Number One Reason NOT to Self-Publish

Let’s face it, self-publishing has become hugely popular. I’m an indie author myself. But the decision to self-publish must not be made lightly. If you haven’t decided yourself, I’m not going to get into all the reasons to publish your book on your own (there are many good reasons).

Today, I want to talk about why NOT to self-publish.

And, really, there’s just one (multi-faceted) reason.

Self-publishing gets a bad wrap.

Sad, but true. Independently published books get funny looks from a lot of people.

And as unfortunate as it is, the reputation is not entirely undeserved.

Self-publishing has procured a vast number of people who want to call themselves writers, who publish their book without ever giving it the proper time and investment to make it stand out.

And I am NOT judging. Self-publishing is an incredible opportunity, and I hope that those people who have published books that maybe shouldn’t have been published go on to improve their craft and keep publishing!

I will be the first to admit my debut (indie) novel probably needed more work, and I certainly didn’t have the money for a professional cover.

But I’ve learned SO. MUCH. from publishing it. My next book has had more editing, better formatting, AND a professionally designed cover.

Self-publishing can end up a lesson in frustration if you don’t take the necessary steps to ensure a professional outcome. If you don’t invest in quality services like editing, formatting, and design, you may end up disappointed with the final product.

Nevertheless, those are hard knocks you can learn from if you’ve already put a book out there that needed to cook a while longer.

More than the personal disappointment, however, there are professional concerns. Your name is now permanently attached to that book, for better or worse. If you don’t put your best foot forward, you will lose readers who may have otherwise ended up regarding you as an “auto-buy author.”

Without professional editing,

without proper formatting,

without a professionally designed, genre-suited cover,

you have hurt your chances of being well regarded in the indie author field.

That said, I do want to encourage you, if you’ve already published a book that wasn’t ready, keep going! Keep writing, keep learning, keep publishing. Consider a pen name if you think you need to separate yourself from previously published books.

Yes, we want to maintain absolute professionalism as indie authors, and yes, we want to publish books that were completely ready, and maybe even had offers from traditional publishing houses . . .

. . . but the greatest blessing of our ability today to self-publish is that it is an opportunity to learn. And who learns anything without making mistakes?


Have you joined the cover reveal for my new novel, Fate of a Prince yet? I promise, you don’t want to miss your chance to see this amazing cover before the masses! Sign up here.

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Published by Hannah Gaudette

Hannah Gaudette is a home-school graduate living in the hills of New England. When she’s not writing or playing with the dogs, it’s a safe bet you can find her with some other animal, like goats. She is the founder of a sustainable agriculture movement called STEWARDSHIP in central Maine. She's a life-enthusiast and advocate for food allergy awareness, youth ministry, and service dogs.

3 thoughts on “Number One Reason NOT to Self-Publish

  1. Ooo, great advice, Hannah! I’ve come across one or two indie books years ago that weren’t quite ready to be published (with a little extra time and editing, I think they could’ve been great stories). And looking back on some of my works, I still see areas where I need to improve lol.

    Anyway, thanks for the advice and encouragement! I can’t wait for the cover reveal (I think I already signed up…?)

    Liked by 1 person

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