From Roger Simon:
After a dozen traditionally published books (ten fiction, two non-fiction), for the first time, I am self-publishing my new novel.
. . . .
Why am I self-publishing? Aside from the obvious publishing world bias against anyone to the right of Trotsky (this is particularly true for fiction; there are several good conservative venues for non-fiction), I have real reasons for having decided, after all these years and books, to self-publish. And not just because it’s clearly the wave of the future.
I believe in free markets and self-publishing is entrepreneurial. You get a greater hand in your own creative destiny, even if it’s more of a gamble.
The author foregoes a publisher’s advance for a significantly larger piece of the revenue pie and control of production, pricing, and marketing. Of course, that means paying for everything yourself from the cover design to formatting to ads.
Speaking of which, I recall asking (begging) publishers for ads on more than one occasion and being told: “Ads don’t sell books.” When I replied, “But what about using my [in those cases stellar] reviews?” I was informed, “Reviews don’t sell books.” Then I queried, “What sells books?” Silence.
Enough of that. I’ll make that call for myself from now on, thank you.
Surprisingly, and more importantly, self-publishing tends to make the book itself better — at least it did for me. How’s that? Don’t publishers have editors? Yes, and often good ones, but they don’t, in the end, hold a candle to the “beta readers” you assemble when self-publishing.
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At a publishing house, you’re lucky to have three or four people actually read your book before it’s published, not counting the marketing folks who often just look at the blurb. (Also re: marketers/publicists, well-intentioned though they may be, what they typically do is ask you whom you know and then they, the publicists, reach out to them for reviews, interviews, etc., something you could do just as easily and — if you have the moxie — more effectively for yourself.)
By the time I finished my final version of The GOAT, I had had close to two dozen of these beta readers. They came from all walks of life — from real estate brokers to tennis partners — not just literary types.
The betas were real readers in the consumer sense and their feedback was invaluable, although occasionally painful, to me. They pushed me and helped me make the book better. I owe it to them that I now believe The GOAT my best and most perfected book.
Link to the rest at Roger Simon