Self-Publishing Pros and Cons with Dotti Enderle

SeveredThe changing publishing industry is offering new opportunities to writers, but is self-publishing for you? My friend and great writer Dotti Enderle (aka Dax Varley) has been published traditionally and self-published. Her most recent release, SEVERED (A TALE OF SLEEPY HOLLOW), is a young adult novel that’s gives its own version of the Icabod/Katrina story. It’s a fun story with great characters, and I recommend it.

Dotti offers us a little insight into the pros and cons of doing it yourself…

Most of you know me. I’ve been writing since the 1900s, but my first book wasn’t published till 2002. I’ve published forty more since then and have six books coming out next year. These are my traditionally published books.

It so happens, this past spring, I found myself with a YA novel that wasn’t trending. Humor for girls. Check the shelves. Seriously. I think Louise Rennison is pretty much alone. But I loved my book. I had faith in my book. And there was only one person who’d publish it. That’s when my self-publishing adventure began.

But wait…Dotti…does that mean you’re now one of those 99 cent millionaires? Hahaha. How cute. I’m not even a 99 cent thousandaire…yet. I’m not going to bore you with all the details of my journey, but I will lay out the pros and cons and what I’ve learned in my mere five months of self-publishing…or indie publishing…or my new favorite, author publishing. Whatever you call it, it’s still you uploading your work to Amazon, B&N and Kobo.

Here we go.

PRO: DIY kicks butt. I’m the master. I’m in control. Me like.

CON: DIY kicks your butt. There’s definitely a learning curve.

PRO: The indie community is a group of fabulously supportive authors who are willing to hold your hand, give advice, and help you across that troll infested bridge.

CON: Your traditionally published friends now look at you funny. It’s like I’m back in high school and they’re the A List. Not all of them, of course. But some of my lunch buddies no longer invite me to lunch. This hurts my heart a little.

PRO: You can do all your promoting from the luxury of your couch.

CON: You have to be a social media maven. I’m not. But gosh darn, I’m giving it my best.

PRO: Swelling with pride when you see your sales numbers grow.

CON: Dying a little inside when one person returns your book for a refund.

PRO: Your finished (edited, copyedited and formatted) book can be published in a matter of days.

CON: All that stuff in parenthesis costs money.

PRO: Reinventing yourself.

CON: Sometimes the patent office is closed.

Maybe I’m just hardheaded, but in my case, the pros outnumber the cons…except for that whole not being a 99 cent millionaire. But here’s one important thing I’ve learned from the indie community: Your best promotion is you next book. I’m building a readership. And I intend to keep them happy. When you get down to it, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Thank you, Dotti. I wholeheartedly agree.

Anyone have any pros and cons they’d like to share?

Find out more about Dax Varley on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.


13 Responses

  1. Carole St-Laurent says:

    That was a great list of pros and cons. Thanks for posting!

  2. Nice, simplistic breakdown of the 2. Bottom line: have that next book shortly on deck! Thank you. 🙂

  3. Sorry to hear about those lunch buddies. The “us” vs. “them” mentality is so outdated. But it persists. I finally chose to self-publish, to the dismay of *some* trad friends, because I believe the future belongs to writers with readers. Once you have a following, your career is in your own hands.

  4. Ann Herrick says:

    Very thoughtful list of pros and cons! And, wow, can’t believe the lunch buddies would drop you because you self-published. Maybe they’ll wake up and smell the coffee some day.

  5. Jodie Esch says:

    I’ve also entered the self-published ranks and I agree with everything you said.
    When I saw a ‘return’ on my stats, I was choked as you were, but I’ve now moved beyond that.
    Bravo for putting your book ‘out there’. It’s a great feeling. All the best.

  6. Chris Cannon says:

    Thanks for sharing your insights on self pubbing. I FB’d and tweeted.

  7. Alicia Rades says:

    Everything I’ve read says that self-publishing is the way to go. Thanks for this list of pros and cons.

  8. dotti4 says:

    Thanks for all the comments, everyone. I’m not a fast writer so we’ll see how it goes.

What do you think?