Some Unique Options for Self Publishing

Self publishing is generally thought of in terms of a few different options. A good portion of self published authors end up turning to vanity presses. Some authors choose to have a small print run of 500 or 1000 books (or more) done by a local printer. Others opt to use a POD service (like CreateSpace or Lulu) to publish their book. And still others just go the ebook route, making their book available through the Kindle or sites like SmashWords.

Photo by nate steiner, via Flickr

Photo by nate steiner, via Flickr

All of those are perfectly acceptable options. But what if you want to do something different? What if you look at the options above and your brain just screams, “BORING!”

I have two more options for you: binding your own books (paperback or hardcover) or writing a “blovel”—a blog novel.

Hamish MacDonald was the first person I heard about who was doing his own book binding for his novels. He currently offers four books for sale, all hand-bound by him. He also offers a series of podcasts for the DIY novelist. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Kvasir House Press is another great resource for learning bookbinding and for other information related to self publishing. The owner, Chad Muller, offers an excellent two-part tutorial on how to bind your own books. The directions are excellent, and I honestly can’t wait to try them out myself.

No Media Kings offers a great comparison of self-publishing options that includes instructions for creating your own book press and for binding your own books. Definitely worth a read, though be aware that not all of the information in the self-pub options is accurate (mainly the assertion that POD books are only sold at retail price, which is false).

The other viable option for publishing your own books is to go the ebook route. But instead of going through SmashWords or the Kindle store, why not publish your novel on a blog? Serialized novels used to be quite popular in newspapers and magazines decades ago. Why not due the same thing on your blog? With one chapter released per week (or day), it gives readers a chance to come back to your blog on a regular basis. If you pair this with releasing a print copy of your book, you’re likely to see more sales than you would otherwise. And don’t forget to put a donation button on your blog so readers can support your work!

JungleG has a wonderful post titled “Procrastinating on that novel? Write a Blovel instead.” It gives a basic outline of what their approach to a blovel would be, though there’s plenty of room for customization.

We CAN! Promote Our Books has a great article on experimenting with the whole blovel idea (this time with a YA novel written entirely in poetry).

This idea has become so popular that there’s now a site dedicated entirely to providing authors with a space to write their blovel: Blovel Spot.

I’m sure there are plenty of other unique ways authors are self publishing their books. If you know of any, please share them in the comments below.

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3 thoughts on “Some Unique Options for Self Publishing

  1. Cameron, you are one of the bright spots in the literary firmament. This is absolutely wonderful.

    I’ve been talking about this kind of thing with a few people, most notably my cover designer, the ridiculously talented Sarah E Melville ( It came about after I read about the latest special edition antics of Trent Reznor and the other guys in Nine Inch Nails ($75,000 dollars and you get a skydiving trip thrown in!). I think special edition books are a great way for authors to self-publish (Sarah is doing something amazing called Beautiful Things That happen to Ugly People) and give readers something unique, for which you can charge a premium price.

  2. Hi Cameron,

    Thanks so much for mentioning my blog post, I just ran into your post today and noticed that the link to the article goes somewhere else.

    I also wanted to let you and your readers know that I’ve begun coding an online application to write blovels. The system handles chapterization better than a regular blog application, and it also has niceties like readers reports and other cool stuff. I’d love you to check it out. The URL for the application is

    See you soon!

  3. Many thanks, Cameron, for your kind mention of Kvasir House Press. I love your website, by the way. A plethora of great content. Best wishes, and keep up the fine work!

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