Hello folks! It’s been a while I know, apologies for that – I’ve been very busy trying to make a career for myself. My latest research has raised a certain question and I’m curious to see what other blog writers or indeed any sort of writers think.
I recently read a post which suggested that authors who publish on Kindle or other self-publishing platforms aren’t really authors. It’s a fact that there has been a stigma attached to self-publishing and indeed vanity publishing for years, but I had thought that more recently, self-published authors had been more accepted.
But there are one or two articles kicking around on the internet that suggest otherwise. Personally, I don’t view self-published authors as being any different from those belonging to traditional publishing houses. They have after all, for the most part, still sat down and constructed a novel – which as we all know is no easy task. They’ve gone through the editing process, cut away pieces of that work when it killed them to do it, but they did it because it was necessary for the good of their story. Surely that is the very definition of an author?
I respect self-published authors, not just because they do all that a well-known author from a traditional publishers would do but because they do much more than that. They don’t have a team of professionals backing them. They don’t have an agent watching their back. They don’t have a marketing team getting people interested for them. They don’t have someone coming up with a catchy title or a good looking book cover. A traditionally published author for the most part has to give up those things and have no say in it. Self-published authors have to be business people as well as writers, and manage all of these things themselves unless they pay through the nose for professional help.
Okay, I will grant you that there are many terrible self-published titles filling the shelves on Kindle – but so there are too in every book store. Readers all have different tastes don’t they? My cup of tea might not be the same as yours, no matter which way it was published.
As well as all that, I often think self-publishing is actually quite a sensible way to go about things. We all write for the love of it, we all want to share that love. And much as we don’t write for the money (because often there isn’t much, if any!) I’m sure we have all dreamt that we could make a career out of our writing and fill our days doing the thing we love most. Self-publishing more often than not does offer a higher rate of royalties and much more importantly, you don’t have to sell your soul to the devil. Traditionally published writers usually have to sacrifice their rights to get a deal, so swept up and grateful to be given any sort of offer that they willing sign it all away. And a lot of the time, the publishing house never even uses those rights, they just sit there going to waste.
So I’m left wondering to myself – as I stand on the edge trying to decide which way to go for myself, which way is best? In the long run, self-publishing seems to be the way to go but as someone who has never published a book before, I can still see the fascination with traditional publishing houses. I don’t write to be hugely famous but it stands to reason you need a fan base to be successful even in a small way. If you can impress a publisher, surely you have a fighting chance out there in the world? Not to mention that lovely, warm, looked after feeling – even if you know it is all rubbish really.
Either way, I think anyone who has written a book, traditionally published, self-published, vanity published, or even sitting in a dusty old boxfile in the basement – I think all of those people are worthy of our respect. What do you think?
Tartan Rose xx