Why Do You Self-Publish?

I mean, I already know the generic answer to that question. People self-publish to escape the evil twenty-something gatekeepers that hate their work, even though the work is fantastic. They self-publish because they don’t want to go through the many rounds of rejection, many times because what they are writing ‘is not currently selling.’ Of course, one of the main reasons to self-publish is for an author’s creativity to remain intact, which they often see as one of the things that publishers suck away.

My reason for pursuing the self-publishing path is pretty simple. I like immediate results and I want a bigger percentage of the money. I also think that, with the internet, everyone has a right to have their stuff read. Sometimes people’s work is not that great, but there is an easy way to handle that – don’t buy it.

Don’t take this to mean that I am going to cut corners. I know the importance of good writing, solid and complete editing, and sound cover designs. I understand that it is easy to spot the self-published authors that really don’t have a firm grasp on plot and character development. Heck, I might not be that good at it either, but I sure as heck will work hard to improve. And again, it seems like a better deal to keep more of your money. Why should good authors be forced to take such a small percentage of the profit?

What I really want to know from other self-published authors is this – what do you hope to realistically gain financially from self-publishing? I know that’s a personal question, but it seems like such a tall order to do well in the current market. The market is filled with good work. Sometimes that good work makes it big. Hugh Howey certainly did with Wool. Heck, even bad writing can make it big if it involved sex. I saw shirts based on Fifty Shades of Grey the other day at the bookstore (unfortunately it was next to the kid’s section of the store).

How about you? Do all self-published authors get into it seeing dollar signs? Or do you do it just because you have some extra time and want to share your work with the world?

For the sake of all self-publishers, I wish more semi-successful indie authors would speak up with some of their incomes figures from books sales. I know how personal finances are to most people, but it sure would be nice for others to know that there are some serious success stories out there. I’m not talking about the ones selling thousand upon thousand of copies. I’m talking about the authors that can pay their bills from their self-published work. The ones that aren’t rich, but can now go out to eat without worrying about blowing their budget. Where are you? I know you’re out there. We want to hear from you.

I have my own reasons for going the self-published route, and I will discuss that further in another blog post in about a month or so. It’s two-fold and deserves more than a sentence here. Take care!

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About Allen Watson

I've finally decided to write out the stories in my head. Reading has always been a passion of mine, but now I want to get my own book out there. Bachelor's Degree in Political Science Master's Degree in Teaching View all posts by Allen Watson

7 responses to “Why Do You Self-Publish?

  • Victoria Sawyer

    I self pubbed for several reasons. One is definitely the control, I wanted to handle how everything went down, two is certainly the fact that I am impatient and couldn’t wait for the 20 gate keepers to give me their blessing and also why should that group decide what everyone wants to read? That’s just BS. And since I’ve self-pubbed I’ve met many other self pubbers who are amazing writers and I’m not sure their work would ever have seen the light of day without the ability to do it yourself. Thirdly, money sure, however that being said, I’m not one of those super successful writers, not yet anyway. It’s been 2 months and it’s a hard hard claw to the top, if I’ll ever even get there. Fourth, I really wanted to tell my story! I wanted to share it in the hopes that others would feel the same way and to educate and entertain. My story is about mental illness and I’m not really sure I’ve seen a novel about panic attacks/anxiety before. I wanted to be represented out there because I suffer from this stuff myself. I think maybe that sums it up?! Oh and it’s not in that order either, I think the biggest reason was I wanted to get my story out there and into people’s hands. and it’s not an easy read either, but it does describe how people with this mental illness think. Ha…I’m also reading your older posts on the side while I type this and notice the post about Can you be successful without a YA audience. I feel like it’s hard to do without a supernatural story. That’s what everyone wants and that’s what everyone is writing. so I’m not sure about that. It’s so huge these days. I’ll be reading that post next…. 🙂

  • Allen Watson

    Thanks for stopping by! I am definitely with you as far as sharing our stories. That has to be the main motivation behind self-publishing, and it is just so much easier now. Now that we can control our own work, and as long as self-pubbers are professional with their work, this is a win for everyone involved. The publishers can still make it, but they have to try a bit harder and be more open to new ideas. We’re unconventional, but we have some great stories!

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  • katmicari

    I was burned in a creative industry before, so more control of my vision is definitely important to me. I also value the freedom of experimentation. I’m self-publishing a YA urban fantasy novella (something I never thought I’d write) in a week, and I’m almost immediately following it up with an illustrated poetry collection. I plan to release short stories (both free and at the $.99 price point) while I complete my first novel, and I love the fact that I can do any kind of short stories I want, flit from fantasy to sci-fi to literature or do some strange combination, and still share it with the world. If people don’t like it, I’ll know almost immediately, and then I can decide if I want to pursue writing more or less of the same. The worlds of possibility just seem so vast with self-publishing.

    • Allen Watson

      You’re right, self-publishing is a great way to test the waters with our work. Don’t let a few not to great sellers convince you not to do it though. Telling our story means so much whether it sells or not (unfortunately the bills keep coming).

  • lwpatricks

    The main reason I self published is to have creative control and rights over my work. Cut out the middle man I say! However that doesn’t mean I won’t consider traditional publishing in the future! But it’ll have to be with some sort of hybrid contract such as Hugh Howey ‘s and Michael J Sullivan’s. Nice blog! Cheers mate, and good luck with the book!

    • Allen Watson

      I would love to score a hybrid contract like theirs. In fact, I love self-publishing because it give more power to the actual author. That makes sense, considering they are the ones that created the work.

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