Five Reasons You Should Not Self-Publish Your Book



hey gang it's Chris one of those frequent questions I hear from other writers is whether it's a good idea to self publish the books trying to bring into traditional publishing with a big or small house or even just find an agent is a long and frustrating process that involves just a ton of rejection you've worked hard on your book and you just want to find some readers self-publishing seems like a good way to bypass a lot of hurdles and kickstart your career I get why it's tempting but I want to tell you why I think you should not self publish now let me say as a disclaimer that if your goal is just to get your book out there so your friends and family can read it or if you're in some professional field where your colleagues might be interested or you just want to have a physical book with your name on it and you don't care about sales then go ahead and self publish but if your hope is to build a career like most writers I know the my opinion is you're better off persisting through the process of revision and rejection and trying to get traditionally published here's why reason 1 books can I'm amazed how many writers have never heard of Nielsen Bookscan that's Nielsen isn't the same people who do TV ratings as in the same people who will tell the whole world how well your book sold that's right even if you don't know how many copies you sell Nielsen does and agents and publishers look at those figures so let's say you self-published a book on create space and let's say yourself 14 copies and that's generous by the way it's gonna take a lot of moms and aunts and cousins to get to 14 copies but let's say two years later you're going the traditional route and you find a publisher who's interested in your debut novel except they're not buying your debut novel your debut novel is the one you put on create space two years before the one that sold 14 copies and now the whole industry knows it now if you only publish by ebook including Kindle you can relax a little because Nielsen doesn't look at you books but if your work is printed on actual pages then those sales figures are out there for everyone to see number two is limited time assuming you don't want your self-published book to move only 14 copies you're going to need to market and promote it now if you have a traditional publisher they'll do at least some of that work but if you self-published then that's all on you that means spending your own money on advertising book covers editing and promotion and more importantly means spending your own time those few exceptional authors who've been hugely successful in self-publishing and they are very much exceptions did it by investing tons of energy into networking with readers and building up an audience I don't know about you but I'm gonna try to build a career as a book marketer I want to spend my time writing some authors like Hugh Howey and Amanda Hawking they may have the time management skills and mental bandwidth to do both and good for them but I'm limited now I can hear some of you saying publishers do less marketing and ever and writers are expected to do that themselves and that's true publishers don't invent the way they used to in large part but even a small investment from a major publisher Worth's what most writers can do in their own and there's something else is very important bookstores without a traditional publisher you definitely can't get your book on bookstore shelves where more than half of all sales still happen where many readers will choose to buy the e-book first discover your work so you effectively cut your potential sales in half and sure self-publishing services will say they get you in bookstores but what they need is then get you in the computer list not on the actual shelf anyone who wants to buy your book has to go to the counter special order it then come back when they actually have it in stock so your mom maybe your grandma reason number four is math now advocates of self-publishing are fond of pointing out success stories as if they were representative what are the odds of you becoming the next Amanda Hocking really alright in 2013 almost four hundred and sixty thousand books were self-published and that numbers rising fast almost 17% and when you're alone that same here traditional publishers only put about three hundred thousand books and that includes reprints so your odds are not particularly better standing out in that crowd but the difference is when you have a publisher you have a team behind your book they've invested in you and it's near best interest to see you succeed when you self publish it's just you in the traditional publishing world a successful book is expected to sell somewhere around ten thousand copies sales under five thousand or considered terrible although not infrequent a modestly successful self-published book meanwhile might sell a thousand copies most sell a dozen or fewer next true self-published authors keep a larger percentage of revenue seventy percent on Amazon ebooks compared to traditional rates of fifteen percent on hard covers and 10% on paperbacks but when you look at the overall numbers it starts to seem like that game you play with it's where you ask would you rather have $1 bill or 25 pennies reason number 5 is the craft now of all the arguments I hear from self-publishing zealots the one that rubs me wrong the most is about gatekeepers and go something like this publishing industry is controlled by MFA snobs think they know good writing is and only publish their friends all of New York City they all read quote unquote literature and they don't know the average reader wants watched I have to go to some agent what I'm going to directly to the reader aside from the fact that most of that is wrong not all industry folks live in New York and the ones I know mostly watch The Bachelor and read stuff like The Hunger Games it's all so naive those gatekeepers are industry professionals they have more experience and expertise than you your friends and relatives or even your writers group so if we're in your book and getting nothing but rejections you might just face the hard truth that it's not good enough yet and you should go back to polishing your craft not sure that's a hard thing to accept and sure there are great books that slip through the cracks every now and then but again they're almost half a million book self-published every year how many of those do you think are works of underappreciated genius and how many are products taken to market before they're ready if you're struggling to get published and believe me I can relate and if you're thinking about sub publishing as an alternative I say take that time and energy and focus on honing your craft read more write more take your book stick it in a drawer for six months or 12 months and when you come back to it a bit you'll see all kind of flaws and opportunities for improvement that you didn't see before rather than accuse the gatekeepers of holding back your genius you should thank them for keeping you from publishing something that you'll be ashamed to have your name on in a few years so those are my arguments against self-publishing now of course you have the right to do whatever you want with your own writing but you've worked hard on your book and you deserve every opportunity at finding success and finding an audience that will appreciate you don't do yourself a disservice just because you're feeling frustrated or impatient as an aside this list only addresses the reasons to avoid self-publishing through legitimate services like I am and Smashwords it completely leaves out the many many scans that are out there pretending to be self-publishing services so they can exploit aspiring writers there are a ton of those out there and I'm gonna include some links below to help you weed them out I'm also interested to hear your thoughts if you want to share them in the comments and as always please do like and subscribe so I know people are actually watching these videos and I can share more thoughts about writing publishing the story structure and the like thanks very much for watching and I hope to see you again soon if you're struggling to get punished and believe me I can relate punished did I say punished if you're struggling to get punished problem punished

