My path to the self-publishing alternative

Five years ago, after 25 years as an academic librarian, I started out in freelance writing at age 50.   Through this experience, I quickly learned about the mainstream media and censorship.   I pitched a number of investigative reports that were not selected because the truth might hurt the major advertisers in a particular magazine.   For example, I learned that writing about the difficulties of midlife would not be lucrative, because these most common of dilemmas are simply “too depressing.”

Another case in point.  I pitched a story on the history of FDA limitations in the distribution of Stevia.   It seems this pure, natural, no-calorie herbal sweetener could only be allowed as a food supplement and not as a food additive (now, Truvia, etc.) Fascinating story about the FDA choosing to penalize the distribution of this pure herb, used in Japan and Central America for centuries, while encouraging us all to consume lots of the big name “healthier” sugar substitutes like aspartame and Splenda!

In short, I quickly learned how the publishing business works in the U.S.  That is why I got out of freelance writing. The big name publishers control what reaches the public with a terrible dumbing down to the lowest common denominator.

Then I turned to the more independent field of book publication. There I quickly learned how the big name publishers got big: by paying their authors a tiny percent of the total profits from their work.

When I researched the author’s share of any traditional publishers’ book deal, while offering very little marketing assistance to new authors, I could see no reason to choose having little control over the process of publication and then receiving $.50/copy sold, when I could make around $7/copy by hiring my own editor, and purchasing my own ISBN.   Not to mention the enjoyment of selecting my own title, cover art, interior design without any outside control, and publishing quite quickly, without months of waiting.

Sure, self-publishing requires a complete commitment to the product you are creating from start to finish, but I enjoy the challenge of learning how the publishing, marketing and promotion world works, as it changes day to day…

The challenge is there for anyone with the intelligence, energy and the confidence to explore it.  I’m very happy the world has changing enough for me to do-it-myself today!

If any of you are in need of coaching to create and distribute your own creative projects, I would be happy to help you make that happen.

To learn more about mastering difficult life transitions you might enjoy my books: Midlife Magic: Becoming The Person You Are Inside! and my new one: Find Your Reason to be Here: The Search for Meaning in Midlife. 

To find a new faith in love try: How to Believe In Love Again.


About Laura Lee Carter

Laura Lee Carter is the author of this blog and she holds copyright on all materials published.
This entry was posted in Believing in yourself as a writer, Learning how to become a writer, Stresses of becoming a writer, the need to be heard, The psychological challenges of becoming a writer, Why self-publish?, Writer's anxiety, Writing and authenticity, Writing and self-discovery. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to My path to the self-publishing alternative

  1. Jester says:

    Thanks for the ‘nitty-gritty’ on ‘mainstream’ publishing. I’ve long had a ‘writing bug’ nibbling on my ear, and have known for some time I need a better outlet than just the hit-or-miss world of letters to the editor, but rather one which I still have complete control over. I’ll get a blog or two going, yet! There may even be enough decent material to publish a book one day!

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