Self-Publishing: When Does It Make Sense?

book-829939_1920I’ve been noodling over the idea of diving into the realm of self-publishing.  Nothing huge, but I’d like to get some of my work back out there. Because of this, I’ve been considering what I write that would make sense to self-publish.

My educational books for young readers?  Nope.  Those make their way into the schools and school libraries because they are sold through reputable educational publishers such as Abdo.  School librarians know that they can trust Abdo’s books.  Any material I self-publish, even if I pay someone to fact check it, will not have that “seal of quality.”  To reach the same readers I currently reach, I have to go through a traditional publisher.

But I retain the rights to the how-tos that I’ve written for other writers.  These pieces have appeared in Children’s Book Insider, Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Market, The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market, Children’s Writer Newsletter, and several other publications.  Taking a quick look at my vitae, I count some 130 such articles.

I’m wondering how much work it would take to rework some of this material into an e-book format.  I don’t know that I’d want to simply copy and paste the files as is.  I would want to update some of the older material.  After all, I’m sure that some of the editors and agents I interviewed are no longer in publishing. I could offer this material for sale on my web site but also when I speak at various writer’s conferences and workshops.

The biggest problem that I see is in book design.  I’m a total pill when it comes to this particular topic.  I don’t entirely see the point of e-books that don’t take advantage of the fact that they are . . . in fact . . . ebooks.  What’s the point of straight text without links or other electronic possibilities?  But I also dislike ebooks with super busy designs — I can work in mutliple fonts and colors, images, sidebars, videos and more.

I suspect it may be time to educate myself.



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