Monday, December 12, 2011

Self Publishing...Or Not...Again

By Julie Daines

There's been some sparks flying--again--on the whole To Self Publish or Not debate. So, I'm chiming in with my two cents.

Here is a great quote by Edan Lepucki (The Millions) from an interesting article about her reasons for not self publishing. I agree with with much of what she has to say, but not all.

I found this especially in line with my own thoughts:
Readers themselves rarely complain that there isn’t enough of a selection on Amazon or in their local superstore; they’re more likely to ask for help in narrowing down their choices. So for anyone who has, however briefly, played that reviled gatekeeper role, a darker question arises: What happens once the self-publishing revolution really gets going, when all of those previously rejected manuscripts hit the marketplace, en masse, in print and e-book form, swelling the ranks of 99-cent Kindle and iBook offerings by the millions? Is the public prepared to meet the slush pile?

Is the public ready to meet the slush pile? I'm not. And as more kids are getting e-readers, parents have to be doubly vigilant to ensure their kids aren't downloading anything worse than just a poorly written book.

But, as she points out, blogs and other forms of reviews are already popping up to help readers wade through the slush.

My personal reasons for going with a traditional publisher are similar to Ms. Lepucki. Mainly, I want my manuscript to be its best. I want an editor telling me what's working and what's not. I want that stack of revisions to make the story better.

I recently started reading a self-published book with at least FIVE editing errors on THE FIRST PAGE! I don't want that to be me. I had to put the book down.

I have nothing against self-publishing whatsoever. It's just not for me--at least right now.

What are your thoughts?


Scott said...

I know somebody who recently self-pubbed on Amazon and, although from what I can tell from the free sample chapters the concept is solid, the book needs serious editing for mechanics and structure. If I had paid for a book in that shape from a stranger I would be ticked. It reminds me a bit of another guy I know who self-pubbed because he didn't want an editor to change his "inspired" work. He ended up with a garage full of books.

I am a firm believer that self-publishing can work, and I like the idea of independence, especially for certain kinds of books, but you have to deliver professional quality if people are paying, and, unfortunately, a lot of writers who are early in their careers don't know yet how to produce that on their own.

Tiffany Dominguez said...

Wouldn't it be nice if Amazon and other self-publishing services made it mandatory to use an editing service prior to publishing a book with them?

I think self-published authors have a duty to make sure their manuscript is not just a first draft. To have at least tried to go the traditional route and taken the advise of agents, editors and other writers seriously.

BUT that won't ever happen, will it? So in the meantime, us poor self-published book review bloggers are here to help people wade through the absolute mess!

Julie Daines said...

@Tiffany, I can vouch for your book! It is well edited and a great story. A good example of self-published!

Fiauna said...

Sometimes it's a hard-learned lesson. Great writing is often a product of an evolutionary process. @Tiffany, I agree. It would be great if editing services were expected and made affordable. Authors (or hopeful authors) should find and use editing services they can afford. Even the best writer needs a clear, unbiased eye to polish their work.

Yamile said...

Like everything, self-pubbing isn't for everyone. I'm with you, Julie, I want my book to be the best it can be before reaching the public--even if it takes a long time for me to get there...

L.L. Muir said...

I'm an author with an agent, but the small niche stories are too risky for the big publishers these days, so I'm taking my professionally edited stories to the e-public. I wouldn't have done so if they hadn't been edited and revised--New York ready.

Also, since I write clean romance, that cuts down on the audience.

My agent is still working hard to sell three others for me, but I am digging the self-pubbed experience 1000 times more than I thought I would.

Also, if I put out high quality work, that raises the quality of e-choices, right?

That's my wild ride.