SELF PUBLISHING A BOOK – DON’T DO IT

Self Publishing A Book – Don’t Do It

By Brian Grove

 Just don’t do it. I thought I’d get that in quickly in case you decided to skip some of this article.

The internet is awash with self-publishing companies. Printers with idle presses, and entrepreneurs peddling false dreams. If you want to know how much of this stuff is out there, check out Lulu dot com, which alone claims to publish over 4000 books a week, and there are many other self-publishing companies. Like a fake handbag, or a dodgy watch, these books might look like the real thing, but they just aren’t. And you would hate yourself for doing it. Don’t ever let anyone try to convince you that they know more about the quality of your work than traditional publishers, because they don’t. You will either get your book published, or decide you’ve had enough trying. Even if its the latter, at least you can walk away with dignity.

Ithinkingceo know someone who has gone down the self-publishing route. A novel. He spends a lot of his spare time in an endless round of ‘readings’ at tiny venues, selling three or four copies at each. He has got to the point where he’s sold most of his short-run of 100 books, (about the average for self-published books) and is using the money to fund another run. I find it very difficult to be overly critical of what he is doing because he is a nice person. But I find the whole process depressing and a bit pointless frankly. Perhaps it serves a personal purpose. But the fact is the only thing you need to know how to write as a self-published author is a cheque. Ironically, the most successful self-published books are about self-publishing.

Having criticised self-publishing companies let me finish by saying I do think they have their place in publishing. If, for example, your family has a rich tradition of shoemaking (for want of a better example), and has owned a factory over generations and you feel this warrants anthologising, then a short run of a self-published book is a perfect solution. Traditional publishers probably wouldn’t be interested unless it was the start of a brand name. Perhaps a relative was an unsung war hero? Another example of where vanity publishing has its place. But the hard fact is, self-publishing companies don’t care if your book is successful. So for novels, and general subject matter, just don’t do it, ever.

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