Monday, January 25, 2010

Authors, Self-Publishers: Roundtable, Part 3

Happy Monday!

Thanks for joining in on this 3rd part of the Self-Publishing Roundtable. I hope you're finding our guests' answers as fascinating as I am!


Liberty Speidel: What reasons would you give to self-publish?

Victor Travison: A quick and relatively easy way to get a book out to the public. One also has to maintain as strong an Internet presence as possible to promote it. I developed my own website,, and I signed on with Facebook and Twitter.

Tommie Lyn: If you are willing to invest the time and energy to producing a stellar product, and if you, like me, want to have ultimate control over what happens to your work, self-publishing may be right for you.

Lee Adams: I would never dissuade anyone from self-publishing. Guerilla art (all of it) is pure and raw and visceral. Might suck, but it’s authentic. If I signed a big book deal tomorrow, I would still want to manufacture the books myself, from cover design to the back-cover blurb.   

P.A. Hendrickson: You should self-publish if...
•    You like to control your creative works, and want full ownership of your book's copyright.
•    You enjoy making sure all the details surrounding the creation and publishing of your book are done right.
•    You want to get your work in front of the reading public sooner than later.
•    You want to make a higher royalty per book.

LS:  What advantages and disadvantages would you say you faced in choosing to go the self-publishing route?

VT: I considered the self-pub route for a very long time before I finally went ahead with it. I read the warnings, the pros and cons I found at, among other sites. And yes, this includes what I mentioned before. I also considered making Savage Worlds an e-book. When the opportunity came to participate in Nanowrimo 2008, with the offer from CreateSpace, I decided to go ahead and see what happens.

TL: The advantages for me were that, first of all, I’d always been good with English grammar and spelling; second, I’d worked in graphic design for a number of years; third, I was comfortable with using the computer in design and layout as well as for uploading to the printer.

Another advantage is (I hate to sound crass and materialistic) the monetary reward. Fewer and fewer publishers are offering advances these days. All too often, the author receives only royalties, period. And if you ever do a breakdown on how much the author receives on the sale of a book, if you ever see just how small the pittance is, well, let me say I was shocked. All that work writing, polishing, then all the work and outlay of cash out of your own pocket to promote your book, and all you receive in return is, at most, a couple of dollars per just didn’t seem worth it.

One of the main disadvantages for me was the automatic prejudice and disregard I received from other writers. But I can live with that, because the rewards are so much greater than if I’d chosen to still be sitting at my desk researching agents and publishers and mailing out query packages, LOL.

LA: Advantages: Your vision is realized.
Disadvantages: Only about thirty people get to enjoy it.

PAH: The significant advantages of self-publishing include, but are not limited to, ownership of the copyright, full creative control, higher per book royalty, and unlimited "shelf" time.

The greatest disadvantages of self publishing are the lack of exposure one can receive from a major publishing house, and the loss of enormous blocks of time required to market one's own work.


Tommie Lyn is the author of several books, including ...And Night Falls, Scribbles, and On Berryhill Road. Her website is

Until next time,


T. Anne said...

Nice. Great practical breakdown on self publishing. It is there for a reason.

Liberty Speidel said...

Thanks, T. Anne! I hope you've found the whole series enjoyable. One more part to go before the series ends!

K.M. Weiland said...

I read and enjoyed Scribbles last year. Tommie Lyn did a good job!

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