Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Follow the yellow brick road to self-publishing success!

I thought I’d reblog this post from just about a year ago, in which I raise cautionary flags about expectations in self-publishing. Now, having been at it a while, I think it’s more important than ever to understand that “average results” are much more likely to be on the low end of the scale and that, if you’re serious about publishing your own work, you have to have the long view.

Nobody ever said this would be easy!



Right on the heels of my introduction of Yesterday Road to the WordPress universe comes this item, via Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing. (I love Boing Boing, btw): “Survivorship bias: why 90% of the advice about writing is bullshit right now.

I admire the writer’s bluntness.

Tobias Buckell is an “author – blogger – futurist,” according to his web site, who has been selling his work as ebooks for a long time now, and with the help of data from Smashwords walks us through the reality of self-publishing risks and rewards. The heart of the matter is that, because we hear much more about success stories than about the complete failures, we tend to ignore the bad news and believe we can succeed like the best of the bunch. What we’re overlooking is the enormous swamp of disappointment that, statistically, our work is likely to get mired…

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3 comments on “Follow the yellow brick road to self-publishing success!

  1. 1WriteWay
    May 23, 2014

    Yup, your post is still quite timely … or do I mean, timeless? Since so many of my fellow bloggers are now self-published, I find it interesting to follow their marketing strategies. A couple seem to have fairly relentless marketing plans. I imagine that might work in the short-term, but how (and whether) to keep at it is the real question for me. I get tired just reading about all their interviews, book signings, etc. 🙂 I suspect that if I ever publish and I’m left to do my own marketing, my book(s) probably won’t gain any value until after I die.

    • Kevin Brennan
      May 23, 2014

      Ouch, there’s a lovely thought! Posthumous glory? Ugh!

      I’m with you on the relentless promotions, though. I’m afraid it puts people off after the initial campaign, and frankly some of the blog tours n’ stuff seem to go on forever. Not sure they’re even that effective, so you wind up annoying people while not selling a lot of books!

      It’s a dilemma, but one thing I’ve learned so far is that you can’t make something happen; you can just create conditions where it could happen…

      • 1WriteWay
        May 23, 2014

        I’m known for my lovely thoughts 😉

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This entry was posted on May 23, 2014 by in Publishing.
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