I read articles on self-publishing, but would like to know how difficult it is to self-publish. I understand you're responsible for everything, but it can be done. What was your experience with self-publishing?
What is your experience with self-publishing?(6 posts) (3 voices)
My experiences with self-publishing have been positive. I self-published my first Beijing travel guide in 1996, and have now gone on to bigger and better self-publishing projects. I really like the freedom involved to do what I want, and that I maintain control over what I do. That is very important to me. It is a lot of work, but I think worth it. If you have specific questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for the information. Perhaps I'll give self-publishing a try in 2010!
I have self-published my first two books (one in 2007 and one in 2008) and have really enjoyed the experience.
My books are local history books, so once they were printed I did the distribution to the shops myself. It was fun to have the personal contact with the shop owners, but at first also a bit scary to go around the shops and get them to stock your book.
Obviously it was easier to pitch my second book, because by then the owners knew me and had no second thoughts about ordering the new book.
The biggest problem self-publishing gave me, was the financing of it all. If you don't have independent funds or sponsors, you need to borrow the money for the printing, which can be a bit of a gamble.
Also finding the space for 3000, as yet, unsold books can be a bit of a challenge.
Even so, it was a very good experience and I would do it again if I had a book for a local market. Self-publishing for a national or international market would be too complicated, I think.
Good point on financing. I forgot about that part I'll look into it and see if I can raise the money. Perhaps I can find a couple of investors to back me!
At first I tried to get my book published via the normal channels and sent my manuscripts to loads of publishers, never to be accepted by any of them.
Determined to get my book in bookshops, I then decided to self-publish and realised I had to look for ways to finance the printing.
I don't want to put you off investors, but I tried to find investors and never got very far. I sent loads of letters to prospective investors adding sample chapters and plans for distribution etc. I never heard back from any of them.
My books were for the local market, so I applied for local grants. Also never heard back.
I thought of have ads in the back of the book, but for some reason that idea never materialised.
After almost two years of rejection my parents and a friend felt sorry for me and lent me the money, which was a huge gamble. If the book didn't take off and wouldn't sell, I would never be able to pay them back.
But I took the risk and had 3000 books printed. Luckily the book sold well and I was soon able to pay the friend back.
My parents told me not to pay them back as yet, but save the money up to publish the second book. 1000 copies were printed of the second book.
My first book has been in the shops now for just over 2 years and my second book one year and 5 months. I now have paid my parents back for over half of what they lent me.
When all the books are sold I will have paid them back and will have earned a little bit of pocket money on the side. (Pocket money being the important word here. Don't expect to get rich.)
I think you need a certain amount of luck for self-publishing. I hope you will get that luck, because the whole process of publishing your own book is lots of fun.
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