The Bipolar Writer Needs Your Help!

As some of you know (and others don’t) I am ready to publish my memoir! Seriously. I have edited and moved chapters around, and I honestly believe that I prepared for this next step. I have a great cover and manuscript. The issue? Do I self-publish or try to find a publisher?

I have done a lot of research, and I found a company to publish the physical copy of my book. I have watched endless videos on self-publishing on Amazon and other online self-publications. What is right? What is wrong?

I want to do this right because this is my first official novel (and though its non-fiction and I consider myself a fiction novelist) this is important to my brand and me. My memoir The Bipolar Writer is so important to me, so I want to do this right and not rush into something I will regret. I will admit that I am apprehensive about where to go. I thought self-publishing was the right path, but I have doubts. I am turning to my family (YOU) for any advice you can give me.


unsplash-logoRémi Walle


54 thoughts on “The Bipolar Writer Needs Your Help!

  1. Depends on what you want from your book. You will find the difference between the two written everywhere on the internet but in the end only you can decide.
    If you can afford, you can go the traditional publishing way. But you might lose some control over your content.
    With self-publishing you have control and it’s cheaper or free. But it’s A LOT harder. You have to do everything by yourself and it’s not easy. (Doing it, trust me it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be)

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I don’t know much about publishing, but I can tell you that when I have to make decisions like this one, it helps me to write things down. What are the pros and cons of each method of publication? Once that’s done, look at the cons, and figure out which ones you absolutely can’t deal with. If there aren’t any, that’s great! Compare the pros. Good luck! -Ari

    Liked by 2 people

  3. If you’re thinking on royalties, then use Amazon. I believe the percentage is 70. Choose Amazon also if you want a bit more control in your publication. You’ll be doing all the promoting yourself.

    If you want to self-publish for one of the Big Four, then you’ll have to invest a bit of money into advertisements, that will run in the thousands. An agent will do that for you, but I’ve yet to have one for myself. I wouldn’t even know where to find one.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is where I am stuck. I have no connections in the writing industry. I am an unknown and my budget is not huge. I think I could self promote enough to get my book out there and Amazon to me seemed as the best choice. My thoughts were publish digital first and then physical.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Take it one step at a time. Don’t rush anything. The last thing you want to do is make a mistake and end up regretting that.

        Whatever “connections” you need to make don’t have to be any corporate sponsors or businessmen who will buy your book to cut it up and turn it into something with only half your touch in the work. Make friends, and those will be your best connections. Writing doesn’t have to be a business. That’s merely the art world losing its heart in recent times, and gaining ground in the world of skyscrapers and godhood. Writing is meant to be modest, and if it should retain its quality, then it should never be about quantity.

        Since you’ve said that Amazon would be your best choice, I recommend getting onto Facebook and joining a few writing groups. You’ve already got 10k followers on this blog, and that’s a lot more than I have (100 times the amount). I’m sure that the family you have on WordPress are more than willing to aid you in your journey to get your career as an author started. I’m also sure that your followers will recognize your work and support you.

        Pretty soon you’ll be calling the blog, “The Bipolar Author Mental Health” blog. Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      • To add:

        Lovecraft is famous, today. But he wasn’t famous in his time, because he lacked the confidence to promote himself. Above all, don’t think yourself incapable. If you have good, quality writing that draws the readers in at a first glance, then all you’ll need to do is have that confidence to tell people about your work. To know the quality of your work, you’ll have to see the reactions from people. Show someone your work (not online), and read their facial expressions.

        How many friends do you have? Even if they don’t like reading, tell those people about your work, as well. 🙂


      • Amazon makes it easy to publish both digital and physical without investing much of anything since they do print on demand for physical books. They also have new advertising programs that I am navigating myself right now. It does get a lot of eyes on your book, although the book still has to sell itself obviously. I find doing giveaways on Amazon helps too and is relatively cheap.

        Liked by 2 people

      • What I dislike about Amazon is the Kindle Unlimited program. People have to be really interested in your book, or respect you enough, not only as an author, but as a person, to buy your book, and not get it for free.

