot sky-high. I thought, "There is no way in a million years I'd make those kind of sales with my work...probably not even with the small publisher I want." Of course, never say never, right? Still, her situation and experiences are completely different from mine.

And yours will be, too.


Do You Want to Jump the Fence? - August 26th
The Vase - September 1st
What Going Indie Will Cost You - September 8th
Whither The Author-Artiste? - September 9th
Influences & Self-Publishing Might Just Stink For You - September 16th
The Absolute Nightmare (or not!) of Formatting a Print Book - September 22nd
Cheaper Than Kinko's - September 23rd
Don't Listen to Me - September 30th


  1. Considering that you had no other publishing structure around you and you've had to absorb the entire emotional roller coaster yourself, have you begun abusing drugs?

    Facetiously put, but...

  2. More simply put, how rough has it been emotionally being the point person for every single step of the way with no one else to deal with any of the frustrations, obstacles, and challenges, or to help share the work of combing reviews, scheduling promotions, etc. Has this taken a toll on your emotional sanity?

  3. Great post (and series) Michelle...that's really what it all comes down to, isn't it? A personal decision not taken lightly.

    Wonderful job - and good luck with the submission. :-)

  4. Nevets makes great points. It has to be hard being the "point person" on this endeavor. There's no way I'd be willing to take something like this on all by myself. I would be too overwhelmed. You've done a great job with it.

  5. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. You've given me a lot to think about.

  6. This series will be very useful to me, Michelle. Thanks a lot for putting it together! The only thing I hope to hear more about is how you continue to feel about this as the months go by. I hope you do an update at your 1-year anniversary. :)

  7. I don't have a question, but I do want to thank you for sharing the details of your experience. I've always leaned more toward traditional publishing, and I have one book out on submission, but I have been thinking more and more about self-publishing for at least one of my works-in-progress.

    It's important to understand that your advice on self-publishing is the same as all other writing advice: it all depends on the final execution. If someone tried to follow your route step-by-step, they might be disappointed, the same as a manuscript that contains no adverbs, no passive voice, is all showing / no telling, and has perfect grammar may still come out below-average.

  8. Thanks so much for posting this series, Michelle--no questions right this minute, but when they come up, I know where to find you...

  9. Thank you for this series. We're all big boys and girls and we each need to take responsibility for our own decisions. What you've done is provide some tools so that we can make those decisions with more information.

  10. Michelle's self-publishing journey has proved fascinating and enlightening. One thing I've learned is that I don't want the responsibility for all the pieces, mostly because I lack the patience for it. Though, you know, in the back of my mind I think about putting together a little book of short stories and essays about writing, maybe someday.

  11. Nevets: Haha, I eat a lot of chocolate...does that count?

    To answer your question, it has been rough, but not impossible, and it has been more fun than anything else. I happen to like being in charge of everything because I'm a bit OCD. So while it has taken a bit of its tole on my emotional sanity, I don't regret any of it and I'm obviously willing to do it again with Thirds, my next novella.

    I do look forward to the day, however, that a publisher handles some of this stuff. :)

    Jamie: Yes, that's what it comes down to. One of the main reasons I did this post is because I've had some people contact me personally about how this has changed their views on self-publishing and how they are thinking of doing it now. That has left me wondering how many other people feel that way. I just want to make sure others know where I stand.

    Lois: It is very overwhelming, but like I said in the post, there are many different ways to self-publish. There are ways of doing it where you aren't the point person for everything. Just depends on what you want to do and how much you want to spend.

    Sandra: You're welcome!

    Domey: I'm very happy this will be useful to you because your own journey affected this one. I hope you know that!

    Yes, I'll do updates. They might be depressing, but just remind me. :)

    Rick: You're welcome. I've always leaned more toward traditional publishing, as well. That's why this journey has been so eye-opening and fun for me.

    Bridget: Okay, if you have them let me know!

    Tara: Yes, we are all adults and can make our own decisions. I just know how I can be swayed by certain things and people, and I just wanted my intentions and goals clear here. :)

  12. Scott: I'm happy this has been fascinating and enlightening! It has been for me, as well, and isn't it great that you know you can put out whatever you want later if you want? We already kind of are with our anthologies. See, you have experience. :)

  13. @Tara - Responsi-whaaaaat? Alls I know is 'at when I try self-publishing and tha you-know-what goes south, I'm blamin' Michelle.

  14. You should only feel doomed if you think my own self-publishing will fail......... Hey now!

  15. You have my permission to throw things at me.

  16. I have listened closely, and I am thrilled about your experiences with Cinders. I don't think you should worry about people pointing their fingers at you if they followed your every footstep but don't care about their experiences; everyone is a mature adult here. Right? Wink.

  17. Nevets: I'll ship you a package instead...the picture you won. Melissa came and signed it. :)

    Yat-Yee: I don't think anyone would purposefully point fingers at me, but I hate to think of my choices affecting others in a bad way. I guess there's no way to avoid that if we interact with other people at all in this life. :)

  18. Way to win the shame battle, Michelle. I heap on abuse, and you give me a present.

  19. Nevets, I'll throw something at you if you want.

  20. Your sweetness is the cruelest retribution, Michelle.

  21. I don't roll. At all. That's just how I...waitaminute.

  22. Back on topic, I share your interest in controlling every part, but I don't think I have the emotional stamina for it in this case. lol

    I'm glad the good emotions have outweighed the more stressful ones, however.


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