Self-publishing: An insult to the written word

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Re: Self-publishing: An insult to the written word

Postby Oldtimer » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:55 pm

Tongue in cheek, Rob? It certainly made me smile, but then so do most of your pithy, down-to-earth comments. :)
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Re: Self-publishing: An insult to the written word

Postby ARLEN » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:33 pm

I didn't see the article, but I do get the feeling that there is a fair amount of snobbery surrounding self-publishing by those in the traditional publishing world. I am currently listening to an audio course called How to Publish Your Book by Jane Friedman and it is thoroughly discouraging. Don't get me wrong, the course itself is very interesting and informative, but one gets the idea that the chances for publication by an unknown author are next to zero.

To that end, I LOVE the fact that Amazon KDP and iBooks are an option. I myself recently self-published on those sites. I didn't even bother to send my manuscript to any publishers at all. I know this is considered a cardinal sin in the publishing world and will probably mark me as an amateur for life, but I would really prefer to get my work out there and potentially read by even just a few people than to waste countless hours writing query letters. Today's traditional publishing seems geared toward celebrities, those who have a platform or are extremely good at self-promotion. (I am not).

So even though self-publishing sites do allow for some substandard books to get published, this fact is far outweighed by the opportunity for writers who would otherwise be shut out of the process completely.

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Re: Self-publishing: An insult to the written word

Postby robjvargas » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:23 pm

I've been pondering your post since I first read it. And I'm worried. While you complain of snobbery from the world of "traditional" publishing, you then turn around and deride traditional publishing with a blanket statement that may, or may not, be true.

The simple truth is that there is no simple truth. No one knows the "Magic Formula" for a successful work. Self-published works have succeeded. So have traditionally published works. Fifty Shades of Gray started as Twilight fanfiction. But the references to Twilight had to be removed before it could be published, and it was via a traditional publisher that it garnered sufficient attention to be made into a movie (and a sequel soon to release).

There is some really awful work out there having been self-published. There's also some awful stuff that got traditionally published. Both success AND failure have come of each.

I've always liked the saying that writing is an art, but publishing is a business. If business is good in your view, I certainly have no reason to contradict you. But if having (at most) a few dozen readers is your measure of success, then I have to say that I wouldn't measure it that way for me.
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Re: Self-publishing: An insult to the written word

Postby mikeyboy_esq » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:55 pm

Alas, the long-held stigma against self-published works continues despite the (few) big hits that started out as self-published books and later became best selling books and/or movies in recent years (e.g., the martian, 50 shades of grey, etc).

One thing that comes to mind when I consider the quality of traditionally published vs. self-published books is that sometimes a book is rejected by traditionally publishing houses simply b/c they don't believe they will be able to sell enough books to earn a profit. Even if a book is interesting and well-written, it can be rejected due to its perceived lack of commercial value. To me, that means there are probably some excellent books that would never see the light of day without the available option of self-publishing.

I have only had my self-published book on the market for a few months and already I've had someone thumb their nose up at it b/c it was not traditionally published. LOL I teach a night class at a local community college (which is the topic of my book) and the college recently announced a contest for all faculty and staffers who recently published books/articles, put on an art or music show for the public, etc. When I inquired about submitting a self-published book (like mine), I was told that it must be peer reviewed and the only way a self-published book could meet that requirement is by having the book reviewed by leading experts in the field. Although I had 4 professors review and give their feedback on my self-published book before I completed the manuscript, they were not "leading experts" or famous by any stretch of the imagination. So I didn't bother to submit my book. Oh well, its their loss.
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