Self Publishing?

This post is one big question that I’m hoping people can answer for me. Here’s the question: What is so great about self publishing?

To me, it seems that it is a good way to get your work published without going through an agency or a publishing company. However, doesn’t self publishing devalue an author’s work? I don’t think I would want to read a book that has been self published because it doesn’t have the backing of a publishing company. Publishing companies add a stamp of approval to an author’s work. Without it, I would have no idea if the book is even worth reading.

I know there are cases where self-published works get really popular. Eragon comes to mind, but even then, I didn’t know about that book until it got picked up by Random House. To me, self publishing feels like posting a really long political rant on Facebook and expecting everyone to treat it like an article in the New York Times.

Maybe it’s just because of my background. As a journalism major, it was so frustrating when people wouldn’t get their news from my carefully researched articles; they would get it from Twitter or Facebook. Self publishing rubs me the wrong way because I feel like if you’re good enough to be picked up by an agent and a publishing company, then your work deserves to be read. If not, then why bother publishing in the first place?

Feel free to respond. I am a novice to all sorts of publishing, so I really would like to hear from people who have gone through the self-publishing process. I’m sure I’m only looking at one side of the story.

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3 thoughts on “Self Publishing?

  1. Hello Andrea.
    My name is William Dooling. I’m a former journalist and current librarian who is very familiar with how print news and fiction (as well as academic journal articles) are published.

    Self-publication is fraught with idiots, but as a journalist, I think you can probably appreciate that simply being carried in a major newspaper is no guarantee of quality.

    There are self-publishers that self-publish because they are vain and they want to pretend to be the next JK Rowling without the effort involved…and there are self-publishers that do it because they have something they want people to read that would never, ever, pick up a mainstream publisher. My novel, for example, is very niche and has themes and topics which most people don’t care about (but a small fraction do, immensely).

    I just finished experimenting with a month of self-publication, which you can read about here: http://www.theodidactus.com/selling-synchronicity-in-which-i-attempt-to-sell-e-books/

    Like

    1. Thanks, William! You are definitely right that being carried by a major newspaper/publishing company does not mean quality. Twilight definitely comes to mind lol. Self publishing for a topic that is very niche makes a lot of sense. Just because only a small amount of people care about a topic, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth writing about. Thanks for the comment!

      Like

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