Reasons NOT to Self-Publish – Association of Independent Authors (AiA)

Reasons NOT to Self-Publish – Association of Independent Authors (AiA).

Let’s go through them, shall we.

You don’t want people to look to you as an authority—Authors acquire a definite authority within the area they write about. This is particularly true of non fiction authors. Even though you know quite enough to write a book on the subject, does something about being looked to as an authority make you nervous?

You’re afraid of speaking in public—It’s common for authors to be asked to speak in public, and to pursue public speaking as a way to market their book. Common knowledge tells us that the number one fear in Americans is the fear of public speaking. Perhaps this is really the fear of appearing a fool in public. Is that what’s stopping you?

You don’t need another income stream—Novelists would like to make money from their books, but would write them anyway. Nonfiction authors often write in order to make money, to capitalize on a business opportunity or leverage their experience to improve their clientele or their hourly rate. The independently-wealthy and people satisfied with their current income might see self-publishing as a waste of time.

You have nothing unique to say in your field—Maybe you’ve spent a career as a primary school teacher, following curriculum. Perhaps you’ve been a cubicle slave for years, and the creative juices have been beaten out of you. I’d say it’s more likely you’ve simply forgotten how unique your own perspective on life, your business, or your hobby really is.

You’d rather not contribute to publications in your niche—Once you start publishing you naturally start marketing, and writers use writing as a way to get the word out. But maybe you are embarrassed by the chance you might seem to some a “know it all” if you start getting articles published in relevant trade magazines and websites. That could slow you down.

You prefer to wait a few years and see if you get offered a contract—There’s a certain kind of writer who is happy to write, and never get published if they can’t get that contract from Knopf, or Random House, or whoever. They accept the wisdom of the agents and editors they submit to (literally) over the years, and feel it’s better that their work stay unknown, since it’s unworthy of their gods. That’s a tough one.

You hate the idea of autographing books for buyers—Having fans, people who will show up at bookstores to hear you talk, stand in line to get your autograph, may be disconcerting. People in our culture often feel unworthy of attention, as if others are deserving, but I am not. Maybe this shame was drilled into us when young, it certainly is long-lasting.


Food for thought.

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