Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 21, 2013

Self-Publishing Homework

working on laptopIf you have decided to self- publish, there are lots of things you need to know and consider. Don’t think you get to wiggle out of doing your homework and making a plan on the steps you need to take and things you need to consider.

The biggest mistake writer’s make, is thinking their story is ready after they have finished writing their book. Whether you go the traditional route or want to self-publish, it is always a mistake to run out and seek someone to publish your book after the first draft. You should pat yourself on the back, because you have accomplished something that eludes many writers and you have a right to be excited and proud, but 99% of the time it is not ready for publication. You have just taken step one of the publication process.

So many self-published books could have made money for the author, if only they could take control of that excitement of finishing that first draft.  Even if it is your fourth draft and is the best book ever written, don’t mess it up by accepting a bad contract. There are companies who try to act like real publishers, who will take anybody and any book and offer a contract. The author is elated and jumps at the offer. Don’t do That!

I am convinced these companies do not give any thought as to the quality of the content. Sometimes I wonder if they even take the time to read the books submitted. They offer production, distribution, press release, and design and artwork, but it is all so inferior that even if the first draft of the book was well written and unique, it ends up being so ugly and made from such poor quality paper that no one, other than friends and family would purchase the book. Then they throw on an extremely high price, like $25 for a picture book, which further dooms the sale of the book.

These pretend publishers realize everyone has friends and family and will get those sales and occasionally they might get someone who really promotes their book and sells more than 50 copies.  For all their work these motivated authors end up making maybe a total of $150. When if they had taken their time, did their homework, and made the right choices, they could have put out a good book that people actually read and would have made money for them.

There are so many things to consider and now so many forms of publishing your book. At the beginning of the year, I promised to start including self-publishing in my post. Next week, I will start pointing out steps you need to take, places to consider, and what they bring to the table, new formats and how to make that happen, and how to get your book seen and distributed.

Hope you’ll stop back.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Great post! I’m pretty selective about the self-published books I buy because of this very reason. Rushing a story to publication is a mistake and will cost you in sales and future sales that go with your (author) name.


  2. kathy, thanks so much for including information about self-publishing on your blog. I did go that route for my picture book. It was a thrilling and wonderfully creative experience. Good people were involved at every step. The only thing I don’t care for is the marketing that I must do to get my book “out there”. I continue to write, of course, and plan to submit to traditional publishers. Karen


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