Self Publishing = Bad Idea

Book critic David Montgomery weighs in on the self-publishing debate.  His bottom line? Save your money.

The problem with self-publishing is that the resulting product will
have no credibility and no exposure — and very little chance of ever
obtaining either. Everyone will know that the only way you were able to
get your book published was to pay someone to do it, and they will
judge your work accordingly. (In that sense, I think it’s even worse
than having no book at all.)

6 thoughts on “Self Publishing = Bad Idea”

  1. If you self publish you have to market your own work. If you are willing to self publish you need to be willing to go to barns and noble and get them to stock your book. To do book readings. ect. ect. It’s hard work but rewarding. And offers you more exposure than a rejection letter.
    “Everyone will know that the only way you were able to get your book published was to pay someone to do it, and they will judge your work accordingly.”
    There are EZ ways to get around people knowing it’s self published. There are simple ways for getting people to understand that self publication doesn’t = anything, certainly it shouldn’t hold negative conotations. Does the writer honestly believe that Randomhouse & other publishing houses don’t turn down books that deserve readership?
    It’s all about marketing. Make the book and market it.

  2. Finishing work on a book on Adaptogen Herbs. Have been rejected by dozens of publishing houses as this type of book does not “fit” their profile or that it is too esoteric. I have exhausted my options, even had a literary agent work for me. Again all dead ends. So do I keep my masterpiece locked up in my harddrive? Heck no. Will self-publish and publishers like Xlibris will help market it with me. Plus I will probably come out ahead with self publishing (as I will be in control of my work) than to sign the dotted line with a publishing house where I hear from other writers (non-famous) that they are in the hole so to speak.

  3. Self-publishing can sometimes make more sense for nonfiction than for fiction. For example, people who give seminars and sell related books at high prices from a table at the back of the hall have been known to turn a profit with it. If you expect something like this to be your primary sales venue, and you have a sensible business plan, sure, that can be smart.
    Fiction writers… maybe not so smart.

  4. I agree with Keith. I think self-publishing can make sense for non-fiction work, classroom materials, seminar texts, etc. But I wouldn’t put much faith in xlibris’ claims that they will help you promote or market your book (nor would I recommend paying for one of their marketing & promotion packages). The fact is, you will be 100% responsible for all marketing and promotion — that is one of the realities of self-publishing.

  5. Yeah all they’ll do is sell you bookmarks. I took inventory today of my two nonfiction books. $47 in five years for the first with a 0 cost, and $10 for the second. The only plan you’ll have is to buy them yourself and repeddle. Not a pretty picture based on those who’ve tried it.


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