Why I’m self publishing my next book

For the last year, I’ve been working on Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds. It’s a collection of my best short works and essays to date. I decided long ago I’d self publish it, and it’s almost done on sale now.

Here’s why I self published:

  1. I have crazy ideas for books. Books I doubt any publisher would accept. I don’t want my creativity gated on someone else.
  2. I expect to write books for a living the rest of my life. The more I know about every part of the process, the greater my odds of success.
  3. The more I know about every part of the process, the better I can negotiate what a publisher can or can not do for me in the future.
  4. I don’t know how well I can promote a book on my own. There is only one way to find out.
  5. Every author complains about compromises with their publisher. Self publishing is one way to not to have to compromise on anything. If this book sucks, I have no one to blame. I like having no one to blame.
  6. The tools are amazing. Kickstarter, BookBaby and Lightning Source. The hardest part will always be writing the book, but all the other tools make self-publishing easier and cheaper than ever in history.
  7. Even if I never self-publish again, I’ll never look at a book the same way.  I love books. I want to look at them with great understanding of what’s involved in their creation.

The book is out now and selling well so far.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be talking more about the book and lessons learned.  Have questions? ask below.

If you want to be notified when the book is out, join the mailing list.

15 Responses to “Why I’m self publishing my next book”

  1. Jodi

    Found your article linked on Passive Blog’s and I had to come here and reply too because your number one reason sounds so much like me. I write weird stuff I know the commercial publishing world won’t want unless it can be proven as a success.

    Number 4, I like that DIY attitude. I don’t have any practical experience with marketing, but I love reading business and marketing books (and blog posts) to come up with ideas.

    Number 5. I used to read a lot of blogs from people in the commercial publishing industry, and I got chills down my spine every time I heard some author had to completely rewrite his or her book. That I want to avoid at all costs, because if I submitted to an agent or publisher, I’d assume it was ready enough it didn’t need that.


  2. Phil Simon

    It’s the way of the future. Authors with established platforms and audiences will continue to circumvent traditional publishers. The power shift is tectonic.

  3. Kenneth van Rumste

    hi, thx for your good tips. I’m a big fan of your writing and books.

    I’m trying to write my own book as we speak and I think I’m nearly half way. I was wondering if you had any tips as well on publishing in foreign languages. As in my example, dutch is the language I will use. But I would like to know if you would recommend the same tools for me as for english writers?

  4. Jim

    Also, I guess, you’ll get a bigger share of the pie… if you write great books then you’ll make more money.

    1. Scott Berkun

      The basic theory is yes, self-publishing gives authors more of the profit. But for most authors, it also decreases total sales as they can’t promote the book as well as a publisher can. But depending on the specific author, the specific book and the specific publisher, that may not be true.

  5. Jeff Coulter

    I would like to write about my life and try to help others understand that somewhere someone else has had about the same situation and life will be GOOD!

  6. Jeff Coulter

    How to make Mine is what I have serched for throughout My time and I know that I can’t do it alone.



  1. […] Why did you do this? You’ve had 3 bestselling books with publishers. I know I will be writing books the rest of my life. The sooner I learn everything about the process, the better off I will be. I already know how to write — it was time to learn how to publish. Learning was my primary motivation. Even if this book doesn’t sell a copy, but I learn things that help my future writing career, it was worth it. (Longer answer here) […]

Leave a Reply

* Required