Why do Writers Poo-Poo Self-Publishing?

Some writers look down upon other writers who self-publish their work. Writers who have an agent are with one of the famous publishing houses may think they’re better than self-published writers. Why? You could earn decent money from self-publishing. If the writing is good, it doesn’t matter if it’s self-published or not. Your work can still reach millions of people and help or entertain them. What’s the problem with this?

You may not be published with Harper Collins or some other big name published company but that doesn’t mean your writing is to be disregarded. Since you self-publish you probably pay closer attention to grammar, punctuation, and spacing. Have you ever read publications and wondered who edited them? Too many dashes (–) or exclamation points (!) can overwhelm the pages.

Finding typos within the pages of published books may put a smile on your face. They do happen; no one is perfect. Self-publishers will pay attention to typos. There’s nothing more embarrassing than releasing your book only to later discover typos or have readers email you about the typos they found. This does happen!

There’s nothing shameful about self-publishing. In fact, many writers are choosing to go this route because it’s becoming easier thanks to technology. You can list your book on Amazon.com, tweet about it on Twitter, create a Facebook Fan Page, open a MySpace account, and create a website/blog about your book and later Digg your own blog posts. The amount of marketing you can do for your book is unlimited, and you can do some of it from the comfort of your home. The cost is minimal, especially if you have family and friends who can help out.

Perhaps you’re a self-publisher who wants to do a book tour. This requires more funds but think about the people you’ll meet. You can start in your backyard and increase your territory as your book takes-off. Another marketing tactic is to teach your book. Many self-help authors are doing this. They turn their books into teaching engagements. This is yet another opportunity for people to get to know you. If you have a Masters or Ph.D. behind your name this increases your credibility!

The next time you hear someone bash self-publishing or frown upon your self-publishing just ignore them. Some writers stress themselves out and are glued to their computers waiting to hear from agents and publishing companies. They check their email every second to see if their manuscript was accepted. Unfortunately, these people don’t realize there’s something called a paradigm shift. This means if you’re obsessed about something you’ll push it away from you! That’s all right because all the self-publishers out there will be on their way to success and could get picked up by publishers!


What’s your experience with self-publishing? Share your experience.


  1. Good post! Self-publishing can be a great option–especially for authors who want to maintain creative control over their projects. And who don’t want to wait for the sometimes very long timelines the traditional publishers often take. It it’s done right–the author owns the ISBN and the book is well edited and well designed–there should be no stigma.

    A lot of authors too don’t realize that even if they are published traditionally, they will be responsible for the majority of the marketing and promoting. Why not keep all the profits from your sales, rather than the 10 to 12 percent most publishers offer?

    As far an author book tour–it can be expensive, as you mention. So we recommend to our authors that they do a virtual author book tour. Much cheaper–and it will probably garner more exposure in the long run.

  2. I agree! I’ve met a couple of “published authors” who frown upon self-publishing. I think it has to do with the “status” of being with a big name publisher.

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  4. I agree! It makes no difference to me if book is published with a well known publisher or self-published. If the content’s great, I’ll be back for more.

  5. My experience with self-publishing has been wonderful and enriching. Amazingly a lot of the stigma is avoided if you call yourself and indie author instead of a self-published author. That’s not why I call myself that, but I have found people perk up at the word indie these days and they immediately understand my business model.

    Though it’s fairly newly charted territory, I decided to bring the indie business model to literary fiction. In the tradition of indie musicians and indie film makers, I am taking advantage of available technology and bringing my novel directly to readers. I’m operating on a truly independent DIY model and I wear all the hats in the company – from publisher, publicist, bookkeeper and designer to webmaster, editor, event planner, and author. And I set out to bring an infrequently seen level of quality and professionalism to the self-publishing market.

    Eventually the stigma will wane just as it did in the music and film industries. And posts like these prove it’s already happening. Thanks for a great post.

  6. Congratulations on self-publishing! I think it’s great to self-publish instead of waiting for a publisher to pickup your book. I met a writer a few months
    ago who self-published his book but then had an offer from a publishing company. You never know what could happen.

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