Thoughts on Self-Publishing: Where Do You Stand?

30 day blog challenge – day 11

vanity

I have been more and more interested in the idea of self-publishing lately.

After reading about the woman making 30k a month off of her Bigfoot porn novels, I thought, “well, if she’s making that much off of her Bigfoot porn novels, maybe I could self-publish my non-smutty books and people would read them.” It seems to me there are a number of pros and cons associated with self-publishing. You have more control and freedom over your product, you get a MUCH higher percentage of royalties, and the whole process is certainly a lot faster. You can get more books out to more people, which is awesome. This one author wrote 25 novels in 30 months. That is crazy.

Is the publishing business going the way of the music business? Now you have an abundance of artists putting out music, and everyone has access to those artists via the internet, which I think is great. And the market dictates which musicians are successful. It seems self-publishing is giving more people access to the written word – on both sides. And I think that’s exciting.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still waiting things out with the traditional publishers for my YA novel, The Muses (for now), and I still wouldn’t turn down that million dollar book deal from Scholastic. But self-publishing may be a great avenue for some instructional creative writing books I have in mind or some genre fiction I have always wanted to write. And I can work on these ideas while waiting for the right traditional publisher to pick up The Muses. It’s nice to know there are possibilities, though, and that is what self-publishing does, I think: gives authors a lot of possibilities.

Still, some critics say that self-publishing is diminishing the overall quality of books that are being put out there, and charging $2.99 for a book on Amazon is undervaluing the hard work that goes into creating a book. Others call it “vanity publishing,” and they argue that it’s arrogant to assume you don’t need an editor before publishing a book. (Although many self-published authors still use editors, I should point out.) Many newspapers and mainstream publications refuse to even accept queries to review self-published works, as pointed out on Comics Worth Reading.

I understand many of these arguments against self-published books, but I think the majority of them are coming from literary snobs and/or people who are resistant to the inevitable way art changes. (Ironically, this is a large theme in my Muses series.) My instinct  is that self-publishing is a good thing. More people are writing. More people are reading. More people have the ability to get their work out there, and that’s incredible.

What do you think about self-publishing? Have you read self-published books? Where do you stand?

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