What do you know about self publishing?


I think some people believe they are owed success and/or have unrealistic expectations and then lash out when ista-success/fame doesn’t unfold as they thought it would.

I totally agree with you - it’s far more productive to look at what you can control, like the quality of the story. I’d much rather focus on improving craft and writing a better book and I’ve found that to be the #1 way to increase overall sales.

Unfortunately Schuyler has demonstrated over a number of years that he prefers to cast himself as a victim and blame everyone and everything else. It’s easier for him to point the finger at someone else, rather than look in the mirror and confront his own actions.


Well, you certainly seem to be spouting that self-publishing is just as impossible as traditional, so I’m only going by what you’ve said. Before publishing, you made many claims of future high sales, now you are indicating that it’s impossible for anyone except the wealthy (or those who just churn out crap) to sell any books. And I’m sorry that’s just not how it works.

quote=“SchuylerThorpe, post:36, topic:56043”]
I may have had a rocky start with my debut novel,

This is true, and I must say I have little confidence you’ll turn things around and for several very important reasons. (1) You refuse to listen to people who have given you good advice that could help your sales (2) Your spend your time berating readers for their opinions (something that’s not very endearing by the way) rather than considering valid issues that need addressing (3) You refuse to use beta readers or critique partners, because lord knows you are THE expert on the writing craft. That sounds like elitist behavior to me, and something you should rectify if you want to learn and grow. (4) You are delusional about both the quality of your work, and are hyperfocused about issues such as word count, which has no bearing on sales, unless the work isn’t compelling. (5) And probably the most important reason, you want to fail…how else can you play the pity card that is so ingrained in your online interactions?

You are correct, my initial sales were abysmal, and no I didn’t give up. But you know what I did do? I worked my ass off, a kind of initiative I don’t see you putting forth.

Yes, I think all authors are lowly and not worth my time and attention, that’s why I spend so many hours trying to educate people and provide useful tips.

If that’s the case, then why publish? People only RELEASE books because they want others to read them.

Ha. I don’t think there is any book that is MORE talked about in this club than yours. Because you insert it into every discussion, no matter the topic.

And yes, I don’t want you to try to use it as a teaching tool for younger writers, because when you do everything wrong, yours is not a good example to follow.

I’ve been extremely patient…and I’m not sure what would make you think I don’t respect myself or my work.

Oh, look. Another unsupported industry “fact” that you’ve pulled out of thin air. Would you care to provide a link to the studies where you learned this? Wait, there arent any? You just “think” that’s what happens? Well, nothing new in that behavior.

And in that time frame I have learned a lifetime’s worth about the writing and publishing process…
As a writer, you should realize that words matter. Let’s look at that word. Amateur: (1) a person inexperienced or unskilled in a particular activity: (2) a person who engages in a study, sport, or other activity for pleasure rather than for financial benefit or professional reasons.

I do think that both of these terms can be applied to you. Doing something for 31 years doesn’t make you a professional. Being professional means honing your skill to a level where you can profit what your endeavors.

Have you? For instance, have you learned the value of beta readers and critique partners? Have you realized that pricing isn’t dictated by the length of a book, but by what people are willing to pay for it? Have you learned how to interact with people on Goodreads to get you book noticed? Have you learned that it shouldn’t take 5 years for an editor to copyedit your book?

I’ve not seen evidence that you’ve learned any of these things. But what I have seen, and have had to step in to address, is a lot of falsehoods about both traditional and self-publishing.

Thank you! My wife owes me a night on the town because I predicted you’d be pulling the “the world is too stupid to appreciate my genius card.”

Do not put words in my mouth. I write because it’s my passion, the fact that it pays the bills is a bonus, NOT the goal. And I know many people who have no desire to earn from what they write, and I’m always very supportive of that decision. What I have said, is for the people who DO want to earn, they can stand on the shoulders of those who have done well, and learn from their examples.

OMG, why are you outright lying or only seeing what you want to? In all my posts about the secrets to success, I’ve always stressed the strength of the story and the quality of the writing. I’ve been the one refuting the notion that a writer can just publish crap and succeed. I’m the one saying that success come from avid fans, who appreciate what you write, buy everything you create, and tell others about it. That doesn’t happen if you’re not writing a good book.

What tricks and gimmicks? The advice I give is (a) write a compelling book (b) get it in front of a few people who like the kinds of things you write © rinse and repeat. The hard part, of course, is (a), and maybe not every book will scratch the reader’s itch, but if you do enough of ©, your chances of success go up tremendously.

Look, I wish you well, I really do. I want authors to succeed, but good god, man. You make it so very hard.


THIS! And I wish I had an answer for it. Most authors can’t look at their book with objective eyes and aren’t self-aware enough to know that their book isn’t ready for primetime.


Its one reason i cant imagine self pub. i’d really rather just leave it on Wattpad cor free then try self pub atm. .Just because for me? I dont think i will be able to feel confident that i have it “ready” till i have that outside stamp from a “gate keeper”.

It’s definitely something I think I see a lot of self published Folks not taking into account. I’ve seen many rush into self publishing Without realizing they weren’t quite ready. I see others with a decent book who don’t know how to be their own publisher and market

But I think it’s a very personal thing. One size does not fit all. some people definitely have the ability to put forth a successful self published book. There are a bunch of people on Wattpad who fit that description Perfectly and I for one am glad that they are here in the forums offering up their expertise


No, they can’t. I don’t have an answer for it either. I guess ultimately the marketplace is the answer to it.


