Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Writer Wednesday

Since I've had some modicum of success self-publishing, I been getting a lot of questions from aspiring writers and writers who want to e-publish their existing books. In the fifteen months since I’ve published on Kindle and Nook, there are several questions that I am asked over and over again. I love helping my writer peeps, but sending individual e-mails and Facebook messages can become pretty time intensive. As a result, I’ve decided to do a series on my blog, so I can direct people here.

Starting today, every Wednesday will be Writer Wednesday. Today I’ll start with the question I am asked most often:

What is the benefit in direct electronic-publishing as opposed to traditional publishing?

Of course there are the obvious reasons, like 1) having total control over your product; the ability to write what you want; 2) no submitting to agents/editors; 3) no waiting for 12-18 months for your book to hit the shelves; 4) no cost to e-publish other than what you shell out for editing and to have your covers created; 5) no need to do signings or deal with bookstores; and most importantly making 35% or 65-80% royalties paid monthly versus 6-25% paid quarterly or twice a year.

But there’s also the matter of respect. After years of being “beaten up” by constant rejection from the traditional publishing industry, I had begun to feel as if I just wasn’t good enough. The thousands of readers who have purchased my e-books have shown me that Big Publishing was WRONG!

Author John Locke, puts it this way:

“For many years self-published authors have been forced to fight in the traditional arena, a place where we had almost no chance of competing, much less winning. Add to that the stigma self-published authors face that no other business on earth imposes. The general public has been conditioned to believe if you’re self-published your books don’t measure up. And, the media have done all they could to hammer that message home.

The phrase “vanity publishing” was almost certainly invented by traditional publishers year ago in order to squash the competition from entrepreneurial authors.

It worked.

By ridiculing and publicly shaming self-published authors for daring to invest in their own talents and abilities, publishing houses were able to elevate themselves to god-like status. What they’re saying, when an author believes in his abilities to the extent he’s willing to invest his own money to publish a novel, he’s writing purely for his vanity!

I have to give credit to the geniuses that came up with this hogwash, because publishing is the only business in the world that has managed to make such a ridiculous notion seem plausible.

When I invested my own money to start my insurance agency no one accused me of make a vanity investment. When I invested my own money to buy a life insurance company no one called it a vanity investment. When I paid cash for my first office building to lease it out for a profit, no one accused me of making a vanity investment. When Bill Gates and Paul Allen invested their time and money into developing code for the Altair computer, no one accused them of writing vanity code.

But if Bill Gates and Paul Allen invest their own money to write a book, they’re no longer businessmen, they’re vain! And any company that charges them to publish that book is catering to their vanity! How absurd is that?

It’s laughable. And those who perpetuate the notion are going to be forced to re-think that premise.

Many years ago the publishing industry managed to crush and humiliate men and women who dreamed of writing and selling their books to the public. They created the false impression that the only standard of quality writing is for someone else to invest in your startup in return for a percentage of future profits. You might as well claim I’m less of an investor because I don’t ask other people to fund my real estate investments! How is it that self-publishing is the only business where self-funding is considered undignified?

Enter eBooks and ePublishing. EBooks allow a guy like me an opportunity to level the playing field.”
How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months!

(from How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months by John Locke –

Next, I’ll address the other questions: Where do you publish your books, and what’s the difference between the retailers? You can read that post here:


Delaney Diamond said...

Chicki, thanks for all the help you've provided to me as I moved toward self-publishing! Even though I've successfully published one book, I know there's more I have to learn. I'm looking forward to Writer Wednesday. Best wishes!

Tonya Kappes said...

Oh, Chicki!! I completely agree with you! I've been beaten up for years too and also found publishing success that I'm thrilled about! I've sold close to 8k books in less than five months. I even started a website The Writer's Guide To Epublishing
with two other Indie authors where we wanted to help fellow Indie authors by giving back the knowledge that has and hasn't worked for us. Since our site launch on January 1, 2011 we are getting over 1million page views a month!!! Now if that isn't telling the traditional publishing world something!

Chicki said...

Delaney, I'm so glad I've been able to help you. That's what makes being an author worthwhile. This is just the first of many successes for you. As time goes on, you'll be surprised at how little you'll begin to care about submitting to editors and agents ... :)

Tanya, you're doing an incredible job with your sales and with WG2E! It's one of the sites I recommend to everyone that contacts me asking questions about e-pubbing. Keep up the good work!

Monique DeVere said...

Thanks for the post, Chicki. Your help is invaluable. You're the best!


Eileen Schuh: said...

Right on! This certainly does go hand-in-hand with my article on self-publishing. Some great points and awesome quotes.

Liz Grace Davis said...

I love love love that book. I'm also so happy to be self published.

Jackie Hawkins said...

I never thought about it that way, but you are certainly right! I published via Createspace. At first, when friends asked me how I did it, I mumbled a lot, and made excuses. Thank you so much for giving our craft the validity that it certainly deserves!