Self-Publishing, Part 3: The Quickie Pros (Post 7)

Writing this series of posts has been great for me.  I hope it’s giving you all something too.  For me, writing is nothing, if not getting my head organized on paper.  So, along those lines, I’m going to list my pros for self-publishing your work.  (Mainly, I mean in book form, but it does apply to other things as well – music, for example)  I am also going to write these pros as fast as I can.  Try and think of this pros list like that game that psychologists play – word association.  I say, “piggy” and you say, “Bill.”  We can only assume the biggest pig in your life was Bill.  I say, “gift” and you say, “Hubby” or “my singing voice,” you get the drift.  This list will be like that only centered around self-publishing and offered up using the knee-jerk part of my brain.




money:  As far as I can tell, Amazon will give you 70% of any sale over $2.99 when you sell your book online with them.  I believe if you sell it for under $2.99, you get 30%.  From what I’ve read, that is FAR better than any publishing house would give a new author.  Unless, you are some kind of writing prodigy who’s agent has scored for them a six figure advance off of your first manuscript.  If that’s you, forget everything I’m saying.  In fact, if that’s you – why in the feck are you reading my blog?  Go vacation somewhere.


self publish your book


control:  If the book best serves a niche market then, undoubtedly, no one knows how to serve that niche better than you (or me, if we’re talking about my writing).  If that’s the case then why shouldn’t you be the one with final say on both content and cover art?  I’m a full believer in owning everything that you create in some way.  Why not your book?


marketing:  The research says that the publishing house is no longer going to market for you.  It also says if they were to do it, they’d do it badly.  In other words, publishing houses are not a brand in the same way that YOU are.  Would you rather buy from the author, him or her, DIRECTLY or from a faceless publishing house?  I know I’d rather buy it from the author.  If you are going to be doing all of this marketing, you should get paid more for it because it WILL usurp you of your valuable time.  How do you get more money?  See the first pro, above.


relationships:  WordPress has truly taught me that you CAN have real relationships online.  Not everyone is just a faceless troll out there.  In fact, there are tons of really worthwhile people to know and to get to know through reading their stuff.  Again, I’d rather buy something from someone I know (or feel like I know) and have warm feelings for than from a faceless person or thing.  This has always been true in regard to sales.  Seriously, I think something similar was said by Dale Carnegie way back, when there was no internet and Dale was selling mops door to door or something like that.


online relationships


(Online relationships can be simple and authentic.  For example, I like you.  You are my friend.  So, I want you to enjoy this sign…)


catalog:  This one is REALLY important.  It seems that one of the reasons certain Amazon self-publishers are so successful is because they have a CATALOG of products.  So, they can do certain things.  For example, what if a reader really and truly likes what you’ve done?  They’re going to want to come back for more.  But, if there is no more available in your online store, then you have the burden of keeping an interested fan around for god knows how long while you make something else.  However, if you have a few things almost ready to go then why not finish them and start a body of work online all at once?  A body of work that only requires YOU to say yes to it in order to get it up and running.  The second great thing about catalogs -I’m hearing- is that it allows you to play with pricing.  If you have one book that is selling well you can cut the price of the other book to either a) get a new reader interested in you or to b) entice a repeat customer to make a second bet on you.  It’s a win-win.


being a step ahead of the tidal wave:  I’ve been doing things in earnest on the internet since 2000.  All of my endeavors have had some success at varying degrees.  However, a lot of the time my “start ups” didn’t get the financial backing that they needed because they were just a step too late.  My most successful site prior to this one was a vehicle that garnered a ton of publicity, but literally JUST missed the dot-com bubble.  Had I produced it a year earlier, I would’ve raked in some of the capital that was being thrown about.  The tsunami that I recently missed was youtube’s.  I do believe that most of the quality content providers that started with youtube around 5 years ago are almost all making some money now.  Starting up a channel now, while not fruitless, is definitely 100x more difficult than it was back then.


There’s a certain spot where you have to catch the wave.  If you are too early, you are going nowhere.  If you are too late, you get pummeled.  But, if you hit the sweet spot just right…MAGIC!


I do not believe the wave has passed for self-publishing, but I do believe that at a certain moment the velocity will normalize.  What I’m doing right now is mulling this all over and looking for my entry point.  I’m not there yet, but I’m inching closer.


What are your thoughts?  Did I miss any pros that you can think of?



Sweet Mother is updated daily-ish as the author works towards 365 consecutive posts.  (only 80 or so left)  Join me, by clicking the “follow” link at the top, right of the page.



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Self-Publishing, Part 2



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24 thoughts on “Self-Publishing, Part 3: The Quickie Pros (Post 7)

  1. I’d add flexibility. If something isn’t working you can simply change it. My first forays taught me a lot about cover art, formatting, etc. I was able to change these on the fly. Getting changes made through my traditional publisher takes FOREVER, is sometimes vetoed due to expense on their part or disinterest.

