Tapping the Community

Good Advice on Self-Publishing

Books2I only started following Bob Baker's author blog recently, but it's one I recommend to anyone interested in publishing.  His latest post, for example, talks about the benefits of self-publishing.  I agree with his assessment and would add that self-publishing also allows you to do one other important thing: prove to yourself (and a prospective editor/publisher down the road) that you've got a strong author platform.


Michael A. Banks

Self-publishing is still regarded with suspicion by a lot of booksellers, distributors, and reviewers. I agree with another posting over at Baker's blog that the actual percentage of self-publishers who sell enough books to put them in a position to make a deal with a large traditional publisher must be tiny.

Part of the attraction of self-publishing and POD today comes from the fact that it is easier and cheaper than it once was. I can't see that the market has changed to the point where it is more receptive to self-published books, but many proponents of self-publishing (some of whom are in the business of helping authors self-publish) want authors to think it has. Perhaps they're aiming at a self-fulfilling prediction?

Caveat: I'm a bit prejudiced by all the really awful self-published books I've seen.

Having said all that, I think self-publishing has a strong place serving niche markets that aren't profitable enough or easily accessible by big publishers. Some of those niche markets are served by specialized publishers (SAE Press, for example, which markets by mail order) but even the specialty presses can't reach everyone.


It's true - some self-published books are really... disheartening. However, as more accomplished authors overcome their biases against self-publishing and see what kind of quality they can get from the process, that I believe will change.

Think "niche publishing" or "enclave publishing" -- reaching a targeted audience or a group of people who have a definite interest in a specific subject, who are hungry for specific information and are eager to have it in book form, rather than a PDF or another digital format.

Perhaps independent folks aren't going to pull the kinds of numbers that big houses are looking for... but then, maybe they don't care about pulling those kinds of numbers -- and they wouldn't even need to, to profit handsomely, because the profit margin on print-on-demand is so much larger (and the staff they have to pay for is so much smaller!)

No, specialty presses can't reach everyone, but maybe you don't have to...

Self Publishing

As the author of a self-published book, I agree that the perception of self-published books has to change. Of course this starts with authors who take on the many roles that self-publishing requires. In order to turn around the stigma of self published works, know your strengths and weaknesses. For instance, I wrote and edited my book and took the photo for the front cover, but knew that graphic design was not my forte, so I hired a graphic artist to design the cover. The final result was professional enough for the book to win 5 awards.

My parenting book has a tightly focused niche. Due to this, I did not send it out to mainstream publishers, but intended to publish it myself right from the start. The book uses ancient Native American ideas to show parents how to raise children to unfold their unique talents and act from integrity and strength. Although I haven't sold 100,000 copies, I have provided my readership with intriguing and useful content that they could not get from other parenting books. This is what niche publishing is all about.

Laura Ramirez
Self Publish Ebooks

The comments to this entry are closed.