Putting The Self Into Self-Publishing

Do it yourself publishing

I have written a lot about self-publishing, and it occurred to me while I was writing a post for one of my other blogs about the traditional publishing ‘smear’ that is dressed up as advice for self-published authors that I should clear up a few fallacies.

Firstly, let’s get one thing straight. Self-publishing gets its name from the logical interpretation that the author does everything. The author writes, researches, edits, markets, sweats, spends money, spends time, gets covers and well, I think you get the idea. The author does everything.

If an author writes, and a team of people are paid to edit, copy edit, market, sell, stock, print, design and arrange publicity, interviews and book signings then the author is not self-published. The author is traditionally published.

So, why does the traditional publishing establishment continue, on a daily basis, to sneer down on self-published authors and hand out advice that self-published authors need to hire an editor, a cover designer, a copy editor and professional proof-reader? Why not add a bloody tea lady?

The truth of the matter is that self-publishers are fast learners, and over the last couple of years they have improved their product to the point that it is becoming difficult for readers to tell the difference between a traditionally or self-published book. Many self-publishers have invested a little in professional services, but they have also invested a lot of time in learning how to do things themselves. Learning how to use Photoshop, Calibre, how to edit HTML, how to effectively promote and market and how to leverage social media.

Sure, crap ebooks abound, but they are not only from one side of the fence. One fact is clear. Self-publishing is improving its quality, readability and saleability at a rapid rate while traditional publishing is still stuck in the mud trying to come to grips with the fact that the book publishing market has actually changed. Their continual campaign of using criticism wrapped as advice to besmirch self-publishing is becoming so repetitive that it is clear who is silently winning. And it never was a war anyway. Well, not to smiling self-publishers and satisfied readers.

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