manuscript appraisal

The Cost of Self-Publishing

How much money will I spend self-publishing? The short answer is: more than you expect.

Self-publishing has a lot of advantages, the biggest of which is the writer having complete and total control over his or her own product. This also means the responsibility of publishing the book is entirely on their shoulders, and that can come with a financial burden.

For many authors, self-publishing is a by-product of writing. It’s not so much the goal of writing but more a bonus side-effect. You may write something for joy, therapy or intrigue, and then put it out into the world with little care of how it succeeds. If that’s the case, you’re an incredibly rare breed of writer.

The rest of us want to know our work is being read. And we like seeing some money coming through. Many of us don’t expect to be break-out famous (you can’t expect that, it’ll ruin you), but we’d at least like to see some growth in our readership as we slowly build a career.

The trouble is, a lot of self-published writers don’t know what they’re doing. They need to act as web masters, distribution experts, publicists, marketers, cover designers, editors, accountants and more. All of this rather gets in the way of writing, which many would argue is close to a full time job in itself. There are many self-published authors who enjoy the entrepreneurial spirit that is required to grow a decent readership following. You need to have a deep lust for learning, and be patient enough to know that a huge amount of effort is unlikely to yield a significant return in the short term. You’ve got to be in it for the long game.

Trouble is, inexperienced self-published writers can put time and money into the wrong areas. The sheer volume of time it takes to learn about a lot of the skills you’ll require is mind-numbing. You’re likely to get bored and impatient. So you’ll spend money to speed the process up. You might sink a thousand dollars into a book cover design, but end up with a result you’re not happy with (because you’ve never briefed a cover designer before, and you don’t know how book covers fit into the marketplace). You can blow hundreds of dollars on building a website that doesn’t work the way you want it to and crashes every two weeks. You can put a lot of time and money into social media but have no growth in your community. And after all of this, your book may come out with typos, or struggle to be reviewed in the press, or simply float in the atmosphere, never finding a reader.

It’s enough to make you want to give up.

For Pity Sake Publishing is a sincere attempt to help writers. We’re a team of editors, marketers and publicists who can help provide you with the legitimacy and skills of a traditional publisher, while still allowing you more control than authors are used to. Yes, we will probably ask you to kick in some cash, but our belief is the cash is going to be less than what you would spend if you attempted to trek in the wilderness by yourself. In return, you get greater financial control and more say in the artistic outcome of your work. We want to give writers a platform that they can’t give themselves for less money and time than it would take to self-publish – all the while making the final product the very best it can be.

Our starting point for this is our Manuscript Appraisal Service, where you can submit your work to us, and we can open a discussion.

Essential Podcasts for Writers

The romantic myth of the writer composing in solitude is only partly accurate. No great works are created in a vacuum, and a bout of creativity doesn't necessarily mean you have to separate yourself from the rest of the world. Podcasts and internet radio are a fantastic way to link up with the writing community at large, and can provide a few shots of inspiration from people who have tread the treacherous path of writing and publishing before.

With that in mind, here are a few of our favourites episodes.

Nigel Newtown on Conversations with Richard Fidler Listen to the man responsible for publishing Harry Potter, how his company changed amidst the wild success, and what publishers look for in new manuscripts.

Listen on the web here, or look for the episode on iTunes.

Elizabeth Gilbert on Conversations with Richard Fidler Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest release Big Magic, is a manifesto on art and creativity. This conversation with Richard is a wonderful ode to creativity and fantastic inspiration for anyone stuck in the mud.

Listen on the web here or look for the episode on iTunes.

Krissy Kneen on Mentor Yes, cheating, this is me interviewing the wonderful Krissy Kneen on my own podcast, BUT the conversation is extremely helpful for writers. Krissy talks openly about finding her voice, finding a publisher and how she navigates creativity.

Listen on the web here or look for the episode on iTunes.

Charlotte Wood on Adelaide Writers Week 2016 Just this week Charlotte picked up the Stella Prize, the literary award which celebrates Australian women’s writing. Her remarkable novel The Natural Way of Things is a must read. Charlotte’s a wonderful speaker and inspirational voice for writers at all levels. As well as this episode, you might want to check out her acceptance speech at the Stella Awards, truly heart-warming for any writer. 

Listen on the web here or on iTunes. Note: the podcast has a whole swag bag of great conversations from the recent Adelaide Writers’ Week. Worth a listen!

If you’re feeling inspired and have a manuscript and want an opinion, you may be interested in our appraisal service, available here.