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The Trials and Tribulations of Publishing; Why Self-Publishing Is Better For New Writers -- by Johnnie Guerrio

Becoming a writer leaves us traveling down a long, hard road. We face many challenges, rejections, and incidents that really test our faith and commitment to our craft. When writers finish their first project; be it a poem, lyrics, short story or novel, we have to think of how we will get published. Magazines? Journals? Big time publishers or self-publishing? The possibilities are quite endless. Sometimes, depending on what you write, self-publishing is almost always the best route to take for up and comers. These are just a few of the reasons why.


It gets your name out there.

When you are just starting out, everything is both new and exciting, as well as unfamiliar and frightening. To get published, it seems, you really need to have a huge hit on your hands, or you need experience. Like with any other job, not having experience can be a huge problem. Publishing your first literary piece through self-publishing, however, can get you the experience you need while getting your name out there. This helps you when you write your cover letter to any publisher for your next project. You simply tell them what you have out and how it was published, and they will see you have a bit of experience and are serious about your art.


Allows you to keep all the royalties.

When you go with a publisher, nine times out of ten you are left with the lower percentage of royalties. Most companies ask for 50 or 60% of the royalties you make, and if you have low sales, you can be left with a royalty check in the single digits. This can be a little disheartening for the new writer, and often times it makes them want to quit. By self-publishing, you get to keep every cent you make from every book sale. This allows the writer to build his or her confidence while making the money they deserve.


You promote your work however and wherever you want.

There are some publishers that have rules about self-publishing. Some may insist on doing it all for you, while others will give you a list on what to say, what not to say, and where they deem it acceptable to promote your work. As a self-published author, you can make your own rules when you decide to publish your work. You can say what you feel would be good for others to know the piece while promoting your project anywhere you want. It's a win-win situation for first time authors.


There are many things to think about when you get ready to publish your first piece of art. Self-publishing, usually, is the best way to go. You gain the experience you need for publishers to publish your next piece, and it gives you insight into the publishing business. You get to build your confidence as an author and keep all the royalties yourself, and you get to promote our work wherever, whenever, and however you please. Publishing is a big step in an author's life, make sure you think long and hard before you take that step.


Johnnie Guerrio is a freelance article writer and blogger, and an author for Langley's Lovelies. She is working on a paranormal romance series and works for several fashion and tea clients. You can keep up with her by following her on twitter at!/JGuerrio91, or read her own blog on Langley's Lovelies at



Posted by Johnnie Guerrio 23 Apr 2014 at 00:01
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Responses to this blog

Purplek 27 Apr 2014 at 22:01  
Okay, first one is very important. And the third one is important for any activity. But I wouldn't put "Wear something comfortable" in the top 3 things to help us write. In fact, writing is probably one of the few activities you can do in ANY type of clothing, or none at all, if you prefer.
Blandcorp 2 May 2014 at 08:33  
Let me put out another perspective. Grains of salt as advised.

Writing is a hobby of mine. Get the sneers and jeers out of your system but, however inadequate I may be at it, it's a hobby I take seriously in that I want to get better at it. And, should I ever want to get published, I will go traditional publishing.

I have a career. I do not expect to abandon it. I do not expect writing to provide much if any income even in the case of publishing (realistically, check the stats on this and be depressed). I might someday consider writing a job, but I do not want to take on the job of promoting my own writing. I don't have the time nor inclination for that.

Therefore, from my neck of the woods, self-publishing implies a lot of effort I do not have the skill for, in pursuit of gains I don't care about and suspect are highly unlikely.


Blandcorp 2 May 2014 at 09:01  
Incidentally, what happened to this blog post, lol? Did it get vastly edited over the past few days and changed topic? It's listed on the forums as something about writing conditions (which is what Purplek must have responded to), and what I read and responded to is about self-publishing as advantageous to new writers.

Nonnib (administrator) 2 May 2014 at 14:42  
Yikes.. Looks like a little editing snafu there. This is Jkguerrio's second blog which seems to have been posted into the first one.
Elizabethe 2 May 2014 at 17:00  
While there are advantages to both traditional publishing and self-publishing, this statement is untrue: "By self-publishing, you get to keep every cent you make from every book sale." If you self-pub with Amazon, or just about any platform, they keep a percentage. The biggest barriers to self-publishing are the costs of professional editing, high quality covers, formatting etc. First time authors are unlikely to recoup these costs in sales.

I'm still with my publisher after five books because in exchange for a percentage of my sales I get fantastic editing (developmental, line-copy edits etc.), plus great covers, formatting and promotion. I'm sure I'll self-publish in the future, but that path isn't as rosy as this post suggests.
Purplek 3 May 2014 at 16:50  
A very one-sided argument, in my opinion. Author fails to mention the difficulties with self-publishing eg: getting a decent cover, affording a decent editor, sales and marketing. All of these are vital roles a traditional publisher will fill. So no, I don't agree with the article. True, success can be had in self-publishing, but if making a case for it, a more balanced approach would be better.
Tls_6669 7 May 2014 at 15:12  
Self-publishing is often the desperate last effort to get a rejected MS into print. This certainly isn't the case all the time, but the instances of self-publishing success are few and far between. We (the universal "we") trot out those stories to soothe ourselves when the rejection gets to be too much to handle. I think it's more important to remember that we get rejected by traditional publishing houses for a reason, and exploring that reason (or reasons, plural, more often than not) thoroughly before deciding to just self-publish. There are times when self-publishing is appropriate and times when it isn't.

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