#TheIWSG – What Publishing Path?

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

I’m using a lull in the chaos to write this month’s  Insecure Writer’s Support Group monthly blog post as the undisciplined step-great-grandkids are out raising hell in Walmart. My biggest concern is now my wife who fell badly yesterday (Sunday) because of one selfish kid and smashed her weak knee so she has to use one of my wheelchairs to get around. We will be glad when this extended month’s stay is over.

Anyway, on with this month’s question.

September 5 question – What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

The future is a mystery as I’m unsure what path I will choose for my Snowdon Shadows mystery series. Is that why I’m evading the finish line by writing shorts about my heroine? Those tales may appear as a self-published collection or as freebies here. The first novel of the series – three drafted so far – I will offer to a few small presses when it is finished.

I’ve been down the small press path with my debut novel Spiral of Hooves, which was published as an e-book on Monday, December 9th, 2013, by Spectacle Publishing Media Group. When SPMG changed hands and I got the right back, I released a paperback revised edition on August 7th, 2017 – self-published via CreateSpace. Neither release garnered much attention, so I have little to base any future publications on, except—

  • The small press put me in touch with fellow authors and they were supportive; self-publishing was a lonelier path.
  • Self-publishing allowed me to choose more about the release like format and cover. And that meant assembling my own team.
  • Publicity with the small press was a mix of them and me – their suggestions and my workload.
  • Self-publishing was costlier overall – in theory, the profit margins were greater, but I never sold the copies needed to cover my costs.

Perhaps, I am writing for my pleasure alone, so publishing is not important?

Or I have a blockbuster rather than a money-pit.

What’s in your wallet/on your publishing schedule?


Cover design by Jonathan Temples. Cover photo by Nick Perry


The awesome co-hosts for the September 5 posting of the IWSG are Toi Thomas, T. Powell Coltrin, M.J. Fifield, and Tara Tyler!

Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting! 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG


33 thoughts on “#TheIWSG – What Publishing Path?

  1. Happy IWSG Day!

    Sorry to hear about your over-stayed guests. Hopefully, it will be over soon.

    There’s nothing wrong with writing just to write. Publishing is just one aspect of the writing process. Still, if you do decide to publish again, don’t be afraid to revisit all options: small presses, contests, self-publishing, and co-ops.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kids are so full of themselves that it is surprising that they don’t pop before they mature. Hate to hear about your wife. I like self=publishing because I have control over my title, cover, and interior art, if any. Publishers want you to do all the heavy lifting in marketing anyway. The cost for the publishing versus the return I think of as priming the pump or the cost of seeing my dream come alive. Best of sales to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A curious thing that, Nick – kids just get louder it seems and never pop. Is there a valve somewhere? (A short story idea?)

      I can see where self-publishing has benefits over a publisher – yes, they still expect us to market. Pros of a publisher are very few. But, I’m retired so have little income to prime my pump.


  3. Sorry to hear your wife got injured. I think finding an audience is the hardest part, but I’m glad you were able to make other connections through your old publisher.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Loni. My wife is getting better – even if our visitors are long-term now. I’m hoping that my audience makes the step sideways on the mystery trail from horses to other crimes. Strangely, most of my author contacts are now via other small presses and via IWSG.


    • Not sure if that’s easy for them, Alex – a lot of issues like back-talking and diverting blame. One of the problems is that the biological father of two of the kids is in jail and feeds the kids all his gang values – so he’s their hero.

      Sounds like your publisher is special and worth submitting to – depends on what they take and when.


  4. It definitely can be a money pit. As in all things, we have to be discerning and wise with our resources, eh?

    I wish your wife some quick healing and much cheese.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hope your wife’s knee gets better soon. This IWSG question has thrown up so much useful advice. Thank you for yours as well as for sharing your experience. I’m going to get Spiral of Hooves because you have piqued my interest in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suspect that the costs will never be recouped, Shannon. However, after visiting your IWSG post, I’m wondering if I can use shorts to fund something. Time to dig in my dormant files?

      My wife is healing, thanks.


  6. I’ve heard others tell stories of little to no money made on self-published books. A friend of mine tells how he had a run of 3000 books printed (he had planned on 1000, but the printer convinced him that 3000 would be more economical) and he ended up giving nearly all of them away because he couldn’t sell them. That was before internet and Amazon so he didn’t have the great access to an audience as writers have now.

    Create-a-space definitely is better than 3000 copies of a book that you have to pound the pavement to peddle.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve heard similar stories, Lee. A member of my first writers’ group had a few printed each time but not that many and she made a bit of money – not a fortune though. With CreateSpace, you can buy them individually but they ensure that it’s cheaper to buy in bulk – I was taking ten paperbacks at a time so still have a few left gathering dust.


  7. Self-publishing does sound lonely. I could see that a small publishing company would still require a lot of work on the author’s part though. I hope you have more success with the next book. But like you said, it’s good to just write for you and not worry about it getting published.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Self-publishing does sound lonely. I’m glad you’ve had success with small publishers. I think writing for yourself and not to get published is a worthy goal as well. I wish you the best of luck on your writing journeys!


    • This month’s IWSG posts have been fascinating and educational. So many variations now out there that………….not even a game show host can help us decide. But you did an amazing job, Jen. 😉


  9. I can imagine how difficult it must be to focus on writing or other projects with some little ones running around! Hurray for back-to-school time. 🙂

    Being able to compare publishing paths is a bonus to decide for your next goal and publication. It does sound nice and helpful to have all that experience and make choices based on that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hurray for back-to-school time indeed, Liesbet – although the two youngest are well-below kindergarten age…but they are the easiest to handle so some piece.

      You are right that I have experienced those two paths and that will help – if I ever finish the drafts. 😉


  10. Those kids sound rather over-boisterous, not in a good way! Maybe have a word with the parents? It’s good that you’ve already had different publishing experiences that will set you in good stead. Good luck on the upcoming submissions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The parents are at their wit’s end too – the kids act up around them too, arguing and back-talking. Punishing them in any way achieves nothing it seems. My wife and I are shut in our office and can still hear them whining.

      As for the publishing, that slips further away as I struggle to concentrate on my writing.


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