5 Reasons I Self-pub

by sjbgilmour

My platform is growing.  As it does, and I get more reviews, I’m also getting asked to do a few interviews on blogs.  One question I’ve been asked in various forms, and I’m sure I’ll continue to be asked, is why do I self-pub?

The answer involves lots of points:

  1. I got fed up waiting for the whole query/submission process to grind through its motions, only to get no response or rejections.  (I have four rejection letters I now keep in a file above my desk.  They were for Golden Mane.  I didn’t bother submitting Renegades or Kitchen.)
  2. I believe that while traditional publishing will continue to have a market presence, it’s no longer the only option for writers who wish to be taken seriously.  I was urged to do it myself for a good two years before I did eventually self-pub. I waited until I heard the dogs barking about the gatekeepers falling and began seeing self-pubbed writers being lauded alongside their trad-pubbed contemporaries.
  3. Time.  Once I’m happy with my book, I can pub it in ten minutes.  One of my new favourite authors has to wait until next September for her publisher to release her next work.  That’s appalling.
  4. Money.  I’m not paying an agent and  I’m getting more per book than any trad-pubber would pay me.  If my work is good enough, (and judging by the reviews I’m getting, which are good and coming in more frequently now), and I think it is, if a trad-pubber was interested, and if I decide to go down that route (as you can tell by this post, there will be a lot of deal-breakers for me before I ever sign anything), I sure as hell won’t need to pay an agent 15% of my cut.  That said, as my sales increase, there’s now a very real possibility that sometime in the foreseeable future, I’ll be able to ditch the day-job and write full-time.  Once that happens, there won’t any discussion.  I’ll keep self-pubbing and only consider the trad-pub route if there are a fucking lot of zeroes after the $ symbol on the offer.
  5. Control.  I control how my book looks.  Another author I like once tweeted she wept when she saw the cover for one of her books.  I’m not going to have that happen to me.  I also decide what goes and what stays as far as content and style.  Granted all writers need editors — something I believe in most firmly — I’m not going to have someone else tell me how to tell my story.   Also, I have almost complete (Amazon does keep some secrets) live access to all my sales information.

Now these five reasons are the main points.  I should also point out that having worked in the publishing industry many years ago, and having witnessed the arrogance of publishers and the disdain with which they view writers, I have a pretty dim view of them.  I’m sure the industry (and its attitudes) will change.  It has to.  When it does, my attitude towards it will change also.  But until then; schadenfreude.  The gatekeepers are falling and it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of bastards.