Letters of Mass Construction

To Publish or Not To Publish?

I have been thinking a lot about what level of success I am looking for on my books. What is the magic number that makes continuing to publish my own work a feasible plan? After much pounding of numbers I have no answers. Mostly because there is not a great up front cost right now.

I have to pay for the cover art but I am able to format the books for Kindle and Nook. My brother is going to take a crack at Smashwords. Breaking even is not something I am going to worry about because it will happen with every book. No, I am more interested in the abstract problem. Is there a certain amount of negative or positive reviews required. Is no reviews at all a message in and of itself?

I have always told myself I wouldn’t kid myself about this whole thing. If I publish a bunch of books and no one comes to the party it might be time to go back to writing for myself. Right now I have no easy answers and I am not too worried about it. I know the time will come where I might have to take this decision more serious but it isn’t there yet.

The next biggest problem on my mind is the genre. I really prefer writing YA books but I wonder if it is because I enjoyed the story of the last trilogy so much. Having just finished my first adult novel I now have to decide do I stick with YA or do I do a few adult books? I have several ideas for both genres but haven’t been able to decide where to go next. Luckily, I have some time because I have a few projects that have to be finished first.

I have finished the rough outline on two comic scripts and will be writing those over the next couple of weeks while I am editing Whispers of the Dead. I am going to send both scripts into Dark Horse before I head off to Comic-Con this year. It was a goal I set for myself last year and I plan to keep it.

Speaking of Comic-Con. I was denied my press congenital this year which bummed me out a little. I will just have to keep plugging away at building some bylines and try again next year. I should still be going and I hope my articles from this year will keep cementing my press pass for next year. In the meantime if you haven’t had a chance to buy my two books yet, wander on over and treat yourself. Help a confused man make up his mind.

Amazon Link for A Very Zombie Holiday

Barnes & Noble Link for A Very Zombie Holiday

A Very Zombie Holiday UK Link


The Shadow Men at Amazon

The Shadow Men at Barnes & Noble

The Shadow Men at Amazon UK

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5 Responses to “To Publish or Not To Publish?”

  1. W. D. Prescott says:

    First off, I so happy you moved to WordPress. Trying to sign in to Blogger to comment was always a hassle.

    Anyways, I think you hit they nail on head of the whole self-publishing movement. There really is no system in place for gauging the success of yourself if you take on the burden of publishing your book. It really comes down to the person and what he or she whats to set as a goal. Personally, I wouldn’t let reviews get in the way, good or bad. Though, if they are good, it is a definite plus and you should use them to promote the books. If you have none, just start sending copies out to reviewers. They will tell you right off the bat if they will or won’t. But if you are thinking normal readers will do that for you, i think it may take a while before yu see them coming.

    As for genre, just write what ever story you want to write. One of the things self-publishing does is free you from the old model of “you are this writer, write these stories to keep your audience and sell books.” A lot of that was because if authors got a multiple book deal they want either a series of similar stories to ensure they would recoup the money they invest in the author. You are now the investor. Plus, being so close to the start of your career, your audience hasn’t had time to peg you as a this author or a that author. If you make them expect anything, they will accept the range of ideas.

    Hope this was helpful.

    • csdaley says:

      Of course, ultimately I need to be good. This will decide everything. The first three YA books are a trilogy so if one flops they all flop. I might have to wait a few books outside of the trilogy to decide what my ultimate path is.

  2. taureanw says:

    I’m also considering self-publishing and have been pondering this same thing. Interesting post!

  3. Well, reviews from the public don’t matter much. Reviews from book critics who can help you sell some more copies? Well, they kinda matter. But if the issue is that you are not selling many copies, maybe the real problem is promotion. Just having the book available as one of a zillion books on Amazon isn’t going to get people to buy a copy. You have to get the word out. So maybe figure out some ways to do that. I have the book on my Kindle, and after reading it I’ll probably plug it on my blog. But I’m not a YA audience, so my blog isn’t going to reach your readers the way some other YA aimed blog might.

    But since it costs nothing (or close) to publish an e-book, just keep doing that and let people discover you.

    • csdaley says:

      Yeah I am educating myself on promotion and marketing right now. I have read a lot of successful ebook writers talk about how it didn’t really start happening for them until they had a few books out. My next one comes out in Aug. 🙂

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