You know what’s interesting is that even without reading the manuscript, I can generally guess which writers are going to make it in the long run. Those who are TRULY studying the industry and approaching publishing (self or trad) as a business. They are the ones who put out professional products. Even if their first book isn’t truly ready for primetime, they figure it out, and they work to do better the next time.

And there are those who I can pretty much guess will get nowhere and will give up because the money didn’t miraculously materialize when they released their opus. (Or those who query, fail to get an agent or any personalized feedback, and cannot even consider that the writing or story may not be up to par.)

(You’re in the first group, BTW.)


I didn’t expect to do astoundingly well in self-publishing, so I’m not surprised to have uh… not done well at all. xD I knew that my books would never be trad published (they are freaking weird) but I really needed to get them out of my system. So I decided to self-publish. Doing this has actually taught me a lot about getting a manuscript to a (hopefully) decent level. So I’d say I’m now in a better position to reattempt querying other books to gatekeepers.

But I will say this: publishing 3 ebooks in the space of 4 months was the tactic that netted me more sales than anything else I tried.


I appreciate that. And I truly am so grateful for the community here for helping me learn! ( you, @MichaelJSullivan @AWExley @AlecHutson among them :heart:) In gen I think i def know more about the industry then when I started and thats good.

I have gone through having an MS I was sure was great and then getting it picked apart piece by piece by a harsh writing group. I kept working enough to write second complete MS after meandering in 100k worth of words that… maybe someday will be part of my books? hehe.

I was lucky enough to get following here with that second finished book and have the experience of readers who get excited for posts and follow and write comments that make me feel confident the messages I was hoping to get across are there.

But… I also am lazy sometimes LOL. I cant always push through the writing lulls another reason I hope for traditional. I thrive with outside deadlines and not my own hehe I think for everything I learn I find out more I dont know. I guess thats part of the process too.

I do also realize that I have to work harder at the query stuff. I looked at my query tracker account and i just haven’t sent out enough. Im hoping that’s the only reason for my lack of responses on cold queries ( given that my query, when solicited from twitter pitches) does get response.

Anyhoo… i wont derail this more but i do truly appreciate your vote of confidence. And for all of those going forward with self-publishing, I admire the heck out of you too. There is no “right” path. All that really matters is working to make your story the best it can be and then choosing the pub path that works for you. I know that if i do ever change my mind and go for self, all the experiences that already have happened ( especially the failures) will def help


Congrats on all your work! Thats amazing that you released so much so quickly. And the fact that it worked best… means there were readers hungry for more! Being able to produce a lot of content is a key to success in self or traditional for sure


And that’s a perfectly reasoned and appropriate direction to take.

Indeed, although I have to add my standard caveat that whether self or traditional the author will need to do marketing. Too often people think publisher = I won’t have to market and that’s just not true if you want a successful launch.

I agree! There is no universal path…just one that is BETTER suited to an author at a particular time. and that may change as their career and the industry shifts. I’ve been 100% indie, 100% trad, mostly trad with a bit of self-publishing thrown in, and now I’m transitioning to 100% indie.




Agreed. Those with persistence, a willingness to learn, and a good head on their shoulders will, I believe have a pretty good chance of “making it.”


No question. Marketing is ALWAYS part of the equation I totally get that. And though I hope that wattpad fandom would help? I know thats no guarantee. But I have taken marketing classes. I worked up my book here too. A little push can help a lot and thats all I really expect trad to offer. Even if that push is just a push of confidence for myself to go forward with the confidence need to promote myself properly? hehe


I will admit that 2 of those 3 ebooks were novellas. I wanted to see if 20k words was more desirable than 95k words. Since my novellas are outperforming my novels… I have to rethink my plans lol


You are very welcome. Keep at it!


But isnt that true in any industry? Willingness to learn and work hard is kinda key no matter what you are trying to succeed in. BUt it kinda all brings this full circle. No matter what the method of publishing, its about treating writing as a business that brings success. Creative professions are still professions and have to be handled like that. Its a misconception that i think “non-creatives” often have. That what we do isnt “work”. But any artist who has gotten to any level of success ( or not!) knows thats just totally false


Sadly, I’m not convinced Wattpad followers will translate into sales. As for marketing, I’d look into books by authors who have done well and written about it. Chris Fox, Joanna Penn, and many others. Yes, they may be self-published, but much of wha they’ll teach you can translate to the traditional world.

As for promoting yourself “properly” - it’s easy. Don’t run around saying “buy my book.” Instead, become a member of communities like Goodreads and be a “good guy.” Be helpful, and personable, and share your love for the written word. People will soon discover you are a writer and check out your work. That’s the approach that worked best for me.


Wattpad followers definitely don’t translate into sales, at least for me. I think I’ve had exactly one follower buy my books. But the demographics here skew too young for what I’m posting.


Its the same approach that got me my readship on wattpad and i know it will work off of wattpad as well :slight_smile: even if the wattpad readers are not those who will pay. BUt when I talk about promoting properly i also mean branding and market targeting. Its something worth keeping in mind on top of the basic “be a decent writer person and support others i the community to get support yourself” (WHICH IS SUPER IMPORTANT! hehe)


For me im just hoping some percentage might buy? I have over 8k followers and a book with over 1.1M reads. I figure even a small percentage of that potentially buying is a start? Or at least word of mouth help. We shall see hehe