Despite the greater acceptance these days of indie publishing, there’s still a stigma against those who make the decision to self-publish. From my own experiences, criticism of self-publishing comes not from the readers – most of those I’ve encountered have been effusive in their support and admiration – but other writers.
Author and coach Corrina Gordon-Barnes recounts her experiences in a recent blog post on The Creative Penn:
'A man and I are chatting in the conference tea break. We know each other from a while back and now he asks what I’ve been up to the last couple of years. Proudly, I share how I’ve published my first book and how much I enjoy receiving feedback from happy readers.
He’s impressed, interested, engaged. Until he clocks that I’ve chosen the independent publishing route. Then, his face falls.
“Oh, I see. It’s not real publishing then.”
Read the rest here...
That kind of attitude can make it difficult for writers to make the decision – do I pull out all stops to try to get a traditional publishing contract or save myself the time and energy and go straight to self-publishing? It would be interesting to know what proportion of writers decided to self publish as their first choice, as opposed to those who made the decision after their work had been rejected by traditional publishers.
I fall into the second category and initially it can be hard, particularly as a debut author, not to see the decision to self-publish as a kind of failure – even though traditional publishers have been quoted on many occasions as saying that a rejection of your novel is not necessarily a reflection of its quality – just that it’s not right for them at that particular time.
But I soon got over that feeling, and what helped was that so many of my family, friends and colleagues, and people I hardly knew, expressed admiration and support when I told them I was publishing a book on Amazon. Non-writers are often in awe of the amount of effort and knowledge that goes into writing and publishing a book, and the courage required to put it out into the world. So if you make the decision to do it, you can’t afford to be apologetic about it. You need to be confident that you’ve produced a book that people will pay for and enjoy reading.
And when you start getting good reviews and people telling you they loved your book, you know you made the right decision.
If you have self-published, did you find the decision difficult? Or were you confident you were doing the right thing from the start? I'd love to hear your thoughts.