Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Just what is self-publishing?

I've been getting really pissed-off lately.

I can't stand when I read that companies like Lulu and iUniverse and Outskirts Press are "self-publishing companies," or that writers who use them are "self-publishers."

Those companies may be publishing services companies, or author services companies, or even publishers. They are NOT self-publishing companies or self-publishers, and their customers are NOT self-publishers.

A REAL self-publisher is a writer who either does all of the work needed to publish a book, or hires others (such as designers, illustrators and editors) as needed.

A REAL self-publisher makes all of the important decisions.

A REAL self-publisher can get a book to market faster, and probably get a better book, pay less and make more money faster than a writer who uses one of those other companies.

A REAL self-publisher will do more work than a writer who uses one of those other companies, but probably will have more fun and more pride in the finished product.

Those companies provide legitimate services for those who need them, but it's not difficult to become a REAL self-publisher, and the potential rewards are enormous.

I'm now a REAL self-publisher. It's a reaction to my experience with three "traditional" book publishers in the past.

♦ One cheated me.

♦ One tried to cheat me.

♦ One didn't cheat me, but the book that finally came out was so unlike what I had expected it to be, that I was sorry I got involved. I also didn't make much money, and had to wait a long time for the little money that I did get.

♦ The one that did cheat me did such a bad job on the book that I refused to let him put my name on it.

Last fall I established my own publishing company, Silver Sands Books. Three books are selling already.

I'm now working on book #4 and book #5.

Book #4 is about REAL self-publishing

It should be out this Spring.


  1. Good points! Amen.

  2. Then, by your definition; I'm a real/genuine self-publisher. Interesting, I'd never thought of it differently.