This post was very hard for me to write, so it is my sincerest hope that this is a sobering reality check for you.
A cautionary tale for those who are 1} thinking about self-publishing because you somehow identify with the post for the letter "U" or 2} thinking about self-publishing because you want to get something out there that has your name on it, and by golly that is the bottom line or 3} you really want to self-publish because you believe that is best path for you start out on or 4} you want to become one of those hybrid authors.
After recovering from my disastrous (and seriously expensive) foray into vanity agenting, I was at a lost on what to do with my first novel (no, not Line 21). I wanted to become a published somebody, but after receiving about one dozen rejections (which in hindsight was the absolute right thing to do with this novel), I thought there had to be a better way to getting published. (Un)Fortunately for me, I struck up a friendship with a local author who was self-published. She told me about the publisher that used, Author House (ASI), to publish her books.
I did a little research (but obviously not enough) and figured, what the hell, I might as well take the plunge.
If I had known then what I know now, I wouldn't have taken the plunge. Instead, I would've spent far more time in editing/fixing/gutting my story to make it more palatable for the masses. Even better, I would've realized that this "novel" wasn't worth the paper it was printed on and it should've been stored in a jar and buried in a deep dark hole in my backyard. But that was not to be, as I decided to take the plunge and shell out roughly $900 bucks to self-publish my novel. This was on top of the $2,000 that I spent with the vanity agency for "editing" services.
What this initial foray taught me (which I partially learned with my second foray with the same company, as I self published a chapbook which was miles better than that novel but still should've gone through at least two more wholesale revisions before being published. still, it is a good read and is available for purchase. click here for details), is that if you self-publish a crappy manuscript, be prepared to spend years not only recovering from your mistake, but rehabbing/repairing your reputation as well. Incidentally, the total outlay of funds to publish with ASI was, after receiving a refund of about $450 for a marketing campaign that I did not need, was $1,400.
Believe it or not, there is a large silver lining in all of this crap. I have roughly 30 books left that became the basis for my little enterprise called "Books by G. B. Miller", so every year I file a Schedule C with my taxes. Also, the only way you can buy this horrible novel is through me, because I made sure that book was delisted with ASI.
So my friends, if you're going to self-publish, spend your money wisely. Don't spend it to get your book published. Instead, invest your money with a good graphics company, a good editor and some judicious marketing.
(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.