        If there is a way to disable the Kindle Unlimited from Amazon self-published books, I’d sure like to know.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. My website has the equivalent of 140 pages of a paperback (well, it did when I counted back in 2010 or so). My mother keeps on asking me why I don’t publish it as a book.

    My response has been that I get far more people in far more countries seeing my work and reading it as a website than I will ever get if I had published a book.

    It depends on what you want. One can publish for money and fame and readers (and posterity and satisfaction and etc., but let’s stick with things that can be counted). You need to choose which one you want most.

    You can certainly publish a book. But you might want to consider that if you figure out how to promote your work on the web – and you aren’t doing too badly if you have 10,000 followers – you can probably translate that into both money and fame and readers, just as much as if you’d written a book.

    Note that the writing a book and writing online are two very different styles.

    I’ve chosen to put my stuff on the net for readers. My depressive ‘fear of people’ symptoms and my bad depression episodes make promotion and selling impossible for me, so I’m unlikely to ever get fame or money. I’ve accepted that writing for the fun of it, and chatting online with cool people is good enough.

    Finally, in a very shameless plug – if you think the ideas and writing on my blog are good, could you mention my blog on your blog and provide a link to mine. 🙂


    Liked by 2 people

    • Writing is how I make a living and I want this memoir to help others like this blog does but on a bigger scale. It is true though that getting this piece published, even self-published will help my brand (and I need to write it is what I do.) Let me look over your blog. I don’t mind plugging others websites. If you want to guest blog on The Bipolar Writer, that will help promote your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The suggestions below aren’t necessarily the best or correct or the only ones, but they are intended to open out possibilities for you. Take them in that spirit please.

        If the long term goal is to build your brand, chatting with a publisher now and having your memoirs go through the established channels, sets you up as a writer. And you’ll learn how publishers work maybe? But there is no guarantee this will succeed and the time frame may be longer than you wish.

        Self publishing is faster and gets your name out as a published writer (my mom also has a self published book, and it has given her some name recognition). This route might cost you money rather than make you money. Self-published books are often considered vanity works, which may need to be factored in when deciding how much it builds your brand.

        Personal websites generally have very little brand recognition, but the kind of promotion you would do for a self published book (morning television show, sunday lifestyle two page spread, half hour radio feature, Ted Talk, etc. ) works for websites. And websites will have the largest number of eyes on the page, and it’s possible to sell online ads.

        What’s the process of guest blogging on The Bipolar Writer?


  5. One of the most difficult decisions for a writer. I’m in this boat at the moment and after a lot of research I’ve decided to query literary agents to see if I can connect with someone who shares my vision. This will allow me to see if there is interest, and if so, I still have the option to accept or reject representation. While I know this path could be exhausting and full of rejection and I may lose some control over my work, I also know marketing myself is a giant weakness for me so I’m willing to take the chance. However if an agent is not in my cards I will go the self publishing route.

    Listen to your gut, but as stated in the other comments this is a personal decision that only you can make. I wish the best path for you and can’t wait to hear how it goes 🧡

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Your writing speaks to so many and will speak to many more after the book. I would only say don’t choose self publishing because it’s easy unless it’s truly the best choice, the people who read you blog may not be the same people who routinely buy books. Why not find your favorite mental health book and write to that publisher? It’s just a conversation.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I read your responses and it seems you are wanting to reach more readers, which is going to be easier if you go through a publisher. Self-publishing will allow you to have more control over every aspect of your work, but, it’s financially strenuous to the writer (the reward is better in my opinion). But, I would go through a publisher for now for the exposure. You’ll stay true to your art self-publishing is the way to go. Keep researching until you find what’s best for you. I wish I could help more. I’m rambling, but, it just seems weighing what you want is the best way to get the proper answers you need that will benefit you and the your writing the best.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m not a writer but an avid reader. A friend’s son is a dog trainer and self-published. Amazon is selling that book! Aaron McDonald The Three-Dimensional Dog. Amazon is a big seller of books because it is easier for the reader, too. You may want to reach out to other self-published authors in your decision-making process. It is a way for your work to be seen in the same place that best sellers are seen every day. That’s good company. I’ll buy it. Best of luck to you.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. The odds of getting picked up by a traditional publisher are very low. Plus, they want you to give up so much control as well as the lion’s share of the profits. Plus, you usually need an agent who also gets a cut. With self-publishing, you can use print on demand services like Amazon and some other websites offer so you don’t need to worry about printing a bunch of copies that you may not sell right away.

    I haven’t published yet, but after seeing a friend who self-publishes, he keeps a lot more of the money from book sales and he can set the price for the ebook. For print books, the print on demand service will dictate a minimum price based on number of pages and other parameters.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a big thing. I don’t want to lose what makes my memoir a part of me. It makes sense and I am not all about the money but I make my living writing. I was looking at a couple of companies that offer self-publish print but I can do that after going with a digital copy. Thank you for your input!!! It helps.


  10. I’ve spent years asking the same questions. Try submitting to a literary agent first. Go to to find people who publish in your genre. You have a strong blog and social media following so someone might give you a shot. I self-publish because I don’t have those numbers and it’s easier for me. I’m happy to answer more questions. Best of luck.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I would say that the best way to share your book with as many people as possible would be to go the traditional publishing route and find a literary agent. Considering the subject matter you could also consider contacting some of the big mental health charities to see if they would be interested in helping you out.
    As others have said, you also need to think about promotion and, if you go the self-publishing route you will need to really blow your own trumpet and that’s not something everybody feels comfortable with. My advice would be – try to be objective, don’t think of this as ‘your’ book but as ‘a’ book that it’s your job to promote.
    Whatever you decide, the very best of luck :O) x

    Liked by 2 people

  12. My view is this … If you want to have a life as an author and this is the first book, then this is important one. The one where taking advice, albeit at a cost, from the experts pays off. They’re worth their weight in gold. They know what they’re doing because they’ve done it thousands of times before. Use their knowledge, learn from it and when book number two is ready, you will then fully understand the process, the pros and cons and from that you can then be in a strong position to choose which route to take. You might find that your strengths lie solely in the writing and you loathe the promotion side of it and it sends you into a spin. Bear in mind that your mental health here is still the priority! No point you having the most marvellous book, but unable to physically or mentally do the work needed to get it up and running. Not sure if that helps, but thought I’d put it out there. Katie

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Self published is pretty much a great option these days. Rupi Kaur, best seller author of Milk and Honey self published. I think, if you have loyal audience who like to read you and are ready to help you through this journey, you should focus on self publishing.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I don’t have any advice as I think it’s a personal decision, and I’ve always dreamed of being published in the traditional manner…but some people swear by self-publishing these days, so what do I know? However, I would like to wish you all the luck! Good for you for following your dreams! How exciting!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. James, while I don’t have much knowledge on publishing, so it would be difficult for me to offer anything intelligent as far as direction, I will say, that I get alot out your posts, and your guest writers posts. What ever direction you choose, I look forward to purchasing a copy, and showing my support for you site. (I am also pretty sure I will learn some relatable things about myself)

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Hi, new here! Self publishing isn’t terrible – especially with Amazon because they do have features built in to help with promotion. Also, they are considered one of the big publishers now. Promotion is ridiculously daunting, but there are people you can find on Facebook and Instagram who do just that. In every writers’ group I belong to there are agents and promoters who have their own small business, but know how to get results. They can also teach you how to manage your social media presence and increase your visibility so that you can do a lot of the work yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Hey James, check out this link copied below for the KN Literary Agency. The founder Kelly is a wonderful author & person. On her website, there’s a pop-up that offers you a free list of 25 publishers who will accept submissions directly from authors.

    You can download it for free. Take a look just in case….you never know!
    Good luck!

    Take care,


    Liked by 1 person

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