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!

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11 thoughts on “When Self-Publishing Isn’t A Great Option

  1. Marie Bryan

    Very interesting to read about your experiences with self-publishing, Carolyn! And I will be happy to continue doing whatever marketing I can for you! Have you considered electronic publishing at all? I have several friends who are taking that route, with more or less success. Looking forward to “Dig It”!

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  2. carolyncordon Post author

    Hi Marie, thanks for your thoughts about this one. I’ve certainly thought about e-publishing, and have infact given it a go, a long time ago. I didn’t do well with it at all, so haven’t pursued the idea. This of course is silly, because I do actually spend a lot of time ‘online’, so I should give it another go.

    I’ll look into it – if I go the electronic publishing way, I don’t have to have the money to pay for printing first up, obviously. I do still prefer actual books you hold in your hands though. I can go both ways with it. Thank you again, I’ll take a look at the e-options I have…

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      1. carolyncordon Post author

        I probably have enough money right now for a small print run (50 copies). And I’ve actually managed to locate the blog I began for this book – this is the link to it.

        http://dig-it-carolyn.blogspot.com.au/

        So, when you go to the blog, you’ll see the front cover of the book, and get some idea about it all, and about my silly/funny mind!

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  3. Marie Bryan

    I know that I would buy at least three copies of this delightful-sounding book. If you’ve got a silly/funny mind, then we’re soul mates, Carolyn!

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  4. carolyncordon Post author

    I took my memory stick to a printer today, and he downloaded the ‘Dig it!’ book. He’s going to print 50 copies for me at a great price. I should have the books by Friday. Cost will be $15 including postage (unless postage is really expensive). I’ve done some research, after some advice from a dear friend, and I’ve put up the price of the book when I’m posting it overseas. I live in Australian and the cost of sending it overseas is much more than the cost of postage here. So, copies for posting overseas will include a further cost, depending on postage.

    If you order more than one copy of the book, it will reduce the cost of each book. For example, three books posted to the USA, will cost $37.50 which is $10 plus $2.50 each for postage. This doesn’t cover the entire cost of postage, but it covers enough.

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    1. carolyncordon Post author

      I can recommend Bunyip Print – the service I’ve received from them for my third print run of “Dig It! Gardening Tips For Dogs” has been great – I received an email today to let me know they’re ready to be picked up, three days earlier than promised! So I’m going to pick them up tomorrow, I love getting more books – If you’d like to get one for yourself, leave a comment here!

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      1. Marie Bryan

        As I mentioned before, I would like three copies. So when you check on postage for mailing to the US bear that in mind. How great when a service out-performs one’s expectations!

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      2. carolyncordon Post author

        I hope my book can out perform too, Marie – I’m looking forward to sending copies to you, and hearing back on what you thought about it all! The dog in the book, Buster, isn’t a real dog, but I wish he was!

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  5. Pingback: Book Publishing Houses in Booking | Dog House's and Beds

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