Should You Self-Publish Your Book? My Journey to Making a Decision

Deciding how to publish my book has been one of the biggest decisions I’ve faced as an author. I wrote a compilation of short stories set in Kansas, which can be a harder sell than other genres or settings. After researching my options, I realized self-publishing made the most sense for my book.

As a Vermont-based author, I cannot access major New York publishers easily. While I could pursue submitting to publishers that accept unsolicited manuscripts, the process can take years and offers no guarantees. The self-publishing route allows me more control and faster time to publish and move on.

That said, I know there are key steps I need to take to ensure my book is high-quality and able to find readers. Here are some tips based on my own learnings:

– I plan to hire local editors and designers rather than trying to DIY everything. While self-publishing has gotten more affordable, investing in professionals is worth it.

– Marketing will be crucial, so I’m putting together a plan for advertising, social media, pitching to book bloggers, and leveraging my network. While writing is a craft, selling books requires business savvy.

– I’m exploring local self-publishing companies like Onion River Press here in Vermont. A local partner could help provide mentorship and connections.

– While I can’t tap into the major distribution channels of a “Big 5” publisher, I can research niche and local channels for selling my book, like comic shops, indie bookstores, and libraries.  Most libraries will include your book if you submit a free copy.

– I’ll create a website, media kit, press release, and author bio to share my work with local media and set up opportunities like book readings or even maybe signings.

I play on getting creative with it, while working on my follow-up books.  Feel free to drop me a line and let me know what’s worked for you!

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