Friday, September 7, 2012

Dangerous Dan's thoughts on Self-Publishing

Sooner or later, everyone who writes ponders self-publishing.  I've been putting some thought into the subject myself lately.

While I'm sure there are some gems out there in the POD sea, the majority of the self-published books I've either read or flipped through suffer from the following problems:
  1. Little to no editing:  If there are misspelled words or bad punctuation in the first few pages, I'm finished reading.
  2. Odd formating: If I turn to a random page and there are as many blank lines as there are of text, I'm not very motivated to read.  Has the author ever flipped through another published book?
  3. Uninspired title and/or cover:  I notice this particualarly in the Goodreads giveaways I never seem to win.  CG or obviously photoshopped covers may be cheap and easy but they don't scream professional to me.  If they spent little effort on the cover, what's the inside going to be like?  On a positive note, one cover I've seen lately that does it right is Hildred Billing's Daisuke.  It's very well-designed and makes me want to flip through it immediately.
All that being said, self-publishing does have some things going for it:
  1. No padding required:  Too many books put out by the big publishing houses seem to be padded to meet a specific length to me.
  2. Give me my damn money!:  The author gets the lion's share of the pie.  Seems only fitting considering he/she did the lion's share of the work.
  3. Complete and Total Freedom:  Do I really have to explain this one?
There you go.  Just to show I'm not a total curmudgeon, here are some self-published/small press books I've enjoyed tremendously.
  1. A Short Stay in Hell
  2. Blood and Tacos
  3. Crawlin' Chaos Blues
So, yeah.  I'm thinking about doing some short stories and releasing them in various e-formats.  We'll see what happens.


  1. I've been wondering about this myself.

  2. Wooo thanks for the cover shout out. Always good to know that my love for the cover isn't just in my head.

    Self-publishing was something I considered and researched long before deciding to take the plunge. (That and I have no other job currently...and I need dat mon3hz") So far I have no regrets. So far.

  3. Checked out the cover - it's awesome!

    I know that if I ever do self-publish, which is a very real possibility, I will be going over everything with a fine tooth comb till my perfectionist self is at least ALMOST satisfied. Never will be perfect, I have no doubt.

  4. Given the difficulty of finding an agent or publisher who'll take a chance these days, self-publishing is a real opportunity. Shame about those, though, who think that whatever they write is fit for publication without proof-reading, editing, design ... etc. Even Lawrence Block is self-pubbing now, so it can't be all bad!