Recently, more writers than ever have been choosing to self-publish their novels and memoirs. Dramatic changes in the publishing industry have allowed self-publishing to overcome its former stigma and become one of the most popular ways for authors to achieve their writing goals. But before you choose this path, it’s important to make sure that self-publishing is the right choice for your book. This quick quiz from Self-Publishing Relief will help you find the answer!
Your book is a:
a) Chapbook or poetry collection
b) Short story or essay collection
c) Conventional novel or memoir
You’d describe the genre of your book as:
a) A niche genre with a very specific audience
b) Not typical, but with crossover appeal
c) Fairly mainstream, with mass appeal
Your book’s word count is:
a) Much longer or shorter than average
b) Slightly shorter or longer than average, but not by much
c) Right around the average length for the genre
When you think about handing control of your book’s formatting and design over to someone else, you:
a) Shudder at the thought! You know exactly how you want your book to look
b) Would prefer to maintain some control, although you welcome input
c) Don’t mind leaving decisions up to someone else
For pricing your book (and determining royalties), you would prefer:
a) To set your own price and know that the money is coming directly to you
b) To have some control over your pricing, but also consider advice from others
c) To let someone else figure out the pricing and royalties
Your target market is:
a) A very small, limited audience
b) Fans of a specific genre
If you chose:
Self-publishing is definitely the way to go! Your book may not have the mainstream appeal that agents are looking for. Choosing to self-publish will allow you to target and appeal to a niche group of readers and give you control over the look and design of your book. But self-publishing doesn’t have to be a “do it yourself” job—the experts at Self-Publishing Relief can help you navigate every step of the process!
While you may have success going with a traditional publishing house, agent, or small press, you might also want to consider self-publishing if your query responses start to get stagnant. Self-publishing will also give you more control over important decisions about your book’s cover and ensure that all royalties are paid directly to you. While self-publishing can be demanding, many writers find that the freedom is well worth the effort!
Your book is more likely to appeal to literary agents and publishers, so you may have some success if you try going the traditional publishing route! Of course, many writers choose to self-publish even if their books have mainstream appeal, simply because they prefer to retain all the rights to their work. Nowadays, more writers want to have a say in every aspect of their books’ publication, instead of deferring to the publishing house’s decisions. Self-publishing might still be right for you yet!
QUESTION: How did you, or will you, decide if self-publishing was right for you?
I self-published the first time because the niche publisher I was actually aiming the book toward claimed they didn’t do “beginner” books (I’ve read a book or two from them that I would consider “more beginner” than mine). So I put it on CreateSpace. Now, most of what I’m working on is aimed at CreateSpace by default, because I can start getting a return a month after I finish it, rather than waiting three months just to find out they don’t even want to see the manuscript. And it’s actually easier for me to create the books at press-ready level than to “downgrade” them to standard manuscript format. (I tried writing a manuscript for a publisher than wanted three different kinds of sidebars and a glossary all in the main text stream. I was actually a little glad when they changed publishing directions and dropped the book. Fortunately before I got too far on it.) Nothing like having a thought pick up three pages later because you’ve got two double-spaced sidebars in between. (That’s just far enough for your word processor to switch from “slow scroll” to “fast scroll,” so you spend several minutes trying to get to the spot you want.
I’d rather go for traditional publishing route for I got mostly C’s here.
yeah but what if I am 50-50 A and C?
Thanks, Ronnie. You always provide thought provoking questions.
I have self published nine books to date, and have two more in process. Two are poetry, three are health related, one is a small town set of columns, two are multiple essays on public education, one is murder mystery, and one is a mild mystery with elderly characters. My writing ‘genre’ is all over the place, to say the least.
When I started writing, I did submit some poetry to magazines, but had little to no response and no publication. I haven’t submit any of the other genres, as I’m just dabbling in those, trying to see what I can accomplish.
Thanks for keeping me interested in publishing!
Thanks. Can’t decide, but have to finish my book first. About half done.
I am half B’s and half C’s. I think though as a beginner I should go the self publishing route. Get something published and I won’t be a beginner.
Thanks Ronny, I think I am going to go for self publishing.
The first book was self published because I wanted it in print NOW, not after rejection letters weighed more than the book. Unfortunately, I picked a company to do the printing, but was no help at all with marketing, and it set the price out of the usual price for paperbacks. I’ll do it again, but it will be with an ebook version that I can sell in the low end of the market and actually sell some books rather than having a bunch of books priced at the high end that don’t sell. They sell through an online bookstore so I’ll have many readers at least look at it.
I enjoyed reading the comments of everyone selfpublishing sounds great.
Very useful quiz! Thanks!