We have read many stories about authors jumping to the self-publishing world or becoming hybrid authors by self-publishing backlists or short stories that don’t fit into their traditionally published works.
Author Peter David is going in the opposite direction, he wrote on a blog. He’s decided to publish his next novel ARTFUL: Being the Heretofore Secret History of that Unique Individual, The Artful Dodger, Hunter of Vampyres (Amongst Other Things) through Amazon Books.
Despite having Crazy 8 Press, a place he and other writers can publish their own books, David is going back to a bigger company for one simple reason:
It’s because they pay me. Amazon forks over money in advance. And not only does that not happen with Crazy 8, but even when the books get out there, my readers are slow to pick them up.
David brings up an interesting point. Are authors making money by going the self-publishing route? Sure, but how much money? In David’s case the work wasn’t worth the effort because his books weren’t being purchased at a frequency that allowed him to have a sufficient living it seems. David says: “I’ll get monthly royalty statements that wouldn’t buy a bag of groceries.”
So here is the truth that maybe some people don’t realize: Self-publishing is not for everyone.
It sounds great on the outside, you get to keep a bigger percentage of the sales, you get payments every month and you get to track your own sales, which is important to market research. However, you also have to hire a good editor, do your own cover art (or hire someone to do it) and market your own book.
Essentially, you have to wear at least half dozen hats before you get to put the writing hat back on.
You can tell by the post and the comments that David and his colleagues put a lot of work into Crazy 8 Press. They had a lot of ideas. However, I feel this story is more common than the ones where self-publishers are making so much money they get to quit their day job.
There are THOUSANDS of e-books out there from indie authors. But only a handful you know by name.
When trying to figure out the path you want to take, it’s important to look at both sides. I understand some people not might have a choice because they cannot get a publisher. However, consider all the options while you have them.