Selfpublishing #1


The hardest part about self publishing a book, you ask?

Gaining public acceptance is your biggest hurdle, most especially acceptance with the actual ‘book sellers’ themselves–after all, all it takes is money to self publish; there is no seal of quality assurance, no decades old publishing company with a proven track record looking over your shoulder to make sure it’s a good read and properly edited. You, the author, are in complete control of every aspect of the book, from the written content inside the covers to the ISBN on the back  (you are getting one of those, aren’t you?!).

And to be brutally honest, most of these efforts are total garbage—there is a reason why it’s often called a ‘vanity press’; because it was written and produced by someone who could not hack it in the main-stream writing world, but was determined to do it anyway. Seldom have I run across a self published book that I thought was well written, or even well put together in the first place—and I think the reading population by & large has a prejudice (in most cases well deserved) against any book that does not come from an accepted publishing company.

So there you have it—if you’re thinking of self publishing, just keep in mind that almost nobody wants to read your book. Sounds a bit harsh? Get used to it. If you go through with it, then get ready to start experiencing rejection on a level you probably haven’t previously known (at least since Jr. High). And the part that is truly frustrating? It does not matter how well written it is! Cormack McCarthy could anonymously gift you with one of his unpublished manuscripts for you to slap your handle on, and people would still steer well clear of it, as if it had been skunked in recent days!

Why is that, you ask? The answer is very simple: because they don’t know how well (or more likely how ‘un-well’) it was written, and it’s much easier to pick up a book that they’ve heard of the author before, or at least the publisher—and I’m not just talking about the average buyer; I’m talking about the book stores themselves—without the book stores getting excited and promoting your effort, you might as well resign yourself to selling your book within your relatively small circle of family & friends. If that’s all you cared about in the first place, than that’s fine, but chances are you have your sights set a bit higher than that—I know that I sure do!

With all that said, let me just point out right here that I’m certainly not saying that it’s hopeless, just that you have a real fight in front of you, so you’d better not fool yourself about what you’ll be facing. I’m going to devote a series of posts to the self publishing effort, which Harm & I have recently gone through, getting into the nuts & bolts of the process, both in terms of the writing & construction to the publishing and marketing efforts.

Here is a review of my novel Ballad of the Northland from writer Peggy O’Neill at the Helena Independent Record—I share it here, because these ‘independent reviews’ are the lifeblood of your book’s future acceptance; they are absolutely vital to your success…or lack thereof.

http://helenair.com/lifestyles/community/article_e9d41bbc-09b5-11e0-9044-001cc4c002e0.html

Thanks for tuning in. More to follow…

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2 Responses to “Selfpublishing #1”

  1. With almost 30 years in the self-publishing business I don’t think I’ve ever read a truer, more heart-felt analysis. Good writing, love your new blog, looking forward to keeping up with your writing this year!

    • Thank you for sharing that, Helen. I’m quite new to the process, but if there is anything that I can share with people concerning the biz, I’m more then happy to do so—I plan to get into the topic with a greater degree of specificity in the very near future.

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