29 thoughts on “Five Reasons You Should Not Self-Publish Your Book

  1. Well who will succeed with a traditional publisher? lol To know the truth look at how many billions this self publishers are making by themselves. Self publishing is a new lucrative phenomenon where normal people can make money from selling their creatives ebooks or books. Traditional publishing are for the elite not for common people. Thanks

  2. Don't listen to this guy, he's obviously too lazy to do reasonable work that you will mostly be expected to do by a traditional publisher anyway. Watch this guy below instead!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxzTJq4FXa0

    Having said this I suggest you read "gerard thebookworm"s comment below, he has a few valid points that you should consider when self publishing.

  3. Thank you for posting this on YouTube, please talk about the need for editors and critiques of ones work as a writer. Working in a vacuum focused on sales and "likes" never created great literature.

  4. Yes, let us find a publisher and let them take most of the profits from your hard work, where every 14.99 book sold nets you 2.00. I will only say that I completely disagree with you. Those people you're talking about are not the ones to buy all the books, it's a mass of readers that buy them, and from what I understand, they don't give a damn whether the book goes through a publisher or is self-published.

  5. It is very true what Christopher Keelty said about self publishing vs traditional publishing! I have gone the self pub route a half dozen times. My take: nothing sells on Amazon, only in bookstores – for the most part. Amazon Books probably shows well over millions of books on their website. Of those that really sell, probably less than 1/10th of one percent! Those books that sell are from "personality" authors – those who have made it to the top echelon of publishing! Amazon sends me royalties on my books each quarter which amounts to less than one US dollar each time! I feel that my efforts in writing deserve better but it is up to me to convince many big time publishers that my book is worth their consideration! Therein lies the difficulty with getting published and actually selling more than 1000 books! Poor, poor authors, my heart bleeds for you because I've been there and made my mistakes – for real! Now it's time to get serious and get published by someone that can make my books saleable in the book marketplace!! End of story but maybe a new beginning for my books!

  6. Hey everyone, I have a fictional story. It is about 4 installments. I like it, and think others will too. How many of you actually look up new writers on places like Amazon? I'd really appreciate your answers.
    Thanks!

  7. Why spend years trying to get noticed by agents and publishers when you could spend that time cultivating a readership online? You can always sign a book deal with a publisher down the line, but for debut authors thier time is better spent marketing to readers rather than agents. Both roads can lead to the same thing, but one puts money in your pocket far sooner than the other unless you manage to land a major book deal in a reasonable amount of time, which is exceedingly unlikely.

  8. This guy has THE most punchable face in human history. If Michael Scott was in a room with you, Toby and a gun with 2 bullets, he'd shoot you twice.

  9. Chris, Great comments. I've spent tons of time in the healthcare industry, and seeing what some private equity buys in healthcare entities is akin to self publishing without the skills.

  10. I agree because I have writtenba book years ago thst I thought was the finish proglogy and needless to say years later I went back to read it and before you knew it I just started making little changes here and there nothing major but after I had did it then I could turn around and truly say that it is finished although I thought it was bacl tben.

  11. Interesting. You definitely covered it. I'm a Vietnam Tank Commander (Decorated Vet) and just what to share my (Real Deal) experience… I guess I need to do more research on getting my book published…

  12. But that doesn't make sense. That's like saying if you want to make a video commentary about something you should not do it through Youtube but instead try to get a show on broadcast television. All the arguments used here can be used there. Yet here we are.

  13. more and more 'writers', fewer and fewer readers–wait, why are we still writing books again? think i'll try my hand at poetry, that's bound to get popular again sometime soon…if you look at comments sections regularly, you may find a clue; people don't give an f-in' eff about the form anymore. have you seen people's texts? and don't even get me started on journalism-as-a-second-language. i see a future where all forms of literature and the written word have been entirely replaced by emoji. craven new world.

  14. Jenna Moreci's video on How much it costs to write and publish a book came up first in the line of autoplay. I love how the thumbnail to that video looks like a reaction to this video.

  15. I started a small business and books is one of the products I produce. I have created an entire brand that I wouldn't have been able to had I given my rights to a publisher. I can't believe that there are so many people that agree that big corporations should be the ones to decide what's successful. Everyone says "support small business" except when it comes to books. Btw, encouraging gatekeeping in literature is the same as saying that intellectual property should be regulated. I'd be happy to talk about this more later, but so much of this is inaccurate and damaging

  16. Serious , perhaps stupid question,
    Is there no way I can do both self publishing and traditional? Perhaps one after the other hits off?

  17. Most of this is correct. But what you are not considering. Is there is a lot of outlets for self published authors these days. Privately owned book stores, Print on demand, conventions, ect. There is. Many ways to get out there yes it takes time. But it also takes time to get a publisher. May take years before they reply. And the fact that they may have an overload to deal with. It's great if you have been published. But not everyone is so lucky. Plus the market for zines is insanely huge. I feel like all this did was discourage people in the fight. And i leave this message as a means to say do what you want. Don't listen to someone telling you want is right and wrong.

  18. Thanks for that dose of reality. I like to make decisions based on several factors, and some of them are bubble-bursting, ha ha. I'm not afraid of the bad news.

  19. This is hilarious. All the bitter self publishers who can't write are shrieking in the comments yet again (yes, I've seen the shit you murdered the kindle store with) as a book reviewer. 98% of self published books that I have been cursed to stumble upon are horrid. Now I'm focusing on writing and laughing at the comments below. Please tell the truth sir. "How dare you suggest me to work on my craft and tell me I won't be Amanda Hocking. My book about lesbian cowboy aliens who time traveled to the medieval ages will sell (yes I actually was sent a book like this)!!!" I'm sniggling.

  20. I wrote a book back in the 80's which I was excited about, I sent it to a publisher who got my hopes up and then, after monrhs of waiting, told me it 'didn't suit their lists' Never again, I do my own thing!

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