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.