Benefits of Becoming Your Own Publisher: The Self Publishing Roadmap, Pt. 1


Whether you are a die-hard independent author or simply building your platform in hopes of attracting a publishing deal later on, putting out your own books can be a rewarding, challenging, instructive, and lucrative endeavor.

The obvious up-sides to self-publishing:

1. Complete creative control- No bending your words to appease an editor, agent, or suit.

2. You keep more money- Even established authors are now expected to do much of their own marketing. Why give up a big cut of your earnings if you’re still doing all the work?

3. Deadlines are in your hands- The only one breathing down your neck will be you, and you can always have a breath mint beforehand. If you don’t meet quarterly sales expectations, you can adjust your marketing tactics without feeling the heavy stare of a hundred eyes on your back.

4. You know yourself best- Not only do you know your book, its characters, its tone, and its purpose better than anyone else in the world, you also know your own talents as a networker, marketer, emailer, etc. So you’ll be able to tailor your marketing campaign to your strengths, hire or enlist experts in the places where you require help, and target the communities, critics, publications, and stores that you already know will love your book.

Sound like something you can handle? OK, then! Stay tuned for Part 2 where I’ll talk about some of the reasons why you do NOT want a traditional book deal with a big publisher.

Chris Robley
Chris Robley is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."


  1. Chris, Thanks for your words. I am self-publishing my 6th book in a few weeks and got encouragement from you. I have not been feeling bad about my books selling so few. I feel that textbooks on the subjects of Outreach, Evangelism and Church Growth will probably be light sellers in any market, including evangelical churches. They deal with subjects that instill fear in the hearts of most people and, according to my Dissertation research, that includes ministerial professionals. Well, book 6 is a novel. Let’s see if my hypothesis on poor sales proves true after publishing a book on 250 nuclear missiles launched at the US and how (based on actual events) great military minds handled that attack. Thanks again for your words.


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