I read an interesting blog post
today that states "First and foremost, a self-published novel does not a published author make." I find that statement most disturbing. It goes on to talk about the expectations of the author. If one just wants to put their novel out for a few friends then it is okay to use a vanity press. But you won't ever sell a "zillion" books. She also points out that if you self-publish you receive no editorial advice. So what! The act of being published has nothing to do with editorial advice. However, let's look at this for a minute.
I don't like the term self-publish because it causes so much confusion. I prefer the term indie-publish. Now, let's look at some basic definitions:
- to issue (printed or otherwise reproduced textual or graphic material, computer software, etc.) for sale or distribution to the public.
- by one's own effort
- Not determined or influenced by someone or something else; not contingent
Being published means preparing to issue a work (book) for sale or distribution to the public.
Being self-published is using your own efforts to prepare a book to issue for sale or distribution to the public.
Therefore publishing ones own book for sale or distribution does
a published author make. It has nothing to do with editorial advice. It has everything to with putting a product out to the market. A prudent author would procure some editorial advice prior to taking his/her book to print. There have been several authors who got their start by taking control of their writing careers and self-published their own books. Some of these authors later signed traditional publishing deals.
I know I have some strong opinions and feelings on this matter but I would love to hear your opinions regarding this topic. I believe that an author writes for an audience and should use whatever publishing method works best to get his/her work to that audience. I completely support those who take control of their writing career and self/indie-publish.
How do you feel about self-publishing? What are your perceptions of those who do publish their own books?