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Self-Publish? Don’t Even Think About It

A cottage industry—or really not so “cottage-y” anymore—has been built around dispensing advice to would-be authors on how to self-publish their book(s). How-to-guides, blogs and website services, and weekend-long conferences are devoted to eschewing the traditional method of publishing and teaching folks to do it themselves.

What you’ll rarely hear at one of those publishing DIY events? Why you shouldn’t self-publish.

All that skill you have as a writer? It means exactly jack when it comes to publishing. Publishing is a business, and business is about money. Artists are notoriously bad at business. You want to get your art, your story, out there? Good for you. But if that’s your object, you probably shouldn’t self-publish because it probably won’t get out there.

Or so says blogger deanfortythree, who often writes and rants about this topic (all emphasis his). His blog post, “Why You Shouldn’t Self-Publish,” lists six reasons why self-publishing is a bad idea.

Feeling dissuaded? Don’t send off that agent query just yet. Because deanfortythree followed that post up with—you guessed it— “Why You Should Self-Publish.”

Number five? “You define success.”

And maybe that’s something both self-published and traditionally published authors can agree on. Every author must define success for him or herself so as not to let our perceived lack of success—or our greatest accomplishments, for that matter—be defined by others.


  1. good post….the window that has opened now for people to self-publ. can be a great oppt’y OR it can be a treacherous road…fortunately for me, my self-publ. journey has been terrific and profitable…to me, it was rather simple and my work would NEVER have seen the light of day NOR my wallet received the proceeds if I had waited for normal publishing route…. don’t forget that any new writer, should they even be fortunate to GET a publishing deal (which is looooong odds) still needs to be a wiz at self-promo, book tours, soc. media, etc. b/cs the publishers can ill afford to provide $ support for marketing and support…. which, in the end, is exactly what us self-publ’d folks have to do also

    Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink
  2. Thanks for the links, and glad you enjoyed the posts!

    I wrote them for exactly that reason- no one really talks about the hardships of it with any real clarity. The best part were the comments- I am full of it, don’t know what I’m talking about, blah blah blah. But those same people were strangely silent when I gave reasons TO self-publish.

    I (obviously) have no problem with self-publishing, but I have a major problem with those that want to whitewash it as god’s gift to the publishing industry.

    I think, really, self-publishing is not sustainable. The average reader does not want to read slush. They want something that they know has been vetted and they will enjoy. There is middle ground to be had, but so many people are drawing lines over territory that doesn’t matter.

    Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

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