Saturday, January 7, 2012

To Publish or Not To Publish: That Is the Question

Have you ever thought much about the possibility of being self-published? And when you did, was it always your 'back-up plan' or last resort?

I’ve never thought much about the process of self-publication. In fact, if I was quite honest I would admit that I probably have the same misconceptions of the process – and reasons for – pursuing this form of publication. That, and I’ve never reached the stage of submission, so it just never really occupied much space in my mind.

At the end of NaNo in November, one of the prizes listed on the Winners goodies page was six free copies of your manuscript in book form from a company called CreateSpace. Intrigued, I looked through their website, which began to stir a little mini-fascination with this facet of writing I had never explored.

Then I read a couple of articles of several authors in the past decade who shocked the publishing world with their self-published books that sold in the hundreds of thousands, and went on to be picked up by agents and traditional publishers.

After all of my reading and research, there is one thing I’ve come to realize – self-publication doesn’t abide by the same definition that it might have years ago. Now there were new questions and curiosities tumbling through my head, and as much as I tried to Google the answers, I continued to find a lot of conflicting advice – including from some who’d never been self-published. That’s when the answer hit me: I needed to turn to those who have experience.

For the rest of January (and possibly beyond, if there are still some unanswered questions or hot topic debates) I would like to explore this topic of interest, and have reached out to several others who have chosen the route of self-publication for at least one of their novels.

I asked them to answer several questions about why, and how they self-published their books. Because the general consensus among the reading & writing population, from what I can infer, is that those who self publish do so because they can't get accepted by a traditional publishing house. Therefore, the quality of their work is poorer, or their writing talents weaker, or their marketing prowess less developed and therefore they end up with a spare room filled with books that won't sell and that have little but bad reviews.

While that may have been the case a decade or more ago, it seems less likely to be the black and white answer today. In fact, self-published books, in some respects, are doing so well, are so successful, that the major publication companies are actually being given a run for their money. Obviously there are many shades of grey to this story.

I wonder what my readers think? What are some of the opinions, and misconceptions and unknown facts about self-publication? Would you ever consider the possibility?

And a question I have still yet to answer, would I?

p.s. If you are a self-published author and would like to weigh in on this topic of conversation, please drop me a line. You can make a comment and leave your email, or send me an email to maybemandi at gmail dot com. If not, then at least tune in for the answer to some of these questions...

1 comment:

  1. There are definitely shades of gray, but my opinion of self-publishing is getting stronger on the positive side all the time. I'm going to take a class on it at the next conference I attend. Then I hope to answer the question, "Will I?" I will be back to see more on this topic. Thanks for the post.


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