“Self-Publishing is Not for Everyone” / Paul Anthony Shortt

ME4The topic of self-publishing has come up time and again. I sometimes wonder if the debate will ever end as to which one is “better.”

The thing is, neither is better than the other. Any more than mayonnaise is better than ketchup. They’re both just different choices people can make. On more than one occasion I’ve had to defend my decision to go traditional. And not only that, to stay traditional. I honestly can’t see myself ever wanting to move over completely to self-publishing.

I read this article last week, on Chuck Wendig’s blog, and everything he said made perfect sense to me. It felt like I finally found a way to articulate the differences between traditional and self-publishing and why my preference is for traditional.

At some point, perhaps, I might dabble in it. Maybe release something on my own, perhaps if I decide to sell one of the role playing games I’ve designed or I really want to put a particular book out, come hell or high water.

But the fact is, I love being a writer. I love the promotion work I get to do alongside my writing.

I do not love the idea of having to deal with cover artists, layout designers, a freelance editor, distribution, Amazon’s upload system. They’re just things that lie so far outside my comfort zone and areas of expertise that I am more than happy to let my publisher handle them.

I hear a lot of worrying things being said about traditional publishing. Another timely post on Chuck Wendig’s blog addresses the misinformation being spread. I’m all for people making their own choices and deciding their own path. However I can’t abide the spread of misinformation, whether intentional or accidental. I think it’s hugely important that, as much as traditional publishing is not held as being superior to self-publishing, it can’t be demonised, either.

And aside from that, I love my publisher. I enjoy working with them. I want them to succeed as much as I want to succeed myself. I was once told that, when I become famous and can rely on my name to sell books, I should make the move to self-publishing so I’d get even more money. I was told I could even set up my own publishing company to handle all the non-writing side of things.

Well I’m sorry to say that won’t be happening. If I’m not built for self-publishing on a small scale I’m certainly not built for running a company!

And the thing is, if I am fortunate enough to become a household name, why wouldn’t I want my publisher, the company that brought me into the industry in the first place, to share in that success?

I’m not a publisher. I’m a writer. And I couldn’t be happier with that arrangement.

About Paul Anthony Shortt

A child at heart who turned to writing and roleplaying games when there simply weren’t enough action figures to play out the stories he wanted, Paul Anthony Shortt has been writing all his life. Growing up surrounded by music, film and theatre gave him a deep love of all forms of storytelling, each teaching him something new he could use. When not playing with the people in his head, he enjoys cooking and regular meet-ups with his gaming group.

He lives in Ireland with his wife Jen and their dogs, Pepper and Jasper. Their first child, Conor William Henry Shortt, was born on July 11th, 2011. He passed away three days later, but brought love and joy into their lives and those of their friends. The following year, Jen gave birth to twins, Amy and Erica.

Paul’s first novel, Locked Within, was released on November 6th, 2012, by WiDo Publishing. The sequel will be released in 2013. You can find Paul on Facebook, his Twitter handle is @PAShortt, or you can send him an e-mail. You can also connect with   The post “Self-publishing is Not for Everyone” was first published on his website, Paul Anthony Shortt.

2 Comments

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2 Responses to “Self-Publishing is Not for Everyone” / Paul Anthony Shortt

  1. hey paul!
    first, thanks for the blurb on TheTaste of Fear! Much apprecited
    and i agree totally with you
    im happy being a writer and not trying to also be a publisher
    wish u the best with ur upcoming book!
    cheers
    jeremy

  2. Paul, I’ve meant to leave a comment here for some time on your excellent post. A key element anyone who goes to self-publish needs to realize up front is they are starting their own company with their own books as the product. Just one of those things that can quickly take the stars out of the eyes. I speak as someone who, along with my husband, has been self-employed most of our married lives. If someone is excited by the prospect, then by all means go for it but believe me, self-employment is not for the weak of heart. And if you have to not only run the company, pay all of the bills, and also produce by yourself all of the items the company sells, it can quickly become a very expensive and time-consuming endeavor.

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