Before I start the Blog, here's an update that might interest you: I was just selected to be the host of 20 video tutorials from one of the leaders of How-To-Videos on the web: Howcast (howcast.com). Howcast was named one of the top 50 websites in 2011 by Time Magazine. These are free videos, which anyone can watch. To bring up my Howcast videos on a "search," it appears that you need to use the name "Chris Hart," and not "Christopher Hart." This is something I will bring to their attention. Meanwhile, here's the link. I hope you'll check it out:
Okay, now on to the topic:
The term "Self-Publishing" brings with it negative connotations, most notably, the practice of "Vanity Publishing," in which an aspiring writer, unable to interest a publisher in his work, decides to take matters into his own hands, and manufactures the books himself. This requires self-funding; selecting editors, art directors and other support staff; shipping associated with both sales and returns; bill and accounting; storage and promotion. Foreign sales and special sales are often beyond the scope of self-publishing.
The result is often a book that instantly looks and feels "wrong" -- homespun and amateurish. The printing, the layout, the paper and the binding simply do not have the feel of a book from a legitimate publisher. Add to that the stigma associated with self-publishing, and the fact that most book retailers will not stock them, and what you are likely to end up with is, in this author's opinion, a lot of expense, effort, few actual sales, and a garage-full of unsold books.
Of course, there are exceptions. Some self-published books have become successful. But those are rare cases. Yes, the royalties are higher, since you do not have to split them with a publisher. But receiving a greater royalty on the sale of, for example, 500 books - which is far above average for a self-published author - is still tiny. Because of the reduced outlets which accept self-published books; the number of areas of expertise required to produce, sell and promote them; the poor quality of the production,;and the associated stigma, I recommend against it.
Self-publishing - specifically a graphic novel - is a different animal, and features a business model that is much more favorable. More on that next time! Stay tuned.