My journey in self-publishing

I never really set out to get published when I started writing 8 years ago. I just wanted to see where I could go with it.  After completing the manuscript I sent it to friends who agreed that although it needed serious editing they loved the story DEAD ON ARRIVAL, was really good and that I should try to publish it.

Who me? Publish I had no clue what to do.  I was a newbie and I had no hope in hell of getting it done in the traditional sense.  That meant using a vanity press that charged for the privilege to get my work in print.  That in itself is a long, expensive yet rejection free process.

I approached several which I will not name as I had read predators and editors on line and discovered some of them to be disreputable houses. I settled on one that seemed legit and put down a fair chunk of money. I was satisfied with the results for my first book but decided I needed better distribution. I am still trying to sell DEAD ON ARRIVAL on my own. I purchased a distribution package for DEAD COMIC STANDING. That was a good deal as people can buy it in print and e-book formats.

I decided after someone wanted more Laura and Gerry from my first book. Suddenly I was writing a series but I had decided to try another press. It was still a print on demand service but it was Canadian and I am all about the red and white.  OVER HER DEAD BODY was born and published. By this time I am in debt but I think the experience has been worth the journey.  I wrote and am publishing DAYTONA DEAD the same way as the others but that is it.  I am going to use a different press that only does e-books for other projects as I no longer can afford the previous method.

Drawbacks for self-publishing:

  • expensive
  • marketing is mostly done by the author with a little guidance but basically it’s sink or swim for the writer
  • Hard to get Self published works into bricks and mortar stores
  • You are the writer producer and p.r. person for your work –I would suggest this route for the independently wealthy folks with lots of time to take care of the whole shebang.


  • No deadlines
  • writer has full control on pricing and the creative process
  • it’s a great learning process
  • there are many ways now that you can publish for free–Smashwords, Createspace etc.

Be brave and patient it can be done and I have read so many books by indie authors that are just fantastic-including our own Write minds authors.

I don’t regret the experience despite the cost.


4 thoughts on “My journey in self-publishing

  1. I went the “vanity press” route because it was the only way to self-publish then, and I wanted my book out in print before my mother passed away. She was my biggest cheerleader and really wanted to see her “baby gir” published. Sadly, she passed away six weeks before the book came out…but it did get released on her birthday. I know she smiled down on me that day!

    Now that there are ways to publish our indie books for free, I first published Adrianna as an ebook, and then when I started the Grisholm County Chronicles, I ebook-ed them too. Now, with a LOT of help from one of my fellow WriteMinds Authors (Karina Gioertz), the first three books of the series will be in paperback really soon.

    Vanity Press….seems there are too many ways to publish without paying out all that money…and either way, you, the author, will be doing a LOT of the work!

  2. I hear ya Karen, self-publishing is hard work! I made sure that I didn’t spend too much on my first novel so I went with Amazon’s CreateSpace because I didn’t have to pay an upfront fee. Honestly, on my shoe-string budget, I couldn’t!

    Self-publishing forced me to learn about the publishing industry and appreciate the work that goes into creating and selling a book. For me, it was a great experience because now I’m blogging, meeting new authors and even working on a new series. You won’t get many complaints from me about being an indie author.

    By the way, good luck on the next novel.

  3. I always wanted to be published. I attempted to go the traditional route with my first book, as well as, several short stories but was unable to do so. I finally put everything on Smashwords and whatever happened, happened. I have sold some books but more than that, I now have exposure.

  4. Like Karen, I didn’t think much about being published while I was writing. When I finished my book I went with a Vanity Publisher, but I was so unhappy with them, I terminated the contract. Aside from giving poor service, the price tag they put on the Kindle version of my book was so uncompetitive it was guaranteed never to sell. My book was laying around for a few months before I eventually published it on Kindle so it was at least available to anyone who wanted to buy it. But I don’t think I’m going to take the self published route with the book I’m writing now. It’s a good candidate for schools and universities and I don’t want to get into that kind of distribution.

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