I have just read an article by yet another writer criticising self-publishing and playing the martyrdom card of being a financially poor traditionally published and therefore more important/special/professional blah blah yawn yawn.
In days of yore you bought a book by collecting the loose leafs from the printing press and taking it to a bookbinder. Then a bright spark had the idea of doing the whole process in one place. Some publishing houses still use the title ‘Press’ in their name. Over many years, the last few in particular, publishing became elitist but through inevitability rather than snobbery.
A publisher might love your work but if they are not going to make a profit from you will they invest? No, they will not. And, by invest it might be with an advance or purely them footing the bill for all the processes. Please remember it is the authors who have gone before who have made the money for that investment.
All books need good editing but I have read indie (used purely to annoy the writing snobs) and traditional riddled with typos and grammatical errors.
Self-published authors are not privy to a few awards. So what? Literary novelists, literary festivals, literary awards all created to make money and the made-up notion of literary acclaim.
Why are authors belittled for their craft? No-one bats an eyelid if a musician creates their music and sells direct. Likewise, the artist who paints. Let the writer write. Self-publishing does not diminish the creativity; it’s either there or it isn’t.
The people who matter in the book industry are the writers and the readers. All those in-between are there to help or hinder. Sadly they are often there to judge. The judges I care about are my readers.
We must change the idea that one person’s creativity is more important than yours or mine. There will never be enough books for all the waiting readers and they don't care who or how it was published, whether by you, a publisher or a co-op arrangement, they just want a good book.
I haven’t self-published, apart from my blog, but one day I might and if a committee doesn’t like my words I will not lose sleep.
We should be supporting each other in our industry and not looking down from the literary high-horse - if you want to be a writer you can be one. If you want to be critical of those who choose to go it alone you can do one.
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