Self Publishing: Yes or No

June 8, 2010 sexyknees
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Judging by the skirt, I'd say this photo is from 2003

This is a tough one.  I am an old-school author from the golden age of:  “Thou art not a published author unless thou hath been accepted by a recognized publishing house”.  Even now, the Author’s Guild will not add you to their ranks unless your publisher is one of the big names such as Simon and Schuster or Penguin.

However, there is a growing movement towards smaller publishing houses as well as self-publishing operations such as Instant Publishing and Xlibris.  Though they may lack the marketing power of the big-league giants, the quality of their work is just as good.  Quite a few of my friends have gone with one option or the other and I was very impressed with the outcome.  The finished product was just as eye-catching as anything from Doubleday and the format as clean as that from Oxford Press.  The down side is that you have to pay self-publishers to print your work and you must do most of your own promoting with small publishing houses.  If you have some seed capital are marketing-savvy, however, you will have no problem adding your book to the shelves of Barnes and Noble or Borders.

When I published my first work I had to go through the process of finding a literary agent whom would then negotiate with the publisher.  The contractual period was lightning-fast only because my book was of critical need at the time.  Should I have tried to publish a different piece, the length of time between completing my book and getting it to the bookstore would have taken forever.  Additionally, both the literary agent and publisher took a piece of my profit, so in the end I was left with very little to take home.  That being said, I truly enjoyed the relationship I shared with my publisher because his house was small and was willing and able to take a hands-on approach to printing and promoting my work – a luxury I would not have had with a larger publisher.

I began the publishing phase of Sexy Knees by taking the normal route and contacted numerous literary agents to represent my work.  The end result was that I have been rejected by all, which is nothing unusual.  I could go directly to a publisher, but then I am left with inadequate legal protection, and this is a risk I’d rather not take.  So, after careful consideration, I have decided to self-publish.  I’ve done this before with another book and had great success.  What I enjoyed the most was the complete freedom when it came to pricing and promotion.  I felt very much the entrepreneur rather than just another cog in a publisher’s wheel.  I have no doubt that a self-published and self-promoted Sexy Knees will be just as successful as a Penguin production.

In  a very circuitous way I am trying to say that self-publishing is not what it used to be.  The negative image of being self-published is changing.  Besides, if you don’t care whether or not you are a recognized published author then so what if you do it yourself?  I believe that if you have something to say and want to share it with the world, get it out there any way you can.  Regarding small publishers, I can personally verify that their work is top-notch, are much more accepting of new authors, and are willing to work with you on your projects.  I highly recommend either option and encourage you to avoid the irritating and depressing search for a literary agent/publisher whom will accept your hard work.  Who are they to tell you that your book isn’t worthy of being published, anyway?

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ky  |  June 8, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    good for you Nikki! i know your book will be a success. you are certianly bringing a different point of view to the world of sex with your book and i think it will catch on quick. once people start reading they will tell their friends (and lovers) and it will catch on like wild-fire! other then your book-release party do you have any plans for promoting your book yet?

    • 2. sexyknees  |  June 10, 2010 at 2:24 am

      I do have a solid promotion plan. It would be a lot more effective with proper funding, but I feel that book signings and small events should get the word out effectively. I do rely on my image to draw attention, so expect to see me in my tiny skirts whenever I am attending Sexy Knees gigs!

  • 3. sostacy  |  June 10, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Absolutely “YES” on the self publishing– A decade ago I would have turned my nose up to this but I tried to be published and spent years trying to get a major publisher to want me — I had a perspective book that I thought many people would read, but my confidence dwindled and second guessing began after each rejection–and eventually I gave up, and was heartbroken so nobody will ever get to see my creation–Dont let that happen to you –Self-Publish proudly because the most important thing was not the idea of being a published author but getting your life story out to all of us interested.

    • 4. sexyknees  |  June 11, 2010 at 2:44 pm

      Thank you, Stacy! Lit agents and publishers have held the key to the literary world for far too long. We might not all be Kipling or Maugham, but what we have to say is just as important. With the gates open to authors of all shapes and sizes, it is important that you let the people know what you have to say whether they listen or not. May your voice forever be heard!

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