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The right way to view self-publishing

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Steerpike, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    BWFoster78 likes this.
  2. Graylorne

    Graylorne Archmage

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    Just got it by Twitter.

    I fully agree. Self-publishing is equal to trade publishing, so you should treat it in the same professional way.
    That's all there is to it :)
     
  3. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    The first time I ran into this viewpoint, it absolutely astounded me that someone would feel this way, but they do.
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Yeah, I've come across that sentiment numerous times. "Hey, the important thing is to get it out there. Don't sweat it if there are errors or other problems." It's a bad approach.
     
  5. Graylorne

    Graylorne Archmage

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    From the whole post, that's the only reaction you two can think of? Speak of keeping stigma's alive.
     
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    It's a reaction to a specific comment in the post. Addressing a specific point does not imply that one was unable to think of anything else in relation to the source material, and I think that's rather a bizarre conclusion to draw.
     
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  7. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    you know.. I decided a year ago, that self-publishing wasn't for me. I spent this last year learning how to really edit effectively, awaiting my chance to once again submit (after I got a partial request last year, but botched it with poor editing).

    HOWEVER... the more I see about self-publishing, the more I think it's the way to go. It just sounds so much more effective, if you can get over the marketing hurdle. I really need to know more and I'm sure those who have been very successful with self-publication aren't simply "waiting" for marketing to fall out of the sky... but I'm unsure what an individual can accomplish with their own marketing. How does one market their book? Do we rely on reviews? I'm just so confused about the specifics of self-publishing, I'm too afraid to try it. Why don't we have a mentoring service, rather than agents? Like, I'd be happy to pay a mentor a cut of my self-published profits (like I would an agent), if they could assist with the process, hold my hand, and make it easy.

    Thanks for posting the article... just a few more things to consider, for those of us still torn.
     
  8. Graylorne

    Graylorne Archmage

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    Wendig's whole post was to say exactly that, but he said it in a positive way.
    Your remarks echo only the negativism. To my mind that doesn't help.
    If you find that bizarre, I'm sorry.
     
  9. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I guess I just don't have a problem saying something in a negative way. If people want to change the stigma about self publishing, it's not enough to simply put out quality material yourself and post things telling others to put out quality material. The fact is that sometimes you need to call out those who are putting out the crap that causes the stigma in the first place.
     
  10. Graylorne

    Graylorne Archmage

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    Brian, I'm completely fed up with these discussions. They are not constructive and they never go anywhere. And that's the last I'm saying about it.
     
  11. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Okay.

    You are perfectly free to refrain from responding.

    Thanks for the information?
     
  12. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I think a lot of us feel that way to a certain extent.

    It seems that the answer is that you have to do some marketing, but the consensus seems to be that your best tool to make money is to write more books.
     
  13. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    I liked the article. I'd agree with it too. There are too many writers who are taking the freedom that self publishing offers and squandering it on poorly produced works. Chuck's right, this is a business and it has to be treated as such. That means that along with the freedom to put out the books you want to write and which the Big Five would never touch, there's a need for quality.

    But regardless of how many bad books are being put out, self publishing has to be considered a viable option for any would be author.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  14. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Thank you for the article, Steerpike. I like Mr. Wendig's outlook on self-publishing. I also see it as an equal choice to traditional publishing, but the reason why I have chosen to go this route is because (and I've probably mentioned this somewhere before) I'm already a small business owner.

    My practice is coming along rather nicely and the interesting part is that I haven't done much marketing. Next to none, really. I don't think it might work this way publishing books though. But the valuable lessons I have learned are to not only put your best work forward, but having a respectful attitude and the intention of really contributing to the community helps. You can still put out quality work as a self-publisher and that should still be respectable.
     
  15. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I haven't read the article yet, but I'm sure it has some good points. I'll come back and address some of them later.

    Just one thing I'd like to note first. Why does one have to chose traditional OR self-publishing? The hybrid approach seems to be working well for quite a few authors. You can self-publish books that aren't getting bites from publishers to keep your name out there and then publish the books that do traditionally. Sounds easy (in theory), but it's kind of like this idea that novel writers shouldn't write short stories. Just do both. It's not going to hurt anything, I don't think.
     
  16. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I like this point a lot. I don't think pointing fingers and saying "Your way is stupid" or "Your way is sloppy" is good on either end. Self-publishing's image isn't like it used to be. But it has to be something seen as being your best foot forward also. The best self-published writers have pride in their work and treat it like their career depends on it, because it does in most cases.

    It really is a more exciting time for writers. Being that there are more options now than there were years ago makes it possible for people to achieve their goals in different ways. That's a good thing. I don't think sniping at one another about which way is better really achieves anything.

    That said, I do think always taking the road that "Most self-published work is crap" is kind of like saying "All stuff produced on Youtube is crap." It's sometimes harder to find the good stuff, but it's there in bigger quantities than it was when people were publishing with vanity presses anyway.
     
  17. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    I read the blog post. I don't see anything that approaches scandalous. He raises a lot of good points. What's all the hub-bub, bub?
     
  18. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Seems like an appropriate place to quote Theodore Sturgeon: Seventy percent of *everything* is crap.

    The story behind that, possibly apocryphal, is worth looking up. I have to say, I have yet to find an exception to Sturgeon's Law. It has made me regard the world in a more kindly light.
     
  19. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

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    Surely the best way to improve self-pubishing as an industry, as well as the image people have of self-publishing, is to do exaclty what Chuck Wendig has recommended in his blog post - don't be afraid of criticising self-publishing. Don't go defending it against indefensible claims. If there are indeed strange individuals who, shockingly, believe it is acceptable to put out low quality works because even just doing that is "brave", or because publishing something is more important than making that something good, we are obliged, as supporters of self-publishing, to be critical of that belief, to let such individuals know that this approach isn't acceptable and that striving for quality is the way to improve the industry.

    If there was any negativity in what Brian said - which I can't say I detected - then it was justified because it is negativity directed at an attitude which needs to be challenged, and attitude which is undermining the integrity and reputation of the industry.
     
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  20. C Hollis

    C Hollis Troubadour

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    I agree, but I think the criticism should be more focused than the "self-publishing" is crap. The criticism should be directed at the writers who help strengthen that belief. Call out the writers who pollute the market with hastily written garbage individually. Call out the writers who do it intentionally, don't generalize.

    There are writers in the self-publishing world who openly admit publishing crap knowing it was crap when they published it. Call those people out, but knock it off with the vague generalizations.

    Get rich quick schemers - mass producing unedited crap to populate their author page with titles. Prevalent in erotica, but not exclusive to it.
    Impatient writers - The ones who self-publish because they don't want to wait out the traditional process, openly admitting their work isn't quite ready.
    Improving by publishing - And they admit it. We all get better as our work at the keyboard progresses, but when you know you're not quite there and you publish anyway...and tell people about it in some "watch me as I learn" blog.
    Not ready for traditional publishing - I'm not talking about the stories that traditional publishers don't think will sell. I'm talking about the crap that would get rejected because it's poorly written. In this sense, if it's not ready for traditional publishing, it is not ready for self-publishing. Don't insult the readers.

    Like I said, I agree we need to criticize. Many of these writers deserve harsh words of criticism, but not the self-publishing industry as a whole. When you generalize, you also attack the good writers.
     
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