So, I was looking around and found this article about self-publishing. And I would have to say I pretty much agree with what Max Dunbar has to say.
Self-publishing is hard, and it costs a lot of money. I'v always been adverse to it, since I heard "Money flows TO the writer" and I fully believe that. You are sellling something, you shouldn't have to pay to be able to sell it. On average, self publishing can cost 12-17 thousand dollars. Now, while in a book-store recently I met a young woman who had self-published and said that after spending fifty thousand dollars, her book was in almost every bookstore in the city and she was hoping to get picked up by a bigger publisher so she could send her books all over the country. At the very least.
And here's what it comes back to. The publishers. I don't think any self-published author would say, "No thanks" to a publishing company that wanted to publish their book. That's the big break they wait for. That's how they make lots of money. You can't make a profit with self-publishing. With all the money you spend and then you try and get your book to sell country-wide? It's hard to make up that lost money.
But it's not about the money, it's about getting your art out there, right?
And once you're picked up by that publisher, you will get to stop paying for all the transportation and printing and ads. The publisher will do that.
Lets see. If you go the traditional route, what does publishing contain for an author? You query an agent. They read your manuscript. You sign with the agent (usually after a little banter and some fixing up of your manuscript). The agent sells it to a publishing house. You work with an editor and keep working on your book until it's deemed ready to be published. Then you can promote your book, or not.
Now how does this differ from self-publishing? Oh yeah, you don't have to pay $50 000 dollars to get there. Self-published books tend to be a lower quality anyway.
Most people claim they like self-publishing because it gives them control. They control EVERYTHING. Which can be nice. Gods knows I'd love to be able to pick my cover and say no when my editor says he wants to change my title. But that control comes at a price. A literal price.
I think there are merits to self-publishing, and there are some people who really make it that way. A Promise of Hope began as a self-published book and totally took off. I met Autumn Stringam and she was fabulous. She perservered through hard times and her book sold really well. She's carried under HarperCollins and since then expanded herself as a writer. I can respect people who make it through self-publishing, because it takes a lot of work and perserverance. But a lot of people seem to use it as an easy way to become a published author. The people who use self-publishing, or vanity publishing, just to brag that they have a book.
I can respect people who actually make it through self-publishing, but it all seems like a lot of unecessary work. Querying is not easy, but it's a hell of a lot easier than spending $50 000 dollars.