Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Self Publishing

Monday night I ventured into Roanoke, husband in tow, to go to the Roanoke City Main Library for a talk. The event was sponsored by Valley Writers, which is a group of writers I probably should belong to but don't.

The talk was on "The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing." Becky Mushko, whose blog is the Peevish Pen, sort of emceed the event.

Becky has self-published a number of books, a couple of which I have here on my shelf. She is a good writer.

Anyway, the things discussed included real self-publishing, which involves using a printer and everything, and vanity or digital printing, also known as print-on-demand.

I wanted my husband to hear this talk so he would know what I might be getting into if I end up self publishing something.

Mostly he is concerned with numbers, as in dollars, and how much it would cost and what kind of profit you stand to make on a book.

Essentially it's a deal. If you spend a $1,000 you stand to get that as a return plus an additional $1,000. The trick, of course, is selling the books. That's always the hard part.

The other speakers were Jim Morrison, who has written and self-published a history book, Rodney Franklin, who has self-published a memoir, and Sally Roseveare, who has self-published fiction that is set at Smith Mountain Lake.

Print on demand seems like a logical way to go - less up front costs and decisions to make, for one thing.

The downfall to any of this is no editing, no promotion, and no upfront money. You have to do it all.

It was a very good talk and I will certainly ponder the information in the days and months to come as I try to steer my life in a new and exciting direction.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful, new path to take!

  2. Wishing you luck! A new venture.. how exciting for you Dew.

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  3. I actually did make money on The Jim and Dan Stories but I invested it back into a book of poetry and essays and that didn't do as well but I didn't lose money and I've had a great and fulfilling experience. The publisher/printer I used is gone now. She would print as little as 300 at a time and it was a better buy than print on demand. Check out Carmen (above my name on the TT roll call). She just self-published and she seems to be a dynamo on marketing.

  4. The last issue of Writers Digest had a good article on this topic too. If you can't locate a copy, let me know. I still have mine that you can borrow. I just spoke with Becky and she said she was amazed at the turnout. Glad ya'll had a good time!

  5. Yeah, yeah! I can make you a web site with a shopping cart and advertising!


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