Has the stigma changed? #writing #amwriting #publishing #writerslife #writerproblems

As a member of a bunch of different Facebook groups, I’ve been noticing a trend in posts. Not the ones advertised by other authors, but whenever a writer posts a question or remark about the debate of traditional publishing and self publishing. Because of the comments I’ve seen, I’m starting to wonder if the stigma of which is bad and which is good has changed.

It used to be that people, both authors and readers, always had the “well if you self published it, it was because you couldn’t get a contract because your writing or the book is bad” thought. Obviously, if a writer couldn’t get a contract offer from a publisher it meant they weren’t a good writer and their story wasn’t a good story. I suppose some still think that, but I don’t know. I can’t speak for everyone, and for the record, I certainly don’t think that.

But, with that said, I’m noticing that more and more people are actually starting to attack the traditional published authors for being the foolish ones. And, that with the growth of Amazon, anyone wanting to publish with the big 5, or any publisher for that matter is just a moron, plain and simple.

Before I go any further, I have to say, I’m not against self publishing at all. I actually have thought about it myself, and quite honestly, if I had the funds to do so I would self publish my third manuscript and probably every single other one after that. And, no, it’s not because I hate my publisher. My publisher is amazing, I just would like to see what would happen with my career if I took another route. Spread my wings, so to speak.

Now, don’t get me wrong, do I think that self publishing is a perfect, flawless adventure? No. It’s flawed. Seriously flawed. I don’t know how many times I’ve come across the admission that an author didn’t pay for editing services. Usually, this admission comes after they rant about people giving them bad reviews because of typos and bad grammar. Uh, hello, what the blue heck did you expect?

Yes, unfortunately, with the good of self publishing, comes the bad. Bad writers, bad books, and people who think they are wonderful enough to spend a month on a book, not hire and editor, slap a cover on it, and call themselves a successful published author just because they’ve uploaded their book on Amazon. I’m sorry if that seems overly harsh, but I’m not trying to be mean, I’m only trying to be honest. I’ve seen my share of book ads that have grammar errors in the book blurb….IN THE BLURB!  And, not just little minor errors that one can overlook, but out and out ????? errors that leave you screaming “my eyes, my eyes” like Pheobe did in Friends when she spies Monica and Chandler going at it through the window of Ugly Naked Guy’s apartment across the street.

And, I’m not the only one who has come across a bad self published book. Not to say there aren’t bad traditional published books, because I’ve come across those too. Well bad in my opinion, and I’m just me. I just go by my likes and dislikes. They might not be bad to everyone else. Who knows. Anyways, back to my point.

Do I think self publishing is bad? No. Do I think the author is less of an author because they didn’t feel the need to get an approval on their writing from an editor, agent, or publisher? Certainly, no. Our books are our islands, and we are free to do with whatever we feel is best for those islands. To me, knowing what is right for you is commendable. Not something that should be frowned upon—and especially because it’s different.

What I’m noticing, though, is instead of attacking the self published authors, people are starting to attack the traditionally published ones, and I don’t really know where this trend started or why. Some have taken on the opinion that they are better, smarter, and are more successful because they make more money, have more control, and have more sales. Uh, okay. I’m sorry, I didn’t know we are in competition. I mean, it’s not like a person can only pick one book out of their whole lives to read. Just one book and that’s it, they can’t read anything else. Surely, there are readers who tend to stay in a particular genre, but there are a lot like me, who has a plethora of genres sitting on her mantel and in her kindle.

What does it matter if the author went with a traditional publisher or self published?  And why do authors seem to feel the need to bash another’s choice?

I’m just at a loss for words when I see it.

4 thoughts on “Has the stigma changed? #writing #amwriting #publishing #writerslife #writerproblems

  1. Attitudes about self publishing can polarize certain groups of people. Being self published, I’ve made my share of mistakes, applied what I learn from those mistakes, and tried to make the next book better. Done correctly, self-publishing certainly has a lot of perks. And, though I’d never admonish someone who sought out the traditional route, I can’t help but see the loss of control in doing so. And that’s really what a lot of self publishing is about; control. As a self-published author, you control everything… the good and the bad. You get a higher cut of the royalties, to choose the cover and what price to set it at… AND you get to spend money on marketing and editing and cover design. And, for some people, they don’t want all of that control. They’d rather have someone else handle it.

    I just hate when it seems to create a rift between writers. We’re all just trying to get to the same goal. Can’t we all just be friends!? 😉

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I agree, there is a loss of control. I didn’t get to set the price of my novel, I am on the publishers schedule, and I have lower royalties, but there are a lot of benefits to publishers that people tend to over look. With my publisher came a group of seasoned authors and editors that can, not only give a plethora of information in the business, but connections all over the writing world. With this information, I’ve actually helped some of my self published friends. Also an author also has a wider range of professional review sites with a publisher because a lot of top sites refuse self published books.

      I don’t think there is a wrong way, just different ways and both ways offer benefits and drawbacks. I just have to scratch my head at the people play the “I’m better than you” card. 🙂 Congrats on your novels! And, good luck on your future publications!

  2. This is surely a controversial subject these days. I have many thoughts on this, too. I have not decided which route to take on my finished novel yet. I’m going to a writer’s conference next month and plan to decide after gathering as much info as I can.

    If I’m being honest, I’ve bought some self-published authors for my kindle (app). I was so very disappointed at the truly bad writing, especially since a couple were writers I follow on blogs. I would never put my novel up without dishing out for an editor first. Which I’ll probably be looking for at the conference.

    Having said that, one of the authors in my writer’s critique group published a few of her writings (couple novels and short stories) through a small press. They didn’t sell very well, as they did very little to help, and she wasn’t crazy about the book covers (neither was I). She writes fantasy, and trust me, she is a great writer. Being one of her critiquers, I’ve read every one of her books. When she wrote a long fantasy book series (5 books), she decided to go it on her own. Wow! Her book covers are amazing. It certainly helps that she is also an artist and does them herself. Sigh. When this girl does something, she is a perfectionist at it. Anyway, she has sold thousands of books from that series, literally. She has made enough money to file for taxes, and that is something for authors these days.

    I’m reading (critiquing) her next fantasy series, which she is going to put in the New Adult genre, and this one is even better. She just keeps improving with every book, and there is very little to critique in her writing anymore.

    So, I guess having said that, it depends on the person. I really don’t know why people like to bash either one of the choices for publishing. I think it’s an ego thing. I still can’t decide, because either one has good and bad points to them. I’m really struggling on which to choose, so hopefully the conference will help. I’m no artist, like my friend, and I would prefer an editor at a publisher look over my work. But, who knows.

    Sorry so long, but like I said, I have a lot of thoughts on it.

    1. I, too, have come across some bad self published novels. In all honesty, I’ve come across some bad publisher published novels, too. Of course, the latter is less, though. Unfortunately, with the good, come the bad. The writers that spend a month writing what they believe is the next best seller, they don’t have it edited, they don’t get beta readers, they just think they are awesome, slap a cover on it, and upload it to Amazon. I actually know a writer that did this, and following my gut on how bad this novel could be I waited until it was free. Let me just say if I would have paid for this novel, I would have contacted her personally for a refund. It was horrible. And, I’m not the only one to say this. Her reviews are 1 and 2 star all across the board. I actually feel kind of bad for her. I used to follow her on Facebook, and she didn’t handle the reviews very well. Anyways, with that said, I know of some amazing self published books too, so I agree that it depends on the author and editors. I think it just boils down to a choice we all have, both of which have pros and cons.

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