Saturday, January 14, 2012

5 Common Myths About Self-Publishing Books by Cher Murphy

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – (January 12, 2012) – Over 1.8 million books have been published in the past nine years at, the leader in self-publishing. More and more, authors are considering self-publishing as a viable option for sharing their ideas and expertise. Despite the increasing opportunities to sell more of their work and reach more readers through a bevy of exciting new retail channels like the iBookstore℠, there are still stigmas associated with self-publishing industry that cast doubt upon everything from the authors’ abilities to their credibility.

“There are a lot of myths when it comes to self-publishing books,” explains Sarah Gilbert, director of sales at Lulu (, a self-publishing company. “They come from the years of vanity presses who would often charge authors an arm and a leg to publish their works, but that model is outdated and companies like Lulu now exist solely to help authors publish with no upfront cost and give them the freedom to share their voice.”
Here are 5 common myths surrounding self publishing books:
  1. They won’t make money. Not everyone is out to make a mint. In fact, some are content just making a coffee table book for their grandma. Having said that, there are plenty of people who have capitalized on self-publishing books. All over the world there are examples such as Goh Koon Hoek, author of e-Start Your Web Store with Zen Cart, who have sold thousands of copies of their works and made well in excess of $200,000.
  2. It takes too long. With new eBook and better print-on-demand technologies, authors today are able to publish a work in about 15 minutes. Direct-live status for retail channels like the iBookstore even enable an author to reach literally millions of new readers instantly with a few clicks of a button. All an author needs is a PDF or a Word doc.
  3. They lose credibility. Self-published authors are often just as credible as those that traditionally published. Some examples of self-published authors include Benjamin Franklin, Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, and John Grisham. Each of these people, as well as many other self published authors, are deemed credible. What’s more interesting is many traditionally published authors today, like bestselling political author Kevin Powell, and New York Times Notable author, Stephen Stark are making the switch to self-publishing because of the greater control they have over their works.
  4. They can’t be a good writer. It is easy to say that someone who chooses self-publishing must not be a good writer and couldn’t get a traditional publishing contract. But the truth is that many have never even tried to go the route of traditional publishing. Only a small percentage of books are selected by traditional publishers each year, leaving many talented writers behind, holding their books. As pointed out above, plenty of good writers have self-published.
  5. People don’t read self-published books. Over 2.5 million self-published titles were sold at in 2011 – many of which appeared on actual retail shelves at the same quality as a traditionally published book. If you ask 10 people who published the last couple of books they read, the vast majority would have no clue. The truth of the matter is, the reader usually doesn’t pay much attention to who published the book. They want to read an interesting book that is well written. Who published it is likely the last thing on their mind.
“Self publishing is going to continue to rise in popularity,” adds Gilbert. “The more people choose it, the more these myths will continue to fade away. Self publishing, whether paper books or eBooks, is an option worth considering for an author, business, publisher, or educator.”

To learn more about Lulu’s self-publishing tools, log onto

About Lulu, founded in 2002, is a company that specializes in independent publishing. The company has 1.1 million creators and has 20,000 titles added to their collection each month. They offer their service for free and authors keep up to 90 percent of the profits when their works sell. Lulu provides anyone with the ability to publish books, eBooks, mini-books, photo books, calendars, cookbooks, and travel books. To learn more, visit the website


Amy @ Soul Dipper said...

Thanks for this article, Nora. It is very encouraging. From the first time that I sent a query letter, I have felt like getting a book published would be like cramming an elephant through a key hole.

Other art forms can be exposed instantly to potential markets, but with books, we may have one person deciding the fate of a manuscript. What if it wasn't her taste? What if he was hung-over or had a fight with his wife that morning?

It seemed out of whack. I'm glad we are where we are now.

Nora Peevy said...

I'm traditional in trying to get published the old-fashioned way, but I see the value in self-publishing too. I have a short in a UK self-published mag and it is a nice looking mag. Very professional. Great covers. It's through They are great. Cher Murphy sends me some wonderful information at times.

A New Kind of Literary Critic... said...

Reading this article I had a mix of feelings. This article points out a number of interesting things, but avoids one very important fact: MARKETING. In a day and age when anyone can publish a book, good quality or bad, we discover as writers that we have just shot ourselves in the foot. Now our biggest problem isn't getting an agent or publisher's attention; it is finding the financial ability to advertise louder than that of our peers. Today's market is so saturated with indie authors, of both good and bad caliper, that it is difficult to even be noticed if you have no money for advertising. This is why writers, today and tomorrow, will always need the approval of a publishing house. I don't know a single one of my indie author peers who can cough up fifty grand for advertising, let alone even a meager ten.

Joy Johnson