    1. apathy. i think it’s such a huge thing when you are the cog in someone else’s big wheel as is often the case with new author and big publishing house. and yep, flexibility is a great addition to that list. i’ve heard it often that being able to quickly ‘fix’ something within your kindle book is a HUGE plus. it would drive me mad if i couldn’t get to a typo or something similar – quickly. as always stupendous and awesome commentary. love, love you. xo, sm

  2. I’m reading these posts with interest, SM. Thanks for writing them! I’m going with traditional publishing, but my sister is going self-pub. I want us both to succeed. And you, too! I want us all to succeed.

    1. i am also very intrigued to hear about your journey and your sister’s. my vag has just grown two sizes for saying, “journey” just then, but you know what i mean… looool. xo, sm

  3. Things definitely move more quickly for those who self-publish. With big publishers, an author may wait 2-3 years for their book to come out. Even with my smaller publisher, it took a year. And it was on their schedule. I heard from my editor when I heard from him, and then I had to make sure I was done with the edits by a certain deadline. As an earlier commenter said, more flexibility when doing it yourself.

    1. you know, rubes, that may be one of my biggest complaints right now. i LOOOOOVE my book agent and i have no doubt that with my skillz and her selling ability we will publish with a house eventually. but, the key word there is EVENTUALLY. I feel like i’ve been writing stuff of value for two years now, since oprah-drunk. and yet, it sits there. why? i’m getting itchy. i want to build the empire… so to speak. xoxo, sm

  4. Dear Momma,
    I am glad we are real virtual friends, too, because I just *know* you were referring to me (because I am just that vain, and Carly Simon did write that song about me years before I was even born). On a serious note, you amaze me and if you are ever on the circuit in the IE, please email me so I can meet you in person. You’re going to do great, whatever you choose.

    1. ul, of course i was talking about you. 😉 and do you mean the IE, as in ireland? if so, that is one of my FAVORITE places to play in the world. seriously. i’ve done the int’l bar in dublin and a few other places around temple bar and LOVED it. anyway, for sure i will look you up. i think you are the bee’s knees. xo, sm

      1. If you are going to Ireland, I want to be your +1. No, I meant the Inland Empire (Pechanga land). I would love to drink at any bar in Ireland, but don’t go looking me up there, because I will probably still be here in the Inland Empire. 😉

  5. There is one big pro you didn’t mention and that’s the fact that you have already established a strong relationship with a lot of people via SweetMother. Now that would be a benefit no matter how you chose to publish but I think as an indie you’d have a certain… cache?

    1. yeah, i think a lot of the reason why i’m thinking about this right now, meeks, is because i’m nearing the end of my 365 post goal. about 2 mos out and i want to ‘leverage’ if that’s the right word, sweet mother, into something. i’m not sure how that will manifest as of yet, but i KNOW that i will continue it as i love the relationships i have formed here. you of course being a huge one of those. xoxo, sm

      1. -grin- Well you know I’ll be buying your book when it comes out and I bet most of your reggies will too.

        Btw, one other pro in the indie camp is that you don’t have to worry about shoehorning your work into a specific pigeon hole. A humorous book on gayby’s should intrigue people from all sorts of reading categories. 😀

  6. See sooo many pros…Sweet Mom i, for some reason, think there is no harm in trying self publishing..although im totally unknown to the world of publishing or even good writing… but as far as i can understand from all that you wrote in past few post..self publishing is a good way to start…one major PRO that i think of is “Confidence” ..’writing and selling’ is directly related to ‘self confidence’ … that is actually how it will work on me if i ever wrote and sell.. 😛

    1. there is a definite correlation there, lil miss. i believe in the saying, ‘confidence begets confidence’ altho i also have to repeat that to myself sometimes. looool. i will be doing something, though i’m not quite sure what just yet… self-publishing sounds very appealing to me at the moment tho… xoxox, sm

  7. Here’s one that may not have occured (if you publish a book online): If there is an error in font type, for example, it’ll only take about 5-30 minutes to fix it and put out the new, corrected version. E-readers get a buttong press, and -Presto!- updated version without costing anyone any money!

    Great post as always, Donohue! Btw, I’d love to be one of your beta readers. 😀

    1. foster, for sure, i’d love to have you read. i think over the next few months i will be putting together my first ‘offering’ at a fever pitch. so, when it’s closer, i’ll give you a holler. so glad i’ve met you on here. you’re a welcome breeze. xo, sm

  8. I like your “pro” list. The only thing that I could add as a pro is that if you were self published we would get to read your stuff … now.

    1. ha ha ha, now isn’t that the rub. i mean, soon i’m going to have to do less “talking” and more let’s-make-this-magic-happen. it’s on the horizon though. i feel it. xoxox, sm

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