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Should You Do It?

If you are a new writer, ask yourself these questions before you self-publish your novel:

  1. Has anyone but you read it?

  2. Anyone who doesn’t live with you?

  3. Anyone who has not at any time ever given birth to you?

  4. Did they like it?

If the answer to any of those questions is ‘no,’ you are not ready. Your book is not ready. If you haven’t shown it to anyone, do so. If no one outside your immediate family likes it, it needs work.

(If you can answer ‘yes’ to all of these questions you may be ready, or you may not; this is just the quick cut.)

The point to self-publishing is to take a greater degree of control over the distribution of your work than a traditional publisher gives you. It is not to throw any old shit at the wall and hope it sticks. Write something good, get some honest feedback to confirm that it’s good, then you can proceed. Otherwise, you’re not just making yourself bad, but you make all self-published writers look bad too, and none of us want that.