That Self-Pub Stigma

I’ve been writing for most of my life at this point. No one in my family can remember a time when I didn’t have a notebook and pen in hand, scribbling down my latest world.

For the longest time, I wrote for myself. I didn’t intend for it to really go anywhere, I just knew that I liked to create worlds and the stories that went with them.

That changed a few years ago when I became serious about getting published. This was before ebooks even existed, so I sent off my queries to agents and got back the standard form letter rejections.

I looked into vanity presses but the fact that you needed thousands of dollars up front put me off from that rather quickly.

As I got a little older and gained more responsibilities, my writing dropped off. A couple of years ago I wrote a novella that I posted on To my surprise, I got a lot of positive feedback from it. So I decided to give publishing another go.

I pulled the novella off of fictionpress and rewrote it. I added in new a new character arc and refined the writing a bit. But as I was preparing to send it off to agents I heard about the boom that ebooks had become and learned tthat self-publishing was a viable option that wasn’t going to cost thousands of dollars up front. I submitted my novel to a couple of small ebook publishers and got some solid feedback from several of the. That novel would need to be rewritten before I was ready for primetime.

But this time I wasn’t dissuaded. I had just stumbled upon a solid idea for a novel and I went to worn developing what wwould eventually turn onto The Cerberus Rebellion.

Now, the reason that I told you all of that was to give you a background for my point.

My brother texted me the other day and asked what I was planning tl sell my book for. I told him my planned price point and how much it would net me in royalties per unit.

When he asked me who I was going to work with for promotion and distribution, I told him that I was going to be releasing as an ebook through Amazon initially and that I was on my own for promotion. That brought up the question of what it would take to get my novel on bookshelves and I told him that first a major publisher would have to make an offer and that I would have to accept it.

He asked “Why wouldn’t you?” That lead to a conversation about how the publishing world has changed and how I would likely be making a fair amount of money by the time anyone noticed me.

I think that it was just revealing how many people don’t realize that the publishing world has shifted and a lot of people still look down on those who self-publish as of we aren’t really published authors.

About Joshua K Johnson

Josh is the author of The Cerberus Rebellion and The Hydra Offensive, Gunpowder Fantasy novels set in the Griffins & Gunpowder universe. He is currently working on a new novel set in the same world as well as The Centaur Incursion, Book 3 in the Ansgari Rebellion Series and Loyalty Betrayed, Book 1 in the Liberty Forged Series. He currently works full-time and has an 8-year old and a 4-year old to keep him busy.

Posted on May 16, 2012, in writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. A lot of people don’t know how the publishing works, period. Explaining royalties to my mother was a pain, especially when she’d say in dismay, “You only get THAT much?” Sigh.

  2. I’m not too far off the last few chapters of my own book, and publishing is slowly becoming a consideration. I do feel that digitally self-publishing sounds like it contains slightly more potential for success, but at the same time I would’t want to release my work on the world until its 100% perfect. I’d want plenty of rejection letters to, er, encourage me.

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