Thursday, August 26, 2010
Do You Want to Jump the Fence?: Part 1 of Why Self-Publishing Is Better Than You Think
Today I’m talking about a very sticky subject, one that I’ve seen people arguing about quite passionately. I’m not here to say that self-publishing is better than traditional publishing or the other way around. I do not feel in any way that one could possibly be any better than the other. Want to know why? Because, once again, they lead to the exact same pasture. The only difference is how you get there. Some might argue that the pasture is different, that self-publishing isn’t publishing at all, but I’ll tell you what - getting your work out there for sale, marketing it, seeing people read it, rate it, love it, hate it, talk about it - that’s publishing. If you deny that, you’re on some sort of crack.Traditional. Self. I'd like to try both, thank you very much. The beautiful thing is that I can.
And let’s get this out of the way up front: both traditional and self-publishing are capable of putting out a piece of crap.
Traditional publishing is often looked at as a filter for the written word. You have to get “approved,” in a way, before your work is put out there. Someone has to UNLOCK that gate leading to the coveted pasture. This is the best way for many writers, and I can understand why.
Self-publishing is often looked at as cheating, and that cheating can produce some really bad stuff because it didn’t go through the filter. Nobody unlocked the gate. The writer just opened it and went through. That might seem unfair to those still waiting for their gate to be unlocked, or they might look at it as completely stupid to open the gate yourself, especially if the writer isn't ready. Either, way, negative feelings often happen because of it.
I’ve seen all this happening for a long time. I started writing a novella last November and decided that I wanted to self-publish it NOT because I didn’t think I could sell it traditionally, NOT because I didn’t think it wasn’t good enough for traditional publishing, NOT because I had given up on traditional publishing. I decided to self-publish it because I wanted to get it out there, because I knew it was the best damn thing I’d written to date, and because I knew I was finally ready to put my work out there. But possibly the largest driving force behind my decision was because of this very blog. You, our lovely readers, have often asked about self-publishing. I’ve seen negativity. I’ve seen frustration. I’ve seen confusion. I wanted to figure out why. I wanted to do it myself and see what it was all about and if I could do it in a way that expelled some of the terrible stigmas out there.
This series of posts - Why Self-Publishing is Better Than You Think - is going to be about my experience so far with self-publishing. It’s more than about self-publishing, as well. It’s about an experience that has literally changed my life.
I have jumped the fence to a different corral.
I know what it’s like over here, and I want to tell you about it.
Join me for this series! I'll be talking about getting hurt, making hard decisions, the technicalities of producing a professional self-published work (formatting, cover art, editing, etc,), and numbers and sales. All I ask is that you keep an open mind and that if you have something to say that goes against what I say or what others say in the comments section, say it nicely and be courteous. Differing opinions and open discussion are always welcome here.
Why Self-Publishing Is Better Than You Think Series
Do You Want to Jump the Fence? - August 26th
The Vase - September 1st
What Going Indie Will Cost You - September 8th
Whither The Author-Artiste? - September 9th
Influences & Self-Publishing Might Just Stink For You - September 16th
The Absolute Nightmare (or not!) of Formatting a Print Book - September 22nd
Cheaper Than Kinko's - September 23rd
Don't Listen to Me - September 30th