Monday, January 13, 2014

You Can Always Self-Publish - NO

I haven't always been a defender of self-publishing. I've seen enough authors who didn't bother to edit, or self-pubbed out of anger, revenge, discouragement, or some other very poor reason, and then wondered why they still weren't getting the attention they so obviously deserved. But I know there are those out there, the indie authors, the small-press authors, self-pubbed or otherwise, who work their tails off for their books.

These people produce great writing, and then work very hard to promote it. They research the best methods to get people to see their work. They put the time in to take advantage of those methods. They blog, tweet, post on Facebook, do book signings, make appearances, anything they need to. And people read their books. Not because they pummeled their readers into submission with advertising, but because they're good.

A particular book at my local library comes to mind. This book is self-published by a local author. It's the only copy in our county, very niche, and VERY popular. It's a contemporary YA titled Opiate Jane by Jessica Baker, and patrons keep asking me about it. Though I've never read it, I can acknowledge when something just hits a reader's sweet spot and deserves to be on those shelves.

This is what self-publishing does. And if done right, and for the right reasons, it is brilliant. Self-pub makes good stories available to eager readers. But, yes, you have to work your tail off.

It's started offending me when laypersons, and especially people in the publishing industry, snub their noses at self-pub, saying things like "Well, you can always self publish." No, you can't 'always self-publish'! It isn't easy. The result, if you do it hastily or slap-dash, can be an awful blow to your writing career. And if you ever want to trad-pub, that catastrophe will follow you. Swallow that, if you can.

Will I ever self-publish? Maybe. Right now I'm pursuing traditional publishing for as long as it suits the direction I want to go in.

There's nothing wrong with illustrators who sell their work at conventions, online, or out of the trunk of their car, so what's wrong with writers who sell their work on Amazon or Createspace?


  1. Dawnya Cullum NixonJanuary 16, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    Opiate Jane was written by my cousin, I am very proud to say and yes she did work her butt off to get ppl to read her work. she worked very hard and should be very proud of herself. Its a great story and I hope she gets the praise for it cause God Himself knows she deserves every bit of it. Love you Jess.

  2. Opiate Jane was written by my nephews wife, & I also am very very proud of her she did work very hard on the book , doing book signings , setting up at different places to get the book out there not only for her but for the reason behind the story DRUGS KILL PEOPLE if you haven't read the book please do very interesting story .. I was actually upset when it ended so that means we need a part 2 loved it and love and proud of you jess...Aunt Kim ;)


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