Guest post – Why self-publish?

Today I’d like to welcome a guest blogger to my blog – a young Californian writer called Daniel Wallock who has just started to self-publish his work. Self-publishing isn’t my area but I can see it’s making massive strides in the publishing world and becoming a real force to be reckoned with. I thought I’d ask Daniel why a young writer like him would chose to self-publish his work rather than going down the traditional route of looking for a publisher and an agent. Thanks to Daniel for coming along today!

headshotsmallwebI never thought I would self-published.
I didn’t ever imagine getting a cover, an editor, and all of the stuff that came along with the decision to self-publish. It started about two months ago while I was doing a writing internship at the Kim Maxwell Studio in Ojai, California. The internship was very simple. I got to the studio and then had to figure out what I to do with myself for the next seven hours. The first few days I wrote poems and flash nonfiction. About a week into the internship I was on a walk with a friend and I was ranting about how I just wanted to be read.
I kept saying, “I don’t want to wait. I have a dream and I just want people to read my stories.”
My friend who is middle aged turned to me and said, “Don’t wait. You have a story to tell! Go share it.”
I looked at him and yelled, “F*** waiting! I’m going to self-publish.”
It was that simple.
Within twenty-four hours I had a cover designer. The story was previously professionally published which made the publishing process a lot easier. Within forty-eight hours I had my story professionally formatted, lined up with blurbs from serval different authors, and it was published on Kindle. The next few days I contacted every news station and news paper from Santa Barbara to Los Angles. Of course almost everyone of them didn’t respond, but one or two did. I was featured in an online news paper called Edhat, and I had a few interviews set up with other organizations.

rightheartedThe first few days of publishing my short book entitled Right-Hearted: Finding What’s Right With a Wrong-Sided Heart, I had received around two hundred free downloads.
For the week after publishing I went on a promotion streak! I posted the book all over the internet and I tried to email all my contacts asking them to download the book. I even spending some money on websites like Fiverr.com to promote the book. All day long I thought about different ways I could promote the book. I was obsessed with getting more downloads. Each day I wanted to rank higher on the free bestsellers list then the day before. The book became my life; it still is.
After two weeks the book had been download 1,400 times in five different countries!
This is when I decided it was time to get the print version ready. It took about $100 to get everything including formatting, design, and finalized edits until the book was ready for print. I ordered a few different sets of proofs because each time I got one I noticed a few errors I had missed before. The process was awfully annoying. Having to wait six days for the proof, then reading it to find errors, and then paying for another proof. This helped me realize next time editing has to be way better before I order the a proof copy.
The day the book came out I found out that it had been download, and or sold in around ten countries!

You can find Daniel’s book Right-Hearted here

and meet Daniel on his blog here.

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8 thoughts on “Guest post – Why self-publish?

  1. Good for you, Daniel. You certainly sound as if you have the drive and determination to succeed in this self-publishing world! Your post is very inspiring!

  2. It was inspiring, so much determination… but I discovered that it had me thinking about the whole business of publishing in reverse. We have been self published for a while now, and what has occurred to me while reading about Daniel, is this. Why not try and be traditionally published as well? No harm in trying, as they say…

    • To my mind it’s all about what your dream is. Mine was always to find a publisher which is what I pursued but for other people it’s to have their book out as quickly as possible which I quite understand.

  3. Your determination to self-publish has me baffled. Having hundreds of free downloads for a book that obviously cost you money to produce doesn’t make any sense to me. Your decision is not business or profit related. Art for art itself is commendable, but rarely pays the bills. So what’s the point – is it just to satisfy the ego or to prove something. You seem to be approaching your future without regard for reality. Dreams are wonderful, but it appears from your comments you have allowed them to take you off your intended course.

  4. Well done Daniel, and do not listen to the naysayers…if this is what you want to do, go for it…and if it gives you satisfaction ( it certainly won’t give you riches) then that is enough. I am baffled by the commentator who says they don’t see the point. How very sad! A young man with dreams….. who has the rest of his life to be whatever he wants to be….. what’s not to admire?

  5. Daniel, I feel the same way about my book. I want to self publish, but I don’t really have the money to get an editor and some one to format, but my son will design my cover. I love your enthusiasm, I finished the book, but I think I’m afraid it won’t do well.

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