Any writer who takes themselves seriously will have found themselves caught up in this internal debate at some stage or another. The debate we’re talking about, of course, is all to do with self-publishing.
For a lot of writers – especially the newcomers – this begins as a simple question. What is self-publishing? And comes with a follow-up: is self-publishing for me? Because although it may sound crazy, we don’t believe it’s for everyone.
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So What Is Self-Publishing?
Well, in a nutshell, self-publishing is where a writer pays a printing company to publish their book, before being left on their lonesome to sell and market. That’s what it is in the majority of cases, and, although they’re coming up with different variations, that’s the type we’re going to discuss.
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It Creates Opportunity
There’s no easy way to say this, but not everyone is good enough for traditional publishing. Not every writer out there is able to create a story that meets those rigorous, tough-to-attain standards.
That’s just the way it is.
Publishing companies are out there looking for the very best of the best – those rare submissions that come through practically ready to print. And that’s the thing, that doesn’t just mean books that are well-polished, with very few spelling/grammatical mistakes. What it also means is that they’re looking for books that are very well-written in terms of how a book/genre/sub-genre should be.
When we think of a book, we think of the wondrous works of Stephen King, Jo Nesbo; P.J Tracy – books that are delivered with crisp pacing and that unfold in such a way that never becomes uninteresting. That’s what makes a book great. Are you familiar with the phrase ‘proper book’? There’s a high chance you’ve referenced this term when asking your friend if your work is good.
“But does it sound like a proper book?”
Those are the kind we picture when we think of a traditionally published book. And the saddest part? Not every writer has the ability to create a book of such formidable stature. But fear not – that’s where self-publishing comes in.
Self-publishing creates so much opportunity for those looking to publish their work. It eliminates the dreaded submissions process, frees the struggling writer’s subdued sense of creativity, and allows people from all areas and backgrounds to truly express themselves.
And when you look at it like that, what more could you possibly want?
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Self-Publishing Can Get Very Messy
It’s true. Self-publishing creates a lot of opportunities for a lot of different people, but it’s this very positive aspect that creates a lot of negative outcomes. The main one of which, is a ‘published’ book that’s nowhere near ready for publication.
We hate to be harsh, but sometimes that’s what is needed to convey a point. There are tons of books out there – hard work or not – that just aren’t ready to be published. They’re riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, they’re filled with plot holes and inconsistencies, and to put it plainly, consist of a story that doesn’t really make sense.
Not only does this make the author look, well, terrible… but it also gives the writing world a bad rep too. If an unsuspecting average Joe was to venture onto Amazon these days to innocently purchase a book, there’s a high chance they’d stumble upon something that has been self-published. And in the same breath, there’s an equally high chance that something will be underwhelming.
Because of the high cost and time-consuming nature of the process, a lot of writers neglect the editing process, and try to tackle the whole thing themselves. This is NOT an advert, but any work that is published before being reviewed by a number of professional editors will contain errors. And lots of them. Don’t believe us? Well, you should.
Even the best books out there – the ones that are traditionally published, and that have been reviewed by the best editors in the world – contain errors. So naturally, a book that has been written and edited soley by a first-time author will contain many more.
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Take Your Time
If you’re sat here reading this, and know that you want to self-publish at some point in time, don’t let this put you off. Instead, let it inspire you to make sure your work is fully ready before you send it off for printing.
That’s all we want when it comes down to it. We have nothing against self-publishing, we just want to make sure every author who chooses to go down that route waits until they’re one-hundred percent ready.
Anything else is publishing suicide.
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