To Self-Publish, Or Not To Self-Publish…

That is the question.

This post is a brief update on my work-in-progress, The Children of Falore (temporary title).

Those of you who pay any attention to my annoying ramblings on Twitter know I’m nearing the end of the first draft of my current manuscript. I’m shooting for about 75 thousand words for this one, and if today’s writing is a success I’ll be at about 57-58 thousand.

My goal has been, for some time, to finish the first draft by the end of the month and self-publish the book by mid-April (I outline A LOT, so I won’t have to spend a lot of time on re-writes).

Recently, however, I’ve been toying with the idea of going the traditional publishing route, for several reasons:

  1. As of now, I can’t afford to shell out 300 euros on a cover artist. I’ve checked into those stock cover design sites, but have yet to see one I like. As I’ve said before, I’m just not into stock-photo covers. Sorry.
  2. Traditional publishing has always been my long-term goal. I have another fantasy manuscript on the backburner, and I know for sure I’ll be querying that one, but maybe I should give the current one a shot as well…?
  3. My self-publishing journey with Little One was…rocky. The initial release was a flop, and I’ve had to revise the files SO many times, it’s not even funny. Plus, I really, really, really hate Createspace. The reviews have been phenomenal ever since, but I honestly don’t know if I want to go through that much stress again.

All that being said, I also have great reasons to go ahead and self-publish:

  1. A lot of people are waiting to read it. It might sound pretentious, but it’s true. The snippets and passages I’ve shared have generated a lot of interest, and I don’t want to have to wait months or years before even knowing if it’ll be published.
  2. I have some upcoming marketing opportunities (book fairs, events, etc.) that could really jump-start sales if I go ahead and self-publish. If I wait, I’ll miss out.
  3. I do think this novel could do well as an indie book. Given a bit of luck and exposure.
  4. I really want to have control over what my cover looks like, and I know 99Designs (the site I used for Little One) yields amazing results. I just need to come up with the funds.

For now my focus is solely on finishing the first draft. Once that happens (end of the week, hopefully), I’ll have to make a decision. The perfect solution would be to find funds for a cover artist, proofreader, and formatter. That would remove the cost issue and the stress of doing it all myself. This book could hit Amazon within the next two months. If not, we’ll see.

I’ll keep you all posted. In the meantime, keep calm and write/read on! Have a great Monday, everyone.

15 thoughts on “To Self-Publish, Or Not To Self-Publish…

  1. Hi Nate

    Interesting debate. I’d like to add that I’ve had a great service from KDP and CreateSpace, and Amazon really helped me with marketing to Australia, enabling my last novel reach #1 on Australia Day. Wishing you all the best with your new book – and I’m happy to help promote it when you publish, whichever route you decide to take.




    1. Hi Tony! Thanks so much for the support. I appreciate it. KDP has been fantastic for me, but I really struggle when it comes to managing Createspace. It wastes no time giving me grief 🙂


  2. Oddly enough, I can relate to this post as I have been having the same internal debate with my own WIP and wondering if I should try, once more, to get an agent. There are pros and cons with both. I’m also on a tight budget, the shoe-string is very frayed, but it’s more the editing side I need funds for as I do know a great artist who basically does my covers for free! (I’m very lucky) And, Createspace is a pain at times, just when you think the PDF file is ok, there’s something else that needs changing and I’m no formatter. Plus, the fact that I do better with ebook sales than paperback is also a factor.

    Whichever path you choose I would love to read your next book. (It sounds great) and if you need a hand with any promotion, I’d be more than happy to help, If I can. 🙂


      1. You helped me out with the review on Vastian Lore. It’s only right to want to return the favour and help a fellow author-friend. 🙂 Plus, I’m looking forward to reading the new book, the snippets are really interesting.


  3. Great post! It’s good to hear thoughts from someone who’s just about to choose which path to go down for publishing and the pros and cons of each for this current project of yours. I’ve never published anything before, so this was actually pretty helpful. I’ve been thinking of traditionally publishing my fantasy novel (which is nowhere near done), and as you’ve said (and as a lot of people said) the experience with CreateSpace is really stressful, but now I know what I’m shooting for when I do indie publish something else!
    It’s also great to hear about cover sites you use. I haven’t done much research on those, but I’ll be looking into the ones you said you like in your post.
    Good luck with your writing and publishing this draft of yours, whether it’s traditional or indie! And keep up with the blog (and the writing humor), I’m loving every post coming through.


  4. I self-published my first book, but wanted a publisher for my 2nd one. I went with a small press and I’m glad I did. I still have total control over my book & covers and they pay for all the promotions. You might want to check out Creativia Publishing.


  5. I haven’t published anything yet but I can see how self publishing can be stressful. As of right now, that is the route I have chosen and I have a long road ahead of me. But I’m concerned about the cost. I have to get the cover made and hire an editor. I could try querying but I want complete control over my books. Well, I wish you well your with writing and publishing. 🙂 I’m quite interested to learn more about that tree king and how his bride is made.


  6. I hear Lulu is a lot less stressful than Createspace, and from personal experience I can say that it’s simple to go through the publishing process. They are more expensive, but considering all the horror stories I’ve heard about Createspace quality and the good results I’ve had with my book, I think they’d be worth trying. I wouldn’t use them for ebooks though (even though they distribute to Amazon) – you can’t even set discounts.


  7. This post is so relevant to what I’m going through now ! (Though I don’t have an awesome book already under my belt). I’m at about 57k and aiming for 70k. I think I’d like to have a go trying the traditional publishing route for maybe my second or third novels (I feel I have such a long way to go before my writing is up to scratch, so my first will be self-published for sure) , so I definitely think you should look into it!! Good luck whatever you decide and let us know your progress 🙂


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