First, I would like to make it clear that I am a newbie to publishing, and I’m always open to learning. As of this time, I am preparing to self-publish my first book, How the Quick Run. I’ve written my thoughts below, but I’d love to hear your opinion. Why are you self-publishing? Why would you never self-publish?
Why would you self-publish?
It fits in with what I want. I don’t want to spend time and energy on queries, contracts, etc. I want control over how my books are presented. I have zero interest in self-promotion like readings and touring. I just want to produce stories and get them out there with little hassle.
How do you expect to make money (or make it big)?
I don’t. However, I don’t undervalue my work, and I price it accordingly. The topic of money, effort, and purpose could make up a whole post by itself, so I won’t get into here.
Isn’t self-publishing for people with no talent and who would never get a book published through other means?
So every book published on the other side of the fence is gold? There are a lot of mediocre and downright terrible books out there that have gone through multiple sets of professional hands. Would you use the same argument for an artist without a representative? Talent is talent is talent. Self-publishing isn’t an indicator that someone isn’t good enough. It means that person is taking on all the responsibilities, or contracting some out, and managing all aspects of producing a book.
But there’s no quality control with self-publishing!
Very true! And that’s where it gets its bad rap. It’s a higher risk for a reader to pick up a self-published book. It could be rife with typos, plot holes, terrible font choices, subpar illustrations… However, there are people who put time and effort into their work. Those books are usually easy to spot.
But there’s no doubt that there are some entertainingly bad stories–and, of course, cover art–out there, but is that in itself a bad thing? Everyone should be allowed the freedom to share their work. Even with the overflow of options that make it more difficult for anyone to really “make it,” I wouldn’t take away that freedom. Not trying to go America all over everybody’s ass, but it’s an important thing to consider when bemoaning the success of something like Fifty Shades of Grey. People want what they want. Sometimes it’s the good stuff, and sometimes it’s the entertaining stuff. If you happen to find success doing one or the other, then congrats!