Redheaded Neanderlady

Redheaded Neanderlady
This is a photoshopped version of something I found in National Geographic about the time I started researching

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A little more on the whole "self publishing" bit

I'm not offering very much at the moment.  A bunch of things I was planning to post, I would have posted, had not some other interesting tidbits come through.  And this is one of them. I am acquainted with the author, and she claims she's "done everything right".  But she still can't get published.  Which is all too common, I'm afraid.  First, please don't get me wrong.  At the moment, before the novice author tries anything else, they should at least attempt to sell the traditional way, IMO.  Because -- and believe me I've seen it -- there's quite a bit of "self published" crap out there. No, I'm not talking about small, independent presses.  They often find authors that are very good.  I've seen some of those, too.  What I'm talking about is authors that have an idea, think they can write, but don't bother to polish things too much or don't bother with the research necessary for their topic, or who knows what else.  But they still want to "independently publish" because they think their idea or story will "sell itself".  This particular author has done the best she knows how to do, has tried very hard to sell her book the "traditional way", but has failed to get a "bite".  And I know she's not the only one.  I know someone else -- personally -- who is having the same problem.  So what is an author like this to do?  I don't know, but she offers one answer, that might be at least worth thinking about.

Anne G


N. Gemini Sasson said...

Hi Anne,

My ears were on fire . Everyone has their own journey. There's a prevalent assumption that if you don't get a traditional publishing contract, you're simply not a good enough writer. The examples and links I gave on my post contradict that.

Ultimately though, as writers, we need to be honest with ourselves, to know that we've made our work the best it can possibly be, that we can convey a story in a way that draws people in *and* that we have a story worth telling. If you've done that and tried the traditional route, garnered interest and still fallen short, then IF you believe in your work, go for it. I am simply too stubborn to give up yet.

Anne Gilbert said...


You've hit the nail on the head. I think the first job of a writer(besides the idea), is to polish, polish, polish, then try everything they can, to get a "bite", then go some route other than "traditional". Sometimes, that's the only way a writer can get a "hearing". Oh, and you have to have faith that your idea and your work is good.
Anne G

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Steven Till said...


I agree. It's best to try the traditional route first. Publishing houses, even small presses, have the resources to better market your book than you can do yourself. Unless you're just wanting to see your words in print, I'd recommend going with a traditional publisher every time.

If you can't get a traditional publisher, either you need to keep working on it, or you need to start a new novel and try a new idea.

A very small percent of authors are successful through traditional publishing, and an even smaller, I mean minuscule, amount of authors have success via self-publishing.

Will e-Readers and the wider emergence of e-books change the industry? Some believe it will give unknown authors a chance to thrive and succeed. You still have to market yourself, though, and that can be a difficult job.

Anne Gilbert said...


I completely agree with you here, though I know there are people out there who have tried the "traditional" route, gotten nowhere, and decided, more or less in desperation, to self-publish, and somebody picks it up and it becomes successful. I don't think it happens very often, but word of mouth is still an important part of marketing your book. So is promoting yourself in any way you can. Still, this is not, and should not, be an excuse for people whose writing needs work, but are too impatient to do the work, to