Is Self-Publishing a Digital Abyss or the Promised Land?

Now this is a tricky one and as someone sitting on the proverbial fence I’m considering my options. This is probably a familiar place for heaps of writers. Your work’s been written, it may even have had good feedback from publishers or agents, but there are still no takers. The possibility of a traditional publishing opportunity is looking increasingly bleak and the enthusiasm of your personal cheer squad is waning, “What’s happening with your book?”

It’s a bit of a grim place to be.

So, what are the pros and cons of self-publishing? Go on take out that notebook and have a scribble. These are the positives I came up with…

  • You can finally get the work out there. Yeah!
  • You’re actually doing something with that beast which has taken up so much of your time, energy and love.
  • The thought of putting the beast in a bottom drawer and forgetting about it is so depressing you’d rather take up wrestling…well actually…
  • You have control. Remember you’ve controlled your characters or content from the beginning so why give that up now.
  • It’s 2016 for goodness sake. The star of self and digital publishing has well and truly risen.

Now that all sounds fabulous so why am I still writing this and not out sourcing my book cover to a graphic artist? Because the legitimacy of getting a contract from a publisher is the big fat fish I want to catch and it bugs me it hasn’t happened. So, to the cons…

  • There are zillions of self-published books fighting for readership in the ISBN ocean. How will yours stand out?
  • Do you really have the skills, time and money to self-publish? Because you probably have a bill paying day job and are not a marketing entrepreneur?
  • What do you really want to get out of self-publishing? Will being able to say you’ve sold maybe three hundred books be enough of a return on all your hard writing investment? And once your book is published it will be very hard to reel it back in.
  • Finally, is this book part of your journey as a writer or your final destination…

There’s no denying these are the hard questions. But, like me, if you’ve finished that final draft you’ll probably have to face them.


7 thoughts on “Is Self-Publishing a Digital Abyss or the Promised Land?

  1. Thank you Charlie for the post.
    I will be finishing my first book this summer (fingers crossed) and I need to start researching on how to publish it.
    I wonder what your decision will be at the end 🙂
    Best of luck!

    1. Hi Lucia
      Well done on nearly completing your book. That is a massive achievement. Just as I was about self publish my book was noticed in a writing competition and the publishers are taking it on. So another option I would definitely do is entering your work in competitions. All the best.

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