Why I Won’t Be Self-Publishing (and Maybe Why You Shouldn’t Either)

I don’t know a lot of people. But I do get a lot of questions from them:

“Do you ski?” (If you give me skis, yes.)

“What do you do for Apple?” (Not going to say.)

“What was Iceland like?” (Cool. Literally.)

And since I’ve kicked my book back into gear, some people have asked, “Hey, will you go with self-publishing?” And the answer to that is no. Here’s why:

800px-Hoe's_six-cylinder_press

“People won’t be able to get enough of my ‘Goku meets Monster Rancher’ fanfic saga!”


It’s not that self-publishing isn’t a good fit for me.

It’s that I am not a good fit for self-publishing. Me. Myself.

Here’s the thing about self-pubbing: it works when you already have an audience, friends, a large crowd of people drawn to you. To your personality. To your good looks.

Where you can post that you went shopping and bag a grizillion Facebook likes, or fart an inanity on Twitter for infinite retweets, or best yet, post your boobs on Instagram and earn a million new followers by magic.

So your slashfic is some monstrosity of a run-on sentence with nary a variance in sentence structure? Doesn’t matter: if people like you — they will love your work.


I know what I’m about, son – it’s none of the above. I’m not a popular person. I’m a crank dyspeptic and curmudgeonly millennial. I’m far from internet famous, nor am I a social media guru — unless I post pics of my baby daughter, who is doing wonders for my brand.

But I know I write reasonably well, so there’s that. And I’ve found that those who know me least seem to enjoy my writing best. There’s a thought. And there’s a crowd that won’t be reached by me marketing “me.”

Thus the reason I’ve decided against self-publishing: my self. 

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6 thoughts on “Why I Won’t Be Self-Publishing (and Maybe Why You Shouldn’t Either)

  1. There’s one exception–if you can manage to write on a niche that is horribly unsatisfied. With a little SEO and an Amazon.com account, you could probably launch a niche book out of obscurity even as deep as yours.

    1. That’s an interesting point. Of course, it’s not that the niches aren’t there — it’s the challenge of depth.

      Or, hey, maybe it’s about satisfying a plenitude of niches, from prehistoric legal thrillers to Ancient Greek YA tragedy.

  2. “Here’s the thing about self-pubbing: it works when you already have an audience, friends, a large crowd of people drawn to you. To your personality. To your good looks.” Have to disagree. From my small corner of the writing world, what I see is that self-publishing works *best* for those who are unknown. And it’s very often the *only* publishing path available to the unknown writer.

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