More summer visiting is making it hard to get to the blog, but I do keep looking around my own favourites and am sorry to see that Matt Curran may be giving up his Blogspot of Blood owing to the pressures of being a published author while doing the day job. By most people’s standards, Matt would rate as a successful author. Sad that this clearly brings in nowhere near a living wage. Matt has been both free and candid with his advice. I wish him good luck and hope he’ll manage to put in an appearance somewhere in the blogosphere if not on his own patch.
If that publishing contract ever arrives on my doormat, I’ll be much better informed of the loop-holes thanks to Jane Smith’s comparatively new How Publishing Really Works. All kinds of useful stuff here, but I’m interested to see Jane really does seem to have it in for self-publishing. A number of other worthy bloggers have added comments to this post suggesting anyone who contemplates such a thing is an egomaniac or an idiot. While I’m sure there are plenty of both in the ranks of the self-published, there must be plenty who have solid reasons for going ahead. Vanity? Most of us would confess to a little. Madness or self-delusion? Not necessarily. Think I’ll stop before going into full rant mode!
2 thoughts on “The published and the damned”
Just to clarify: I’m not against self-publishing at all. Just so long as it truly represents the best option for the writer and the book concerned. So often I’ve seen naive writers self-publish (or vanity publish) without fully investigating commercial publishing, and without realising that the sales of self-published books are so low compared to that commercial option.
Add to that the truly awful quality of the majority of self-published books, which are usually produced without capable editing and design, and you’ll perhaps understand why I take the stance that I do.
I’ve not even begun to discuss the marketing and sales work that self-publishing requires to make any decent levels of sales at all, which turns writers into sales people, and stops them writing….
I am very firmly set against vanity publishing, however, as it’s highly expensive, some of the business practices involved can border on fraudulent, and it doesn’t give results which are any better than self-publishing.
A lot of that is explained a little more fluently on my blog. But to summarise, self-publishing is sometimes the best option. But so long as the writer fully understands the limitations and implications of taking that route–and has a good enough book to start off with.
And now I’ve ranted, thanks for linking to my blog–it’s very kind of you. I shall watch you, now, and look forward to your posts.
Thanks for taking the time to reply. As to vanity publishing – your post on the real Lorna Page story is particularly illuminating. And I thought it was the young and glamorous who got media coverage!!