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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Self-Publishing

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If there isn't a part of you that sadistically enjoys business administration, don't look into self-publishing. Take the time to listen to all the nay sayers (aka candied-ass pansies) and follow their advice about traditional publishing: polish your work, find an agent, shop around, collect your advance, then tell all your friends you're now sitting on the shelves of Barnes and Noble. (I don't mean to infer people who publish traditionally are pansies - far from it. But people who warn others against a course of action without trying it because it's hard? Pansies - with a capital "P.")

Actually self-publishing has nothing to do with writing. It has everything to do with running a business, and businesses exist for two reasons:

1. Fulfill its implied or explicit promise to a customer.
2. Make a profit.

Those are my criteria for publishing this way. If your intentions are otherwise, and you still want to pursue self-publishing, that's what we call a vanity publishing. There's nothing wrong with vanity publishing - as long as you know what your goals are.

The Advantages of Self-Publishing

1. Regardless of quality, your book will definitely be published - you're doing it yourself, after all.
2. From time sent from your computer to the printer, copies of your book can be turned around in two weeks.
3. Because you eliminate half-a-dozen middle men, your profit margin will be much higher per book.
4. Maintain the rights

The Disadvantages of Self-Publishing

1. It's difficult (near-impossible) to get bookshelf space if you self-publish. If you send your book through the proper distribution channels, they can be special ordered through a bookstore, but they won't make it to the shelf.
2. You handle all your own marketing - and no one's there to walk you through it.
3. You pay the upfront costs - the barriers of entry have been lowered dramatically, but you still put up your own cash.
4. Lack of respect in the literary community

It's important to note what the real advantages of self-publishing are. I'll clairfy more in the next post, but when I need a good laugh, I Google "advantages of self-publishing." I'm barely able to read the articles on my computer screen from all the smoke people blowing into various asses. Self-publishing is hard, and some "advantages" actually make the business harder, not easier.
More information next post.

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