Writers often ask if it’s wise or helpful to self-publish their work if they have “near-misses” with agents or publishers.
There’s no one answer that works for everyone. But I’ll try to help you come to the right conclusion.
YES: Go ahead and try self-publishing a book
- You know how to reach your readers (online or offline). Expressed another way: You have a platform that makes you visible to your intended audience.
- You already have credibility with readers in your genre/category.
- You have a marketing and promotion plan, with achievable goals. (Read more from JA Konrath on achievable goals.)
- You’re comfortable being online and have already experimented with online marketing and promotion; you have an online identity and have participated in online communities.
- You have a current website and can update it yourself.
- You have an entrepreneurial spirit.
- You’re in it for the long haul.
NO: Do not self-publish
- You don’t know how to find or reach your readers (online or offline).
- You need physical bookstore distribution to be satisfied that you’re successful (or that you’re reaching your readers).
- You don’t yet have your own website.
- You don’t have a marketing and promotion strategy, but hope that someone will notice you.
- You don’t like spending time online and/or dislike social media.
- It’s your first manuscript and you don’t want to see all that work go to waste. If that’s the case, wait until you’ve written book #2 or #3 or #4 before you decide to release that first one. It’ll still be there, trust me.
- You’re looking for quick success and an agent.
No. 1 myth to be aware of: Self-publishing does NOT kill your chances at a traditional deal later. BUT: Do not spend any significant money on self-publishing—whether print or digital—until you’re certain of two things:
- You’re sure of your reach to your audience and your ability to market to them.
- You’re confident of the editorial quality of your work.
Thinking about self-publishing? Blue Ash Publishing
(a division of Writer’s Digest) can provide all the tools and
know-how you need to properly write, publish and sell
your book. Whether it’s how to publish an ebook or print,
Blue Ash has you covered—and it’s completely customizable.
Click here for more details.