Wednesday, September 25, 2013

To Self-Publish or Not to Self-Publish by Peter Clenott, author of 'Devolution'

Peter Clenott is a graduate of Bowdoin College and hails from Portland, Maine. He is the author of the archaeological adventure Hunting the King and currently has three children and lives in Haverhill.

Visit his website at:

To Self-Publish or Not to Self-Publish 

My debut novel HUNTING THE KING and my latest novel
DEVOLUTION were published traditionally. That is, I didn’t have to fork over any money to see my book in print. But in between the publication of these two books, I decided to look into self-publishing. I chose iUniverse because, at the time, this company had the best reputation for producing a finished professional work. First, let it be understood that I could never have attempted this financially onerous business without family. They paid everything, which made it easy for me to choose the highest price service. There were several levels beginning with $500-$700 up to over $3000 dollars. This initial payment got me a professional editing job. I’ve been writing for many years and can edit my own stuff, but the iUniverse editor did a creditable job for the price and did provide some helpful feedback. Though some of the cover work was sloppy, and I had to keep sending it back for corrections, the finished novel looks good. With the initial cost, I get a kindle version of the novel THE HUNTED plus forty free soft cover and five hard cover
editions. Bookstores who purchase THE HUNTED from national distributor Ingram or Baker can return any books they don’t sell. This is an important issue if you want to get your books into stores. Though many bother book sellers still will only take your self-published book on consignment. This was all good. However, this was when the company started hitting me up for more services, asking me to spend more money to develop and maintain a web site and get a prestigious review (which I agreed to and paid $2000 extra for), to hire a publicist (which I didn’t do because it would have cost $10,000) and to get my novel to a Hollywood studio. For the latter service, I would have had to pay $857. I asked the marketing specialist how many iUniverse authors had had their novels made into movies. The answer being ‘none’. I begged off this offer. The bottom line is, you pay for what you get. Their up front service was professional and reasonable. You just have to be able to tell them no to everything else they throw at you.

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