Friday, June 3, 2011

Are you right for self-publishing? - Try this

Self-publishing may be right for you, but are your right for self-publishing?  This post shows how I investigated whether I was right for self-publishing and how you can find out for yourself, too.

Like many of you who have completed a novel or work of non-fiction only to see it largely ignored, lying dormant in countless agents' and publishers' slush piles, I too am struggling with getting the attention of the mainstream publishing industry. Meanwhile, I'm seeing this burgeoning self-publishing industry exploding before my eyes, and it's been very tempting to go ahead and plunge right in throwing all caution to the wind.

Caution to the wind? Ha! Sadly, I'm more of a cautious type, so I went through all the pros and cons of self-publishing; and even then, decided that this still wasn't enough.

To get the right answer for myself, I really needed to decide who I am and what I am all about. Self-publishing seemed right for me, but am I really right for self-publishing?

I do market research in my other life, so I thought I should be able to figure this out rationally. That said, I fired up the survey software I use on a daily basis and came up with an extensive list of questions to ask myself (about me) with the goal that the software would tabulate my answers and tell me if self-publishing was the right choice for me.

Well, I found this exercise so helpful, I decided to share it with others going through this same legacy vs. self-publishing dilemma.

Since I took the assessment initially, I have embellished it with commentary so you know where each question is coming from. Today, I think it's a better tool than I originally started with and if I get productive feedback, I'll keep improving it.

As I've put a lot of time into this assessment tool's development, some time in the future, I may charge a minor fee for its use. But as it is currently new, largely untested, and probably not as comprehensive as it could be, I'm making this version of the self-publishing assessment tool available for free.  Try it out for yourself and see if you are a good fit for self-publishing.

Enjoy and let me know what you think of it.