Monthly Archives: August 2014

When Self-Publishing Isn’t A Great Option

What’s the worst part of self-publishing?

Actually, I have to say that for me, self-publishing is a good option. I don’t have any illusions about my writing becoming the hottest thing on the Best selling book lists. That’s never been my motivation for my writing. 

My two most recent books were both self-published – they are my first poety collection “damaged children, Precious Gems”, which dealt with child sexual abuse, based on my personal victim experiences, and my thoughts on the subject. I have another blog about this issue here.

The most recent book I have self-published is this one, “Mick, Jane and Me – Living Well With MS” my memoir about my new life with multiple sclerosis. The poetry collection was produced with help from a friend who is a self-publishing consultant, and I am very happy with the resulting book. When in came time to decide how to produce my memoir though, I decided to do it myself. I’d learned about how to do this, watching my friend and working with him. This experience together with what I already knew, from self-publishing my first humour book, many moons ago, made me think I knew enough.

That humour book, called “Dig It – Gardening Tips for Dogs”, which was published about ten years ago, was a collaboration with my friend Ally Hean. Ally did the illustrations for the book, and did the setting out of it too. I was in charge of the writing the text. I thought I’d made a blog for this book too, but a quick search has been unsuccessful. Not to worry. I’ve almost decided to do another print run for this book, and if I do, I’ll set up a new blog, or at least mention it a lot on another blog I have which is relevant. 

This leads to the worst things about self-publishing. They are being able to afford the printing of copies for sale, and the marketing of your book. I’ve always had small print runs, of 50 or 100 copies of the books I’ve self-published. I was able to have second print runs for my most recent books. I may have had a second print run for Dig It, I can’t remember. I’ve mostly marketed these three books by talking to people about them, one on one. I like talking to people, so I certainly don’t mind doing that. It’s not the most effective way to market books, though.

I’m currently working at building my skills in Public Speaking. I’ve had a few Public Speaking gigs in the past year, with a couple more planned in the next few weeks. These are marketing opportunities. I won’t go to the events without having copies of my available books with me. I have about fifty copies of memoir left. They’re in the back of my car. 

Having my car as an office to keep books in is probably another reason why self-publishing isn’t such a hot idea. If your books are publishing by a publishing company, they are responsible to storing books, not you. But I have enough room in my car for this, and I like having the books there with me when I’m out, in case a potential new book owner shows up. I try to always have available in my handbag a copy of my newest book, and my poetry collection too. That works well enough for me.

So in reality, self-publishing, for me, isn’t such a bad option at all. I’m slowly becoming more upfront about pushing my books, and I already have at least two copies of Dig It sold, I just have to get the money to print them! I got those sales by talking about the book, online for one person, and in person for the other. We’ll see how it goes. 

I have a talk to give next Thursday. If I can sell some copies of my memoir, that money will go toward printing 50 copies of Dig It. I think I’ll start posting some of the pictures from the book around the internet too. The more I think about this, the more excited I’m getting about it all. I think it’s time for my dog related blog to get into action. I can write up some info about the book, and push it. The book is available in some libraries, so I can promote that too.

All three of my self-published books are in libraries. I’m sure there’s a way to find out how many times my books have been borrowed. I must check that out… In Australia, authors get payment called ‘Public Lending Rights’ for books they have in libraries, if the book is borrowed enough times.

Yes, the more I think of it, the more convinced I am that self-publishing isn’t such a bad option after all!