Self Publishing Limitations

Blog No. 101

I think I’m going to try something with today’s blog. If it looks like nothing changes (or things change for the better) I may continue the experiment. I don’t have a lot of regular readers, so I’d be surprised if it is as much of a shakeup as it is in my head. I’m not going to tell you what it is though – that would be cheating.

Christian and I are currently in the throes of editing our first book for Adventure Worlds. He has just successfully launched his first book – The Space Between Houses, but, other than some early editing and suggestions, I didn’t have a lot to do with that one. (It turned out to be a really nice book though, generating some good attention for both Christian and Adventure Worlds – you should check it out!) The book wasn’t really part of Adventure Worlds though; Christian had it published by another local company. What we’re working on is going to be pure AW through and through.

We’re at an interesting crossroads though. While we are writing, editing, designing, promoting, etc, the book, it’s not exactly going to be self-published. The way the market is going (along with music and with movies not far away) it makes more sense to me that Christian and I do this thing ourselves. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and money, but it’s either that or spend s lot of time and money sending our stuff to publishers who are more interested in finding something to sell than a book they’d like to make. It’s not completely their fault. Every industry is faltering a bit, and no one wants to shrink. But these publishers (like the music labels and big movie studios) have chosen to bet bigger on sure things than take a lot of little chances on the new, different, or original.

So, we are self publishing – sort of. There are (as my title suggests) limitations to going that road. We can’t sell our books to distributors and retailers (not to many at least) and there are many contests that don’t take self published works. There is a stigma with a lot of readers about independent books too. It’s really easy to put out a bad book, and there are a lot out there saturating the market. So what we intend to do is make our own publishing company, do things the right (and hard) way, and hopefully put out some books that are special – that stand above the crowd. It’s possible, locally Biblioasis did just that and now they have a dedicated following and a collection of awards. Really, it’s an extension of what we’re doing online now. And in the end, maybe we can help out some other local authors by providing them with a real, low cost option to publication. (I say real because there are too many small publishers who will publish anything if you pay them enough).

So we’re working hard on our first book, looking into the ways we can become legitimate and feeling out our options. With any luck (and more of that hard work) we will have both a cool book out in the New Year and a company to publish it. Then I just have to get around to finishing some of my solo writing.

7 thoughts on “Self Publishing Limitations

  1. Christian Laforet

    Firstly, thanks for the plug 🙂
    Secondly, I’m really excited for what we have planned. Next year is going to be a busy one for us and Adventure Worlds, but a good kind of busy.

  2. Excellent post this week Ben. Seeing just how much hard work the two of you have been putting into becoming the ‘writers’ you (we) have always aspired to is amazing to experience. The fact that their is a book out this year by one of you two is a testament to just how far and how much you are dedicated to this.

    With the growth of Adventure Worlds, which has been all because of the two of you, the growth and dedication you have shown for your very own blog here #101 and counting. Also the collection of stories that the two of you are working on together and all the other amazing projects either released or in the works, well yeah sheer awesomeness.

    Zine, Book, Comic Strip, Stories, Stories, Stories = Two Awesome Creative Forces working hard for what they want. Keep on pushing forward my friends. (PS – Sorry for making this about how awesome you and Christian, but it’s true)

    1. Thanks Justin. I wish I were doing a lot more, to be honest. I’m still really bad a wasting time, and I have so much I want to do.

      It has been a heck of a ride though. I’m proud of all we’ve been able to accomplish so far.

      Thanks for the kind words. Hopefully we can keep it up.

  3. Ben, I’m very impressed with your devotion to quality and I have no doubt you and Christian will experience a degree of success as a small publisher. What didn’t come across clearly was whether you intended to sell your publishing abilities to local authors or if you intended to actually contract authors and take the chance of success that current publishers are avoiding. Opening any business is a risk and be sure to do your homework (that’s the accountant in me talking now). I sincerely hope you succeed – I don’t think I’ve seen this much talent in one place in a very long time.

  4. Thanks Christine. Working with the other WOW writers, getting all their guidance and support certainly has helped. Seeing other local authors work so hard and succeed is great motivation.

    Eventually we’d love to publish other local authors. Once we acquire all the tools to produce and distribute books that we’re proud of, we plan on reaching out to other authors and seeing if they are interested in working with us.

    As an independent (or even an artisan publisher if you want to get fancy) we will be free to take those risks and spend a little more time and money on each book (I hope). I don’t think it would work any other way.

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