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Stories To Tell is a full service book publishing company for independent authors. We provide editing, design, publishing, and marketing of fiction and non-fiction. We specialize in sophisticated, unique illustrated book design.

Stories To Tell Books BLOG

Is Self-Publishing for Commercial Distribution for You?

Nan Barnes

An increasing number of authors are embracing self-publishing as a commercial proposition. Failing to find deals with traditional publishers or unhappy with the terms they are offered by publishers, they opt to go it alone.

Canada’s National Post ran a recent piece on line titled “Self-Publishing: Doing It Yourself and Doing It Better” which looked at the phenomenon.

Terry Fallis, author of The Best Laid Plans is typical of the most common reasons authors self-publish. He couldn’t find a traditional publisher who wanted to publish his work. What was less typical is that Fallis’ book won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour which led it’s author to a deal with a Canadian publisher.

“It was a positive experience for me,” says Fallis of his venture as a self-publisher.

Steve Almond, the author of six books, the most recent of which, Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life, was just published by Random House, has recently become a self-publisher for a two very different reasons.  First, he was unhappy with a publisher’s decision that he must change the title of a story collection.

“Any time that you enter into an agreement that you’re not in control of,” said Almond, “you have to make certain compromises. And that can be kind of tough.”

Since deciding to self-publish his next book This Won’t Take But A Minute, Honey, Almond has also found that the process is much quicker. “I’m used to waiting 18 months…” he said. The speed of print-on-demand is a happy contrast.

But, there are drawbacks for an author seeking commercial distribution of a self-published book. One of the most important is that book stores may refuse to stock self-published works and reviewers may be unwilling to review them.

“It’s not that I have a philosophical objection to self-published books, but the reality is that most of them don’t cleave to the same editorial or production standards as books that come from reputable publishing houses,” says Steven Beattie, Quill & Quire’s review editor.

Steve Almond advises, “Self-publishing has allowed people to put lots of books into the world, but it doesn’t mean that it’s good art. Your job as a writer isn’t to figure out how your book’s going to get into the world, it’s to figure out how to write well enough that your book deserves to get into the world.”

One way to do that is seeking quality editing to improve your draft of the book. Stacy Davis Stanton author of Fertile Ground a memoir of her struggle with infertility and how she successfully overcame it with the birth of a son told the Savannah Morning News, that once you “decide if self-publishing is right for you,” you should,  “…be willing to invest in editing services to fine-tune your manuscript.”

Click here to read the full National Post article

Click here to read the Savannah Morning News interview with Stacy Davis Stanton.