Make Millions or Mistakes

When I began my quest to become a published writer, I set myself the goal to have a novel published, available for purchase, within ten years. I gave myself ten years because I know I will have to work hard, suffer rejection and the inevitable bouts of crippling self doubt, but also because the book market is in flux. It’s changing. Traditional publishing is changing.

People are actually self-publishing now. And actually making some money doing it.

Just look at Amanda Hocking. Millions?

So it is possible.

But her story is probably the exception to the rule. I think to actually have success self-publishing, there is a lot more work involved than writing a book and putting it up for sale on Amazon.

The biggest con of self-publishing is probably the lack of a brand. There is a huge stigma attached to those who put books out themselves instead of going through a big publishing house. There’s no guarantee for quality control. I think for self-publishing to be taken seriously, you need a reliable editor.

That was my problem with Ms. Hocking. I read some of her early stuff, and now I am too jaded to read any of her newer stuff. It had potential, but really needed an editor. Her books were born too early, and as writers, it’s difficult to be objective about our own work.

There are definite pros, though: money, of course. No middle man to take a cut. Although in the long run, if you count labor, publicity, and printing/production costs (if you’re not doing ebook), and time is money, you might actually be losing it trying to do it all yourself.

Of course, the biggest pro is you don’t have to be validated by some pretentious publishing house, or wait a year or more for contracts and book covers and all of that to be approved. You can just do it.

So, if I near the end of my 10 years and haven’t had any luck, I will take matters into my own hands and self-publish.

As long as I find myself a good editor first!

Sara is a Kansas-grown author of the fantasy and horror persuasions. She is convinced that fantastical things are waiting for her just around the corner, and until she finds the right corner, she writes about those things instead.


  • Kathryn says:

    Not that I’m a writer or have any aspirations of being a writer, but I can empathize. I think I would feel like my work was never quite ready enough or good enough to be published, if it didn’t go through some sort of middle step between me and the public. I guess that’s maybe why my business idea has never actually seen the light of day (besides lack of time to work on it). I want it to be just perfect before I show it to the world! I don’t know if I trust myself to evaluate and finish that type of perfection I desire without some type of outside help. Hmm….

  • Yeah, I know you can empathize because you’re a perfectionist, like me! ;) I think writing, just like putting together a business, takes a team, or at least a partner. Nothing should ever see the light of day without at least one other person’s eyes on it. We even do it that way here at the Cafe! But I suppose that brings up the whole other issue of who do you trust for “outside help.” Do they have the same standard of perfection as I do? Thus why traditional publishing is so much more appealing than trying to do it myself and finding my own editor. So yeah, self-publishing would be a last resort.

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