The world of self-publishing, especially in the digital realm, is an exciting one. Not for what it currently is, but for what it could be. There are some established authors who are doing well in self-publishing. So good, in fact, they hope to get the publishing rights back to some of their traditionally published books because they can make more money doing it on their own. Other established authors are getting together to do the same.
In theory there is a very exciting future ahead for self-publishing, ebooks in particular.
I say “in theory” because I also have some strong reservations about the self-publishing boom, but that’s a discussion for another time. Right now I just want to talk about my own foray into that world.
Technically, I’ve already dabbled in some self-publishing. Pitched Vol. 1 and Pitched Vol. 2 were both self-published, after all. So that’s a road I’ve briefly shuffled along. But that’s comics. What about prose?
Well, I know for sure I’ll be aiming to self-publish at least one other work, probably before the end of this year. Years ago I wrote a history of Lakehurst, NJ, a tiny Pine Barrens town best known for being the site of the Hindenberg disaster. I think it’s a good book with an interesting story to tell — you’ve got railroad barons, remote mining villages, iconic dirigibles, and more — but it’s also a very tiny niche, so tiny that even publishers who specialize in local history can’t see investing in it. Reasonable enough to me. Can’t put out a book without a market.
But if I put it out on my own, well hell, that’ll work. It’ll work for several reasons. First, with print-on-demand services I can easily cater to the niche interested in the subject matter. Second, I’d make much more doing it on my own than through a small publisher — and papa gotta feed the family. And third, I’m in a position in my day job to promote directly to the people who would most be interested in the subject matter. After all, as the editor of a small town newspaper I already reach those people week in and week out.
Really, I have every reason to do this on my own rather than through a traditional publisher.
So I will.
That’s not why I started writing this post, though. I’ll tackle the next bit tomorrow.