Self-Printed: The “Is My Book for You?” Quiz


I’ve spent the day finishing the formatting of Self-Printed‘s e-book, in the sense that I followed my own guidelines to the letter and uploaded the file, and am now waiting for the errors that will undoubtedly be found once conversion is complete. It wasn’t much fun so by the time I’d put down a full day of it, I wanted to do something that was. So I came up with this, the Self-Printed Quiz which helps you determine in a completely inaccurate way whether or not Self-Printed is the self-publishing guide for you. Let me know how you get on!

The Self-Printed Quiz

Question 1: Why do you want to self-publish?
  1. Because I wrote a book, stoopid. Gawd(0 points)
  2. So that as soon as I’ve sold my first trillion copies and got on the New York Times bestseller list, I can send a copy of it to each of the 1,523 agents who rejected me – or should I say, rejected my query letter; those evil b—–ds didn’t even give my book a chance! – with a middle finger drawn on it in blood. Perhaps my own, perhaps someone else’s. That’ll show them.(5 points)
  3. I believe that although my book mightn’t have a big enough market for a traditional publisher to make money from it, I think I could sell enough copies to make some money for me – especially since my initial costs will be super low. (10 points)
Question 2: Which of the following statements best describes your thoughts on traditional publishing as it is now, i.e. you submit to agents, the agents submits the best of what they receive to publishers, publishers decide what to publish based on financial considerations, past successes, the author’s existing platform, etc.?
  1. The who that does what now? (0 points)
  2. Everyone knows that all the agents are in bed with the publishers while simultaneously having phone sex with Barnes and Noble and all they do when they’re at work is point and laugh at the slush pile, blog anonymously about the stupid things they found in your query letter (so what if I addressed it Mr/Madam – what’s that got to do with my book?!) and stroke the James Patterson shrine in the lobby. (5 points)
  3. I think they’re running a business. Yes, that means that sometimes great books don’t get published, but look at all the ones that do. If they reject my manuscript, it hurts, yes, but I don’t take it personally. I know it was a business decision. (10 points)
Question 3: You think self-publishing is…
  1. Like a warm hug that enables everyone to realize their dreams. (0 points)
  2. The approaching T-Rex in the wing mirror of Big Publishing’s Jurassic Park-branded Jeep. (5 points)
  3. A good idea in certain cases, and a lot of hard work. (10 points)
Question 4:  An agent submitted my ms to all the major US publishing houses but while the editors generally liked the concept and my writing style, Sales and Marketing said that there wasn’t enough of a market for it to sell a print run and so they had to say no; I’m considering self-publishing. If you were to re-write this sentence in your own words, how would it read?
  1. Um… what’s an ms? (0 points)
  2. After making me and my dreams wait six whole months without so much as a smoke signal, my commission-loving cowboy sent my ground-breaking, genre-crossing, high-concept-but-yet-commercial novel to each of The Big Six, but while the gatekeepers thought it was the best thing they’d read since The Time Traveler’s Wife, the evil, suit-wearing trolls in the Money Department didn’t think I was good enough to join their exclusive little club; I’m going to become an indie author instead. Why let middle men take most of my money when I can do a better job of it myself? I’m going to show them. And then when they come knocking on my door with a six-figure deal, I’m not going to do a Hocking on it – I’m going to tell them where they can stick it, and that’s up James Patterson’s– (5 points)
  3. An agent submitted my ms to all the major US publishing houses but while the editors generally liked the concept and my writing style, Sales and Marketing said that there wasn’t enough of a market for it to sell a print run and so they had to say no; I’m considering self-publishing. (10 points)
Question 5: Have you said any of these words or phrases in the last 24 hours? Subtract 5 points for each word used and an additional 5 points for each usage.
  • The Big Six
  • gatekeepers
  • indie author
  • tree book
  • legacy publishing
  • But they didn’t even give it a chance! (Subtract an additional 10 points for saying that in a whiney adolescent tone. As in, “But Mum, everyone else is going!”
Question 6: You think this quiz is…
  1. Three minutes of my life that I’ll never get back. Gawd. (0 points)
  2. More Big Publishing propaganda. Are you so stupid that you can’t see the evidence that’s before your very eyes? Don’t you know that money that doesn’t exist is better than money that does exist if the money that doesn’t exist can be shown to possibly be greater? I pity you and your “self-printed” rubbish. Down with the Big Six! Indie authors unite! Someone get me some doughnuts! (5 points)
  3. At least moderately amusing. (20 points)
If you scored less than 20 points, then this book is NOT for you.

I’m not actually sure books in general are for you. News-flash: just because you wrote a book doesn’t mean the rest of us are going to want to buy it.

If you scored between 20 and 50 points, then this book MIGHT be for you.

The information in Self-Printed might be useful to you, but you won’t like my tone and as chances are that’ll lead you to look upon it unfavorably, spare me the sardonic one-star Amazon review and go read something else instead. Or visit my blog,, to read some of my original “Self-Printing” posts to judge for yourself.

If you scored 50 points or more, than this IS the book for you.

And we can be friends. Now if you’ll just buy a copy…

4 thoughts on “Self-Printed: The “Is My Book for You?” Quiz

  1. Frances Valente says:

    Actually it was hilarious. I am one of your biggest fans admitedly, particularly as you were the inspiration for me to offload my festering manuscript onto the unspecting public. And thanks to your guide on how to do it painlessly, it was just that. And bizarrely enough it is selling bizarrely well so far.

    Thanks for your paperback book which is now winging its way to my son. I had another read of it in paper first. Great stuff.

    If you want to have a look at another “Shetland” novel you can download Dancing with the Ferryman by Frankie Valente from Smashwords. Voucher code GV49N for 100% discount.

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      Thanks Frances! If you thought the quiz was funny that bodes well for the book…! 🙂

      Congrats on your sales – I’m sure there’s nothing bizarre about its success! – and best of luck with it.

  2. Tahir says:

    Catherine, you are impeding finishing (err I mean starting) my second book with your hilarious blog posts. I would have to add some more answer choices to your quiz questions:
    Q1: (4) I don’t understand why I need a publisher- they don’t help you with marketing anyway unless you’re already famous, in which case you don’t need it.
    Q2: (4) They are glorified printers who are able to employ some editors and designers and what have you.
    Q5: add: “glorified printer”
    How many points for these? I don’t think my score is very good.

  3. Elisa Michelle says:

    This is hilarious. I agree with all the 10-point questions. Hope that’s a good thing, haha.

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