Self-publishing and the business of writing

While self-publishing no longer has quite the same stigma it used to have, there is more you need to think about than how much more money you can make.

After years of being published by other publishers (a lot of it ePublished) author Josh Lanyon recently decided to self-publish his own novels, both his back stock and any future novels.

Lanyon is a successful writer in a niche genre.  Over on his blog, Lanyon talks about the ‘busyness’ of writing.

… surprising to me … how much time I am spending on the business — the busyness – of writing, even though I’m not writing.

Last week I was coordinating getting cover art for three titles [coming out] in June … coordinating the different files and formats I would need for titles [coming out] in May … there were signed books to send out, the question of Japanese translation rights …

Confessions of a small business owner, Josh Lanyon

And lots more.  As Lanyon says:

I’m running a small but thriving business and I can’t just go on an indefinite holiday and hope it all works out.  Even if I never write another word again, there is still this business to run.

Confessions of a small business owner, Josh Lanyon 

He sums it up well.  Self-publishing is a business.  You can’t ignore it or your business will fail.

I think that many people rush into self-publishing thinking that all they have to worry about is a little bit of marketing and promotion.  As they delve into it deeper, they also realise that there is a lot more to editing a story by themself as well.  When a book is published by a publisher the publisher usually organises things like editing.

What most writers—self-published or traditionally published—want is success. Yet the more successful you are as an author, the more work there is managing and selling your books.

As an author I want to write books.  I accept that I need to do some marketing as well.  But as much of the ‘managing my sales’ part that I can give off to someone else the better.  For me, this has to be the biggest argument for the traditional publishing route–agents and publishers–and against self-publishing that I know.

Leave a Reply