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How Not To Look Self Published

By all means, leap, but look first. By all means, leap, but look first.

I know sometimes the lot of us who are indie publishing sound like a deranged chorus of school children going “come on in, the water is fine.”

However, as you must have heard once or twice, you shouldn’t jump off a bridge just because all your friends are doing it. Or at least you shouldn’t leap before you look.

Here are a few things I wish I’d known when I started off. Mind you, I didn’t make as many mistakes as I might have, but I still made plenty.

I will give you some resources to check on for indie publishing, in a supplemental post (and I’m sorry I’m behind with those, but I caught the stupid flu) later on, but meanwhile here are some basic things.

While indie publishing lumps together micro presses, some small presses and self-publishing, what we’re going to be talking about here is mostly self-publishing. Or rather, how to not self-publish while self-publishing.

Confused? Don’t be. I’ll explain.

This post will mostly cover forms of self-publishing because the process to submit to micro and small presses is largely the same as to submit to traditional publishers. The advantage versus disadvantage calculations in small vs. large publisher is something you’ll have to do on your own, depending on the self-publisher and what you’re doing. Some small publishers are much better at giving you personal attention, some worse; some are very exacting with their accounting, and some… aren’t. (Then again the same could be said for some larger publishers.)

However, when you self-publish, it doesn’t mean you just throw your work on Amazon under your own name with no publisher.

You can do that of course. The fact that you can do that is one of the beautiful things about the time we live in.

However, even though in publishing circles themselves, and where no one has anything invested in dissuading you from self-publishing (as most traditional publishers do) the stigma associated with self-publishing is mostly a thing of the past – the general public doesn’t necessarily do this.

It is hard for those of us on the inside, seeing how fast the publishing landscape has changed these last four years, and being aware that some people have made fortunes by self-publishing, to realize that most of the reading public isn’t aware of this sea-change.