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Have you thought about Self-Publishing?

October 15, 2009

1067843_29644623Well, I’m at the very very beginning stages (that means everything is in my head and not on paper) of writing a book proposal- the treasured manuscript that’s required to “sell” yourself and sell your book idea to an agent/editor. Cause you know, publishers have to make money off what you write. It’s how the world goes around. And as always, it’s a competitive market.

I follow several blogs but the only person whose blog posts get sent directly to my email via google reader is CEO of Thomas Nelson, Michael Hyatt. He consistently has great posts on publishing, leadership, and other great thoughts.

Well on Tuesday he announced that Westbow press, a division of Thomas Nelson will be offering quality self-publishing services (this is a really big deal). Here’s what they say:

  1. We think there is huge growth potential in this category. Increasing numbers of people are moving from being merely consumers to being creators. They want to express themselves creatively. Just witness the phenomenal success of user-generated content sites like YouTube, Flickr, and Scribd.
  2. We want to offer a legitimate alternative to traditional publishing. Why should all the power be in the hands of publishers? If prospective authors are convinced their book should be in print and are willing to fund it, they should be able to do so without the fear that they might be ripped off.
  3. We want to find the new voices for tomorrow. Publishers aren’t omniscient. We miss numerous opportunities every year. Finding the next bestseller is like searching for a needle in a haystack. WestBow Press provides us with a kind of “farm team.” We intend to watch the sales of these titles carefully. We will offer traditional publishing contracts to those authors whose self-published books begin to gain traction.

As a writer, one who’s attended several writer’s conferences, networked with respected authors and agents, and actually works in publishing, I’ve had a slightly negative bent towards self-publishing. Traditional publishing has always been the way to go (and I still believe it’s what I want to pursue).

But West Bow Press intrigues me in regards to where we’re at today in publishing and what it will look like in the future. And I think they are on to something.

Have you heard about it? Would you ever consider self-publishing your book?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2009 9:02 pm

    Thank you for posting your insights! Whether it may be indie or traditional publishing, it all depends upon the writers dedication to succeed. Keep on writing!


  2. October 16, 2009 11:14 am

    Thanks for the comment and for the advice. Great stuff! – Samantha

  3. October 22, 2009 11:27 pm

    Mark and I would like to co-write a book/Biblestudy/devotional on infertility and miscarriage. I was so surprised to find such a limited number of resources and devotional materials out there for young couples going through those trials. We feel that these unique struggles should be readdressed in our generation.

  4. October 26, 2009 10:44 am

    You absolutely should do it. Having now read your blog for several months, I believe you’re writing ability and style is great and very easy to follow. I would certainly purchase a book that you publish. I’ve considered writing a book on more than one occasion, but each time I have opted to improve my writing ability prior to doing so. I’ve read a few books such as “Woe is I,” “Write Tight,” and other grammatical/writing books. Do you have any reading suggestions or other writing recommendations?

  5. October 26, 2009 12:17 pm

    Jaime- I think you and Mark should definitely start that process of writing on that topic. I haven’t seen much out there as well. We have a few friends who have experienced infertility and miscarriages and I know a resource like that would help through the grieving process. Our church has started a ministry called Shiloh specifically for couples experiencing that. What resources have you found so far?

    Dan- Thanks for the encouragement. That is really humbling. I will let you know what ends up happening! I think you should go ahead and go for it- and to remember that waiting till something is perfect, often means it will never get done (I’ve had to tell myself this all the time).

    I have read “Woe is I” also which I love. I would also recommend Elements of Style, On Writing Well (an informal guide to nonfiction), Story, Writing for the Soul (Jenkins).

    Writer’s conferences are the best I’ve found to become a better writer (even the best authors still attend them) and to network. You can find a list of them on Christian Writer’s Marketplace blog and all kinds of other resources on writing and getting published. Anyone else have other writing resources they’ve liked?

  6. October 26, 2009 5:11 pm

    Thanks for the recommendations!

  7. October 27, 2009 7:20 pm

    Thought about self-publishing a lot; also been thinking about writing the dreaded book proposal. Probably the only reason I haven’t yet is I’m a coward and fear rejection.

    Westbow Press looks like an interesting approach because it seems to give you the best of both worlds–you’ve got control over your content, but you’ve got a bigger publisher in your corner.

    • October 29, 2009 1:22 pm

      Oh yes the dreaded book proposal. Man, it’s just so intimidating isn’t it?! Ughh. Well I experience those same fears but I’m starting to get over the fact that it doesn’t have to be perfect and there’s a good chance editors will end up having other ideas/changing a lot of it!

      Yep, Westbow is basically another approach. It doesn’t mean it’s the way for everyone and it doesn’t mean Traditional publishers are going down the tube either. I like the way you stated about the bigger publisher in your corner. I’m still not sure what I’d like to pursue- I naturally lean towards going all the way and not doing self, but we’ll see.

      Blessings as you take the dive and start writing Aaaron!

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