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Why Should I Self Publish?

There are several arguments for and against self-publishing, but the strongest and most often stated reason against this option is; “all self publishing is an untalented person’s way of getting their scribblings into print at an extortionate price.”

Well, at £795.00 for the full publication of a transcript we certainly don’t fall into the ‘extortionist’ category, but what about you? Surely if your work had any merit it would have been snapped up by an eager agent or publisher wouldn’t it? Rather than us answer this all important question, why not read the stories of a couple of successful authors who were in your exact same position a couple of years ago.

If you’ve read G.P. Taylor's interview and Billy Hopkins' story, (if you haven’t we strongly suggest you do now) does any of what they say in their poignant recollections ring a bell with some of your own experiences? Can you imagine if Billy or Graham hadn’t been the persistent people they are, Billy’s humorous and Graham’s scary books would be collecting dust in their attics rather than giving pleasure to hundreds of thousands of people. Not to mention the financial rewards they have both received since the publication of their books.

Click on Graham's image to visit his website.
Whilst we are definitely not guaranteeing you sales in the thousands or financial success like Billy Hopkins or Graham Taylor, the fact is you never know what you and your writing can achieve unless you try. With most publishers refusing to even look at unsolicited manuscripts and literary agents either increasingly deciding not to take on any new un-published authors or because of the sheer volume of unsolicited manuscripts they are sent each month (over 1,000 per month in some cases) they are simply overloaded, is it any wonder that the Billys and Grahams of this world slip through the net?

Click on Billy's image to visit his website.

An interesting point to note in both Billy’s and Graham’s stories is the way they both managed to get their first work published by a main-stream publisher. It wasn’t until Billy published his work himself that John Sherlock, obviously a man with some influence, read his book and was so impressed with what he’d read that he passed it on with a strong recommendation to a literary agent friend of his (I believe those very same agents rejected his book a year or so earlier) . The agent, after reading Billy’s book and thoroughly enjoying it, then selected a publisher to present it to and that first publisher took the book on. One has to ask, “would that have happened if Billy had believed the remarks from all the agents and publishers he sent his work to previously, and just quietly gone away?”

Graham decided to self-publish straight away, by-passing the months of waiting for a possible positive response from a literary agent or publisher. In so doing his book was read by a retired book reviewer from a major Sunday newspaper. The retired gentleman sent Graham’s book to his old employer with a note suggesting they read and review the book. Their subsequent positive review paved the way for a multi million pound publishing deal with Faber and Faber. Again imagine if Graham had followed the conventional route of trying to get his manuscripts read by publishers who are refusing to look at anything that hasn’t come from a literary agent, and literary agents who are swamped with hundreds if not thousands of unsolicited manuscripts each month. He would quite possibly still be waiting to receive a letter of interest or even acceptance!

Finally, the only person who can truly decide whether or not your work should be published is you. If like Billy or Graham, some friends and friends of friends have read your manuscript and given you positive feed-back, those comments might well be an indicator that your work is worth pursuing. If on the other hand their responses have been luke-warm at best, maybe your manuscript needs more work done to it, or possibly your talents lie in areas other than writing. The decision, in the end rests with you, but don’t be put off because you’ve been rebuffed by literary agents and / or publishers, Billy wasn’t and Graham didn’t even give them the chance to reject his work, and an awful lot of people are very pleased by their decisions!

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