So Ya Wanna Self-Publish That Book That’s Been Hiding in Your Head?

Have I got news for you! Most of it good. Some not so good. But let’s start with the good news. In today’s high-tech world there are two popular ways to give birth to that novel or how-to book you’ve been writing in your mind for all those years: One is called self-publishing – aka print-on-demand or POD – where you end up with printed books in hand. The other is to create an eBook, which means you’ll be selling access to an electronic file rather than to printed books.

Either way, it’s amazing how much more there is to self-publishing a book than just writing it and paying to have your book “published,” meaning made available to the public. Obviously, your book is something the entire world has been waiting for, right? Too bad no one knew that. Or cared. Sadly, no one ever will, unless you’re willing – and have both the funds and the skills – to promote your book yourself.

There is no sure-fire formula, no magic route to becoming a successful author. It takes time, money and effort. And, after all is said and done – unless you’ve written the next Harry Potter sequel or Hunger Games trilogy – it’s highly unlikely your book will ever end up “on book store shelves.” Sorry, but that’s a fact of life.

Book stores today – dwindling in number as they are – do not buy printed books in the sense that you and I buy shoes or groceries. If they like a particular book – and their reasons for that will vary – they request a very limited supply of printed volumes on consignment. That means that at the end of some pre-agreed period of time any unsold copies of your book will be returned, usually at your expense, to you the self-publisher.

Fortunately, there are no such “returns” with eBooks because the aggregator of your eBook – the primary distributor you select – has only an electronic file of your book, not hundreds of thousands of printed copies.

As a self-publisher, promoting your book is almost always your responsibility… and your expense. With an eBook, the aggregator makes your electronic file available to the Amazons, B&Ns and other eBook sellers of the world, but rarely does anyone in that chain fully promote an eBook. And with a self-published POD book, promoting and selling your printed book through websites, social media, news releases, media kits, book signings and the like is…? You guessed it, your responsibility and your expense.

The good news, as I explained earlier, is that self-publishing – either in a printed version or as an eBook – gives you a feeling of relief, something like what a female elephant must feel after giving birth following almost two years of being pregnant. You’ve been carrying your book around in your mind for years, and self-publishing in either form will allow you to give birth to that seed of an idea that’s been growing there almost forever. The bad news? Either way will take some time, effort and money on your part. But either way it’s definitely doable. And it’s wonderfully enjoyable!

© 2012 Philip A. Grisolia, CBC

An accredited Certified Business Communicator (CBC), Phil Grisolia specializes in creating results-oriented marketing programs that generate additional revenue for his clients, money they can take to the bank. An award-winning copywriter and respected marketing professor, Phil is the author of 30 Money-Making Marketing Secrets No One Ever Told You which is available from Amazon. He is also a syndicated business columnist and an executive business coach. Discover for yourself the broad range of services Phil provides for his worldwide clients by visiting

Author: Phil Grisolia
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