Costs and Self-Publishing

NaNoBlogwhatever 6 of 30:

This is an older link, but a goodie. A guy runs some of the numbers on what it would have cost him to self-publish his book in the way that traditional publishers do it, and comes to the conclusion that he’d rather a traditional publisher take the money risk.

Don’t read the comments, people. Just let this guy’s experience gel in your head a little. I don’t know why it is that self-publishing advocates think that they need never pay for anything, or why they always show up to SHOUT DOWN people who are into traditional publishing, but they’re ruining it for everybody, and I say this as someone who has worked on self-published books that have a shoestring budget, and has no beef with self-publishing. I’m not up for an argument in the comments (and oh, I will mod you into dust, seriously); both approaches have risks and benefits, bonuses and drawbacks.

So, the reason I think this is a good link is 1) I think that even the most-neglected book coming out from a traditional publisher represents a significant investment on their part, and 2) it can be costly to self-publish at a high quality, so that’s something to keep in mind as you budget for your own books–though I do think authors who plan to self-publish need not put huge amounts of money in up front. In fact, lots of self-publishing support companies, sometimes working as vanity publishers, sometimes not, are counting on newbie authors to pay through the nose. Do your research, and remember that anyone who says there is one true path to success is probably full of it.

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