Self Publishing – Is It Worth It?

By: Kristie Carpenter

Most people dream of being an author. We all have a story to tell, and we think millions of people want to hear it. The self publishing industry has made it possible for that to happen. But, is being a published author as glamorous and profitable as the world seems to think? The answer is absolutely not.

I self published the children’s book The Adventures of the Angles a year ago. The idea for the book came to me after I left my single life in Hawaii as a local television news producer to be a stay at home Air Force wife in the tiny town of Altus, OK. I wrote the book, and it sat in a file on my computer for 5 years. I do not draw, so I needed an illustrator. After numerous failed attempts to get artists I knew involved, I decided it was time to just pay someone. My research led me to the conclusion that using a self publishing company was less expensive than hiring an illustrator, and I would have the book in hand within a few months. My husband was skeptical about spending the money. I justified it by telling him that most women my age are spending money on plastic surgery to recapture their youth, and I wanted to recapture mine by publishing a children’s book.

Once the book is published is when the real work begins. Most of the marketing efforts self publishers offer is just to create promotional materials, which I can do myself. They don’t offer a literary agent or help from marketing professionals to get your book out there, so you have to do all the work. In the past year, my efforts have paid off some. I had 2 book signings and a reading at the elementary school I attended some 30 years ago. I thought the marketing would be easy. I would post a link on Facebook and all of my 600 friends would buy a copy, right? Wrong!

Overall, I have sold about 300 copies in the past year through Amazon and the stores that have carried it. I have given away about 100 copies. I have received rejection from several bookstores not wanting to carry it and have numerous emails that have never been returned from schools, libraries and many other places I believe would hit my target audience. All authors face rejection, but self published usually deal with it face to face, while those who have a publishing house backing them up usually only hear about it through an intermediary.

The question remains is it worth it to self publish? The answer is not simple. It depends on what your goal is in writing and publishing a book. If you are hoping for fame and fortune, self publishing is probably not for you. If you truly believe in your idea and enjoy seeing your efforts in print, then you should seriously consider it. I do not regret my decision because if just one child reads it and does better in their math class or enjoys math more, then it is worth it. My goal was and always will be to write books that could make a difference, so if this one does, then the money and the time have been more than worth it. Only you can make the decision on whether to self publish or not to self publish.

I’d love to answer any questions you have about my experience. They can be sent to kristie0013@yahoo.com.

About the Author:

Kristie Carpenter currently lives in Kailua, HI with her husband Major Mark Carpenter (USAF) and her 3 year old son Matthew. Carpenter has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University New Orleans and a Master’s of Education in Instructional Technology from Wayland Baptist University. She spent 12 years working in the media, both publishing and television news. She has spent the last 4 years working as an adjunct professor at Western Oklahoma State College and Remington College Honolulu. She is working on a second children’s book titled, “Why Does Daddy Live in the Big Red Box?” This book is about children being separated from their parents due to deployments and how communicating through the computer can be helpful during those difficult times. As a military spouse, she knows firsthand how devastating and heart breaking deployments can be on families and hopes this book will give at least one child a better understanding.

If you are looking for the perfect book to get your child motivated in Math…look no further than “The Adventures of the Angels!”

The book is ideal for any classroom from grades 1 to 5. Elementary school children will become excited about math after reading this fun, adventuresome tale.A young boy, named Maverick, who is sick of learning about numbers, discovers that math class can be fun when he visits the land of Angles. A family of angles comes alive, and Maverick discovers how instead of age they define themselves by size. The older an angle gets, the bigger they become. He also discovers how important angles are in every aspect of his life.

Available for purchase at https://www.createspace.com/3481811 or on www.amazon.com. Bulk distribution copies available at www.createspace.com/info/createspacedirect. Also listed with Baker & Taylor, PMG and Ingram Listing Service.

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10 Day Book Club introduces guest bloggers. We encourage people to share their love of writing. Send your submission to guestblog@10daybookclub.com and include your contact information within the content. All submissions must be written by the author. This is our way of helping writers share their message.

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10 Day Book Club creates an opportunity for writers to market self-published books within a virtual book club format. The same process is resourced for developing manuscripts in a public of private virtual book club format. Social networking and training on how to market through the popular mediums are also an option. See more at http://10daybookclub.com 

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Disclaimer:

All writing shared in our guest blog is the opinion and message of the author. 10 Day Book Club confirms authors’ permissions prior to publishing here.

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6 Responses to Self Publishing – Is It Worth It?

  1. donnakfitch says:

    Thoughtful article! Sounds like the choice isn’t easy for children’s books. For non-illustrated books, it’s an easier choice, but marketing is definitely time-consuming. Thanks for this perspective!

  2. Some good thoughts here. The key one is your goals. I have seen some self publish their stories and then be picked up by a traditional publisher. My book, Necessary Heartbreak, was bought by Simon & Schuster. A friend, Lisa Genova, wrote Still Alice. This became a best seller after S&S bought it. I do wish every writer much luck. Stay patient and always believe.

  3. Rod Stambaugh says:

    Self publishing is an art, not a science – especially for ebooks. Going at it alone probably diminishes your ability to reach the right audience. It’s imperative to have the right publishing partner that knows how to leverage the new world of social media. The team at 10 Day Book Club is one you can rely on because they have the right resources, know social media and can put a punch in self publishing.

  4. t says:

    Thanks for the advice, as this is something that I’ve been noodling around with for quite some time now.

    And please feel free to drop me a line if you’re still in need of someone to scribble between your words =]

  5. Thank you for following my blog. I’m always proofreading. I despise typos. No matter how careful I am, I still find more of them.

    http://thedailyclimb.wordpress.com/

  6. Dale Drinnon says:

    I have been told repeatedly that I should go into self-publishing and I need to know more about the process. I should be contacting the addresses posted here as part of that notion. Currently I have an online publisher that is willing to share 20% of the profits from my book with me-and he considers that to be a GOOD Offer!

    Best Wishes, Dale D.

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