Why I Chose To Self-Publish


Why I Chose To Self-Publish, An article about the making choice to self-publish by @jemartinbooks, J. E. Martin
Editing the first draft of Black Wolf


I have to be honest: this was the question I feared the most when it came to letting the world know I’d written a book. There were other things I feared, of course – like my mother’s response to the fact that I’d penned a book that includes the word “nipple” more than once. But this question was the big one. I’d worked hard writing, revising, editing, and designing my book – but could I really call myself an author?

There are still people out there who cling to the concept that indie authors/self-publishers are cheating the system by not going the traditional route. There are also concerns about the lack of quality control across the board for authors who decide to take the DIY path. There are about a million other concerns beyond these two examples – and a million other blog posts out there dedicated to debating the issues from every angle.

But I decided to self-publish anyway.


The short answer: I wanted to see if I could.

The long answer is a bit…well…longer.

I’m not out for fame or fortune or even some snobby wordsmith’s version of literary legitimacy.


My book is about people who can turn into wolves. The narrator is silly – or at least has an oftentimes odd sense of humor. There’s a guy with a bad accent who can move his jiggly bits through space at will. There are naughty scenes and bad language. There might even be dragons.

It’s not Shakespeare (who, by the way, didn’t go through today’s version of “traditional publishing” in his time).

Black Wolf is fun. And it’s mine.

You see, therein lies the longer answer.

I wanted to control everything: cover design (I did it), schedule (I set it), price (I determine it), what formats are available for purchase (yep, that’s my call), and whether or not there’s a second book (spoiler alert: there are now three more).

Plus, I love the indie author community. I adore the fact that I can grab a random book by someone just like me. I thrill at the thought of diving into another world by someone else who thought, “Yes. My universe is worth sharing”. Some of those worlds are better than others (according to my personal tastes) but I feel the same way when I pick up a traditionally published book. I find something so real about knowing that other author did it alone. Have I read some terrible indie lit? Yes. Absolutely, without a doubt – some of the worst crap. SRSLY. But have I read some terrible traditional text? Oh, my friend. Have I ever!

So, the question for me will be: is my book one of the good ones? Or one of the bad ones?

I certainly like it (duh), and it has tested well with beta readers. But I haven’t yet asked anyone to put money on the line for it. Soon, I’ll be doing just that – so I guess we’ll see.

And that’s probably one of the things I’m most excited about as I prepare to make my own debut in the indie author world I’ve come to enjoy. I’ll get to see where I stand with readers – and I’m getting to do so on my terms, on my own timeline.

I didn’t want to wait for a publisher (or twenty or one hundred) to tell me whether my work is good or bad. I wanted to publish now because at the end of the day it still comes down to the same thing a traditionally published book comes down to: the readers.

Reading is an activity of the imagination, and the imagination in question is not the writer’s alone. ―Thomas C. Foster

I’m more than ready to meet mine.



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August 2018, updated to add: Books One through Four of The Black Wolf Series are now available for purchase on Amazon.

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