Top 10 Reasons …To Self-Publish

This blog entry was found on Nathan Wrann’s website by David Price.

Top 10 Reasons …To Self-Publish

by Nathan Wrann

Nathan Wrann at Rock & Shock 2011 (photo by Kristi Petersen Schoonover)

First some housekeeping before I get into the meat of this blog:
**I recently started a tumblog for those times that I want to put a quick link, pic or vid out there. So make sure to follow me there. This wordpress blog will still be for my long-winded diatribes.
**There’s a Dark Matter Heart Facebook page now too.
**Dark Matter Heart is now available at iTunes for iPad etc: http://bit.ly/DMHitunes

Now, about that title up there. I had to shorten it. The full title of this blog is:

“Top 10 Reasons That I Decided To Self-Publish.”

Almost immediately after announcing Dalton Gang Press and DARK MATTER HEART the same question kept being asked of me: “Why did you decide to self-publish?” So I’ll use this forum to answer that question. Here are my top reasons why:

10) I’m lazy. I didn’t want to spend the amount of time and effort it would take to try to get an agent or publisher to like my work enough to work for me. The thought of formatting an e-book, designing a print book, designing a cover, and spending countless hours getting the word out to potential readers that the book actually exists is more appealing to me than writing a single query letter.

09) I’m impatient. I wrote my book. It’s done. There’s no way in hell I want to wait 2 or 3 years for a publisher to put it out. I’d rather take 2 to 3 years to build up sales for Dark Matter Heart.

08) I’m not good at asking permission. I’m not all that into asking (begging/pleading) someone (an agent/publisher) to read my work and publish it for me.
To lift a phrase from Jason Brubaker’s Filmmaking Stuff website, the old way of book publishing is “asking permission” for someone to put your book out for you. I don’t need to ask, I can just do. Why ask a half-dozen people (agents/publishers) to read your work when you can ask millions of people (customers/readers), simply by making it available and enticing them to read it.

07) I’m ‘hands on‘. I’d have trouble letting someone else design my covers, and do all that other stuff that publishers are supposed to do. That’s not to say that they would make a bad cover or that my covers are the best for my books, but that is to say, that I like to do that stuff. Like making promotional pins.

06) I’m greedy, possessive and I don’t like to share. It’s tough seeing my movie “Hunting Season” out there handled by someone else and only getting a cut of the proceeds. Do I appreciate Gravitas and Bosko Group’s efforts in getting the movie out there and available? Sure. Do they get it to an audience that I probably wouldn’t be able to reach? Sure. Does it suck that I can’t do whatever I want, whenever I want with my own movie? Hell yes. I want to be able to do whatever I want with my books. Like release a special edition of Dark Matter Heart that includes the original screenplay that it’s based on.

05) I don’t want to be pigeonholed. If you’ve seen my movies you know that I don’t do the same thing over and over. Yes, I will be putting out a second Cor Griffin Novel, but I’ve also got some hardcore horror stuff to put out, and some sci-fi to put out, and some dramatic stuff. I have a lot of different stories in a lot of different genres and styles. Signing with a publishing house would probably mean that I would have to stick with YA Paranormal. Without diversion. For at least a little time. Maybe that’s not true, but I believe it to be.

04) Here’s a quote from my pal Joshua Jabcuga: “You did it on your own terms. That’s art in its purest form, in my opinion. Fuck compromise.” I agree. Getting published means getting edited. Which means compromised for the purpose of marketability. Maybe that’s good for the book. Maybe that’s good for the story. I don’t know. All I know is that the book and story that is out there is exactly the one that I wanted to put out. Writing isn’t collaborative like filmmaking is (unless something is co-written). It doesn’t necessarily improve with more cooks in the kitchen.

03) Have you read J.A.Konrath’s blog? It’s a very convincing fantasy site about the gazillions of dollars a self-published author can make.

02) Have you read Dean Wesley Smith’s blog? It’s a realistic approach to the hard work and time that goes into building a self-publishing business.

01) To quote my pal Josh Jabcuga again: “Cor Griffin is proof-positive that the best investment you can make is an investment in yourself.” or as I’ve said in the past: “If I’m going to bet, I’m going to bet on myself.”

So that’s it. I’m sure these are the same reasons J.K. Rowling is self-publishing the Potter e-books. Let’s discuss.

2 comments on “Top 10 Reasons …To Self-Publish

  1. This post is definitely food for thought. I used to think that self-publishing was only for narcissists. This was before I decided to print a couple copies of my novel off Lulu for my best friend’s birthday. When I received them in the mail, they were like a real book, and then I thought to myself “My book IS a real book…” and that got me thinking about all the shit that is printed by big publishers every year, and if I put my POD book next to one of theirs, the only difference would be that mine is better written than a quarter of what is pushed through the YA markets. And I’m being generous there.

    I’m still querying agents and small press publishers, but the idea of self-publishing my novel is becoming more and more appealing, especially so since JK Rowling announced she will self-pub the HP ebooks, and then I see that Diane Duane is following suit with her Young Wizards series. And why shouldn’t they? Then it begs the question, why shouldn’t anyone? Publishers are making themselves more and more irrelevant when they make editing a practice of the past, give new authors no promotional budget and offer zero support for backlists. This isn’t every publisher, I realize this.

    Like a friend of mine said “It’s the wild West out there.” Writers are taking their careers into their own hands, which I find exciting. I see a future where self-publishing is just as well respected as indie films. Most books will be left in obscurity, but there will be quite a few that will break out and find a broad audience. Books that big publishing wont take a risk on will have a chance to see daylight, and I find that encouraging, uplifting, inspiring.

    -Cat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s