I was at a writer’s group meeting Thursday about the e-zine we wanted to start. Before the founder of the group even came, we were discussing self-publishing. Many in the group are strongly against it, and I did my best to defend it, telling them the one story about a friend of mine who sent out over 400 queries. She received rejections for every one, and most of them were the same: “Love it, but not a fit for us”– basically meaning they don’t know how to market it. So she went and self-published and didn’t regret the choice and seems ridiculously happy she made the decision because now people are reading her books and she’s making money doing what she loves and has a fanbase and doesn’t have to split her profits but with the distributors–and she just seems to be doing pretty darn well running her own creative business.
They did admit there were good self-published books, but they were of the opinion that those books should have gone the traditional route.
Need I point to the above story? There are many reasons an amazing author may choose to self-publish. Let me list some.
- They tried to publish traditionally but basically were told that there would be confusion on how to market said book.
- They like control, don’t want to share profits, and are business-minded enough to know how to sell well on their own.
- They don’t want to wait ten thousand years to see their books in print. I get it. They stand less of a chance at being able to make a full-time job out of it, but let’s not judge those writers who just make writing a part-time job and are satisfied with that choice.
- Some have already gone the traditional route but weren’t happy with the entire process of going from draft to print. And it happens, and so they choose to take it upon themselves to self-publish because they already have this established fanbase and have experience just from having been traditionally published the first time.
- Some people don’t want to risk the meager advances they may get, coupled with the pitifully low royalties.
I just don’t think we should pick at people’s choices for wanting to self-publish, even if it is a book you think would have been traditionally published. I know if I were self-publishing and making bank, the only way I’d let a publisher buy me out is if they gave me a 6 figure advance. As it were, self-publishing WELL is costly, so I’m very happy with my decision to be with a small press.