March 7, 2011

The problem with self-publishing

I’ve said it before, but in case you’re not in my fanclub of Extremely Dedicated Readers & Stalkers of TDH here’s a reminder: I’ll self-publish a few books this year. Ebooks at that, although I’ll most likely offer the books as dead tree copies as well. I’m thrilled about this, and I’m taking it seriously. That means paying for a professional editor and getting unique cover art, no stock images for me thanl you very much. I have no doubt in my mind that the amount of money this will cost me will be earned, so I have no problem hiring professionals.

I will tell you this: I have one major issue with self-publishing.

It’s not the startup cost, or the technical aspect (hey, I used to publish books and magazines when POD was an acronym most people didn’t know) even. It’s not the royalty cut withh Amazon, Apple or any other outlet of ebooks, and it’s not the lack of an advance.

No, it’s the fact that I’m supposed to sell myself.

As in me, selling myself, promoting myself, explaining to people how extremely excellent I am and how happy they should be that I acknowledge their existence. Well, maybe not that last part.

Don’t get me wrong, I have faith in what I do, and I don’t doubt my talents (any more than I should) or am full of illusions for that matter. I can tell when I’m good, and when I’m good I’m pretty damn good, but that’s not it. I’m just not comfortable with selling myself, or anything else for that matter.

Usually my publisher does this. When I’m self-publishing I’m expecting to do it on my own.

This is crazy. I don’t cut my own hair, my hairdresser does that. He won’t tell me how to build a website using WordPress. We’re all good at different things, and since I’m a writer I should write, right?

But when I’m self-publishing I’m supposed to sell as well.

This is my main gripe with self-publishing and I’m not at all looking forward to promoting myself. I might in fact end up hiring someone to do that as well, who knows. Either way, it will be interesting to give this a go, and

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere.