Self Publishing-the pros and cons of it by JoAnne Myers

LMM_book_cover_2 The best thing about self-publishing is that you are guaranteed to be published, no matter what type book you choose to write. Traditional publishers often look for something not yet written about, or seldom written about; such as true life alien abductions, or what Earth might be like in the year 4000, if humans last that long.

Self-publishing allows the author more leeway with subject matter. The author can tell it like it is; unlike traditional publishers who generally follow a code of conduct, for the fear of treading on someone’s toes. Traditional publishers always have that fear of being sued for libel, whereas self-publishers tend to not care what others think.

With self publishing every detail is up to the author. From hiring a professional editor if the self publishing author is not prolific in the English language. Editing is expensive, and every book, even self publishing needs some editing to help polish the final product. Self-publishing does offer editing and marketing services, but for an additional price, that can be expensive. All that work is taken care of by a traditional publisher, which means less headaches and work for the author.

When it comes to book covers, self-publishing companies usually give the author a selection of artwork to choose from. Some of this artwork is free, but some usually cost a few dollars. The free artwork is seldom great, and might not coincide with the books material. For paid artwork at self-publishing companies, the artwork is upgraded and more pleasing to the eye, but is an extra cost, which might for some self-publishers, mean an extra dent in their pocketbooks. Traditional publishers have their own art department, which means the author is guaranteed a terrific book cover, which is included in the contract. Both self-publishing and traditional publishing companies, though, usually allow the author to use their own artwork if the author chooses too, especially if the book is about the author’s family, pet, friends, or profession. Using personal artwork adds a touch of personification and genuine sincerity to the book; which is always a good selling point.

What I discovered through Amazon, and something they did not tell me in the beginning, is that with them, the author must keep a supply of their books at the Amazon warehouse. Amazon is not a print on demand (POD) distributor as is Lulu, as I initially believed it to be. Also, with the author’s books being stored at the Amazon warehouse, the author is charged for a monthly storage fee. I don’t know what this storage fee is, but I do know, that the more books the author keeps stored, the higher the storage fee is. This storage requirement can be expensive. The author is required to pay this monthly storage fee, even if their book does not sell. When it comes to any type of artwork, whether it be books, jewelry, or candles, artwork is usually a hard product to sell. If it were easy, all artists and authors would be wealthy.

Lulu on the other hand, is a print on demand self publisher. They do not store books, but keep each title stored in a queue, at a contracted print on demand printer.

Also, what I understand is that Lulu allows 80% of the royalties to go to the author, and Amazon allows 70%, but that percentage is only applicable for books sold to certain countries outside of the U.S., such as Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and India, and only for titles enrolled in KDP Select. This in reality, means that the author receives an average 35% of the sales, and Amazon gets the other 65%.

A author can struggle with locating a traditional publishing company for many reasons. They have written a book that only they are interested in; such as their family history. I don’t believe most would be interested in reading about someone else’s family tree, unless it is as brilliant as the book Roots, was. If a author is struggling with locating a traditional publishing company, than self-publishing is for them. I for one believe that if a writer has written a book, they should continue seeking out the traditional publishing company. This only applies if their book is polished and ready for sale. If a book has many graphical errors, it will not be taken seriously by a traditional publisher. Getting away with graphical errors in a self-published book is possible, but it would be disappointing and frustrating to the reader. Whether the book is self-published or traditionally published, the final product should be free of errors, and entertaining, and pleasing to the eye. In my opinion, when it comes to Lulu versus Amazon, Amazon bites the dust. Good luck.

Blurbs for “Loves, Myths and Monsters” 11 tales of fantasy, intrigue, and mystery, entwined within the human world

Welcome To Anna

Little does 17 year old Zoe, realize, but the Chupracabra followed her to Ohio from South America. What happens next is a series of chilling mysteries, and unsuspecting friendships and love.

The Hunter’s Bride
When all game warden Daren Abram, had to worry about was which lucky lady to woo, he comes to the realization that his town is being stalked by the reincarnation of the town’s legend.

Moon People
For teenage mermaid Constance, coming to the quaint seaside town of Willowick, is heavenly, until she falls for mortal boy Drake. For the town to survive, Constance is forced to choose between her kind and the boy and town she loves.

The Pack
When young Lycan Sonny Red Blanket, a Shawnee Indian falls for mortal girl Drenda Way, he must save her from his fellow Lycan’s and stop a werewolf uprising.

The Bidding
Apiologist 34-year-old Duncan McPherson goes to Circleville, Ohio, to investigate a series of mysterious bee attacks. What is uncovered proves to be more dark and sinister then anyone imaged.

The Agreement
Incarcerated in the abandoned Roseville jail, is the last thing rich college student and speeder Brice Conrad, needs. With an “agreement” between the town and a permanent demonic “guest”, only the unfortunate ones know the truth, but do not live to tell.

For The Love Of Ginnie
Handsome bachelor and Scientist Alex Anderson from the thirtieth century, returns to the Civil War with time serum to save his beloved Ginnie Wade from a snipers bullet, while finding a roller coaster ride of joy and perils.

Is It Only A Myth?
When 32-year-old Vinton County Sheriff, James “Jim” Connors, discovers he has a Mothman hunting in his county, he stops at nothing to save his citizens.

The Proposition
The rough and ready cowboy John Queenie gets the shock of his life, when the ad to break a “wild filly” turns out to be a fiery Quaker girl named Tess. This is a story proving love conquers all.

The House On Shady Lane
A seemingly loving family turns out to be serial killers in 1873.

Love’s Curse
When an Egypt love curse scroll is stolen from a Dean’s office, persons begin dying in bizarre and grisly ways, with the college’s mascot a Viking King statue jokingly blamed for it.

For the Love of Ginnie

I don’t know why I wanted to save the life of a person I never met. Maybe it was because I was tired of bachelorhood. Maybe it was because I was a chemist and the unusual, and unexplained, fascinated me. Or, maybe, it was because I was obsessed with this twenty-year-old, dark-haired beauty named Mary Virginia “Ginnie” Wade I had read about. These questions filtered through my mind as I drove to the bar to meet my best friend Will.

Will’s favorite hangout was “The Bling,” originally an old truck stop on State Route 93, in Nelsonville, Ohio. The place became a restaurant/lounge/dance hall and brothel when semis no longer became a necessity for long distance hauling. The invention of the transporter also replaced many other primitive jobs such as mail delivery and travel. “The Bling” was best known for the large flashing lights suggesting scantily clad women in seductive positions above the front entrance, and its “bulldogs,” monster-sized bouncers in Armani suits who patrolled its two-block perimeter, inside and out.

“The Bling,” just another joint with a sleazy atmosphere, like all alcohol-serving establishments, differed only in that it catered exclusively to class “A” clientele. Politely—or maybe not so politely—everyone called it the “Whorehouse for the rich and bored.” Its reputation grew. Its income grew even faster.

I pulled up in front and exited my vintage DeLorian, tossing the keys to the baby-faced valet, by-passed the doorman with no questions asked. Just an exchange of large smiles between us. Will was also part-owner.

As I entered the twenty-four carat gold, electronic doors, Will immediately spotted me and motioned me toward the bar with his diamond embellished hand.

I loved sitting at the bar. It was the perfect place to see the shows. “Two double scotches and water,” Will said, as we shook hands, and I slid into my seat beside him, just as the tall, leggy waitress produced the drinks in an instant.

I immediately recognized the “girl” as one of the latest “do-everything-like-a-wife” robotics. Robot manufacturing had become a booming business since the last war destroyed the immune and reproductive systems in most humans, especially females.

“I don’t know why you waste your time flirting with non-humans,” I said, cautiously sipping my drink. The immense emptiness of not being able to acquire a wife and soul mate, I felt at this age in my life, almost drove me to alcoholism, but my boss and mentor, Doctor Obar Gabry, intervened, saving my life and promising career.

“Because, dear friend,” Will began, “beggars can’t be choosey, and ladies are in scarce supply. Beside, these ‘girls’ are all pink inside.”

“Ugh!” I said, gulping down a large swallow of alcohol as if it could wash away my friend’s vile mental picture from my mind.

“Come on, Alex, loosen up. Live a little.” Will motioned to the waitress for another round of drinks. “You’re alive, so act like it. Don’t let your beautiful mind go to waste. This world needs people like you. People started treating me like a god once I became an entrepreneur, and I love it.”

I had to laugh. Maybe my self-pity stage had outlived its use. Only I can find a wife for myself. I certainly won’t ask Will to hook me up. His sense of values are as artificial as the women he beds.

The pain and loneliness I felt at times from yearning for a life-long partner and family wasn’t easy to accomplish. Scientific and Medical technology still could not reverse the sterilization effects on the female species.

Sure there were some human women to date. But most were either sterile, too old, too young, or there was just no chemistry between the two of us. I wanted that spark that unites between two people madly in love…like my parents. I never met any couple happier with one another then my beloved parents. That’s the kind of love I want…never ending.

The emptiness and frustration of not finding companionship at times made me want to die. But that was the loneliness talking. I know that now. I love life. I want to live, and I know who I want for a wife. It’s just that meeting her would be a little tricky.

Abruptly, I asked, “What do you think about time travel?”

“Are you serious?” Will asked. “Scientists have tried to conquer time travel for hundreds of years, and failed.”

“Maybe they failed because they weren’t Doctor Gabry and me.”

Will looked at me in awe. “Oh, my god, you’re serious!”

“We discovered something today in the lab,” I said, giving him an arrogant smile. “We believe this is the answer.”

“So who is to be the Guinea pig?”


Silence came from Will, then a gasp. “That could be suicide.”

“Or the biggest discovery of the thirtieth century.”

my_photo_apr_2011 (1)_2Author Bio:

JoAnne has been a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio, and worked in the blue-collar industry most of her life. Besides having several novels under her belt, JoAnne canvas paints.
When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, JoAnne spends time with relatives, her dog Jasmine, and volunteers her time within the community. JoAnne is a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, Savvy Authors, Coffee Time Romance, Paranormal Romance Guild, True Romance Studios, National Writers Association, the Hocking Hill’s Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. JoAnne believes in family values and following your dreams. JoAnne’s original canvas paintings, can be found at:

Buy Links:


LULU in print


Other books by JoAnne:

Murder Most Foul-a detective/mystery

Wicked Intentions-7 bone chilling paranormal tales

The Crime of the Century-a biography true crime

Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between

Upcoming Releases:

Twisted Love-a biography true crime anthology available June

Flagitious-a detective/mystery novella anthology available August 2014

Contact JoAnne:

13 thoughts on “Self Publishing-the pros and cons of it by JoAnne Myers

  1. Thanks for writing this article; you are right that an author who self-publishes takes on a number of expenses that an author who is traditionally published does not. Depending on your own skills and whether you have friends who can help you with various tasks, you may be able to produce a high-quality self-published book for a few hundred to several thousand dollars. For professional covers, editing, and formatting, most people can expect to spend at least $2500-$3000, with up to $5000 not being unreasonable. If you plan to self-publish, save up until you’ve got at least $2500 to invest in your book.

    However, there are a number of inaccuracies in this article. For example, on items priced from .99 to 2.98 and items priced 10.00 and above, Amazon gives the author 35% royalties; on items priced 2.99 to 9.99, Amazon gives the author 70% royalties. (Note that in some countries, such as India, Brazil, and Mexico, you will receive 35% royalties, regardless of price, unless your book is exclusive to Amazon’s KDP Select program. From what I’ve seen; most writers sell very few books in these markets, so trying to get higher royalties in these markets isn’t a good reason to go into KDP Select. I personally don’t believe in going exclusive with Amazon for any reason; there are too many other retailers covering parts of the global book market where Amazon has little, if any, reach.)

    Lulu may give you 80% royalties for books sold through its own store (; however, the bulk of your sales most likely will come from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, and elsewhere. Few readers even know that Lulu exists, much less that it has a store.

    If you do print books, you can offer them for sale on Amazon (and other retailers) from any Print On Demand (POD) printer (such as CreateSpace, Lightning Source/Ingram Spark, or Lulu) without paying a storage fee. Note that the royalty rates and fees vary among the POD printers; in my experience, CreateSpace is the best choice for most writers due to its low fees and easy to use tools, but do your research before making a choice. (BTW, CreateSpace is owned by Amazon, which may be where the confusion regarding Amazon being a POD printer came in.)

    The only time you’ll pay storage fees to Amazon is if you order a batch of books from your printer and then set yourself up as a vendor on Amazon to sell them and have Amazon handle your fulfillment. While you can get a cheaper per-book price on a large print run, you will incur storage and shipping/fulfillment fees that may negate this savings. Ordering a large print run might be a good idea for folks who are constantly in contact with the public, such as motivational speakers and ministers, who may be able to make large volumes of direct, in-person sales on a regular basis, but for most writers, their best bet is to use a POD printer who distributes to Amazon, B&N, and other retailers.

  2. You really have to investigate when or if you decide to self pub. I’ve done print books through Lulu and CreateSpace, not Amazon. Amazon was used for an ebook.
    Editing is SO important…I’ve read some books with glaring errors…and an editor would have helped eliminate. No one is perfect, but when there are too many errors, I won’t finish a book.
    While self publishing helps you to get your book “out”, you still have to present a
    quality product or else your career as an author will never get off the ground.

  3. Dana has pointed out some significant points. I use CreateSpace for my print books. Readers can buy direct from their store (and I love it when they do, because the royalties are almost 3 times higher than if they buy from Amazon), but there are no fees.

    For international sales, I’m finding Kobo is the way to go. Even though Amazon has a .ca store, I sell many times more books via Kobo and their royalty rates don’t depend on being part of any ‘select’ group. They also offer promotional opportunities to indie authors that the other channels don’t. True, Amazon is the 500 pound gorilla, but don’t ever put all your eggs in one basket. You never know where your readers will find you.

  4. After my traditional publisher closed suddenly, I decided that I wanted completely control so I hired my own cover artist, formatters and editors (we all need a professional’s help.) I also deal directly with KDP, Nookpress, KOBO and CreateSpace. I love my new journey, having total control over cover art, pricing, product description, sales, marketing etc. It’s more work but I’m selling way more books , earning a living and I’m far happier.

  5. I went into self-publishing when the contract for my first book wasn’t renewed, and again when my second book’s publisher decided to close it’s doors. Both books were fully edited. I’m published through Amazon’s createspace as well as kindle, and haven’t been charged anything for storage fees. Both createspace and kindle have a wonderful cover creator that I used to designed my own covers for all three of my books with photos I bought through fotolia. I’ve also do my own formatting, but hired an editor for my last self-published book. There are just some things you have to leave to a professional.

  6. For traditional, you get one thing. Your name known. And even that is not a guarentee. Plus you loose most of the rights to your book. I d suggest all writers try self-publishing at least once. If nothing else, you learn the ins and outs of the business and you don t waste six months for a response that never comes.

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