January 3, 2001
1:21 PM   Subscribe

How to Self-Publish a Book and Turn it into a Bestseller. Seth Godin, author of unleashing the idea virus wrote this rather simplistic article about self-publishing books -- perhaps it's a little easier to self-publish when your book is about giving information away & spreading memes than it would be for the hypothetical novelist he suggests. media monopolies are scary. self publishing -- it's all the rage.
posted by palegirl (5 comments total)
I downloaded it and read it. Boring, useless, unimaginative, redundant, repetitive, recycled mumbo-jumbo. The reader is strung along between promises to deliver a magic key and subsequent failures to deliver that key which are disguised as new promises. In fact, I have the impression he recognized this about the work and went back through and wrote in caveats that read the same as the speeches mediums and spirit-guides give: if you're skeptical, then it won't work.
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:54 PM on January 3, 2001

Media monopolies may be scary, but they're nowhere near as scary as trying to self-publish.
posted by kindall at 3:21 PM on January 3, 2001

Writing a book is a daunting task, self-publishing is too, but it's not insurmountable, and the rewards, the self-satisfaction are more than worth it. If you feel the need, then go with it - better to have made the effort than to have wondered "what if".

I wrote a history book about a weird little town in Alaska, couldn't find any publishers because they worried it was too "niche", so I self-published (a fairly involved task). Now I've sold enough in my first year to make a small profit already. But there is no way in Hell I'd have made a profit if I didn't self-publish (and self-market and self-distribute, etc).

One big lesson I learned is that even though we're using a lot of New Economy engines to sell and distribute texts, it still takes a lot of hard work in the Old World establishments to get anywhere at all. Godin may have an interesting idea, but this article is trite and not terribly useful.

posted by kokogiak at 4:53 PM on January 3, 2001

Dave Sim gave a speech to pro-con that I noded here on Everything2 about self publishing in comics. It mostly goes into the "why" of things rather than the "how".
Also his "note from the president" columns that are in the public domain here.
posted by davidgentle at 5:27 PM on January 3, 2001

A good friend of mine recently self-published a book of poetry. She's a great poet and didn't have trouble finding a local company to help her out (a kind of self-publishing facilitator if you will). But even then it was an ordeal to get the thing published and finished.

By the way, the book is titled Scarring Rituals and it's filled with fantastic poetry and illustrations. I highly recommend you buy it (even though you have to wait six weeks since it's a special order book from Amazon).
posted by daveadams at 7:14 PM on January 3, 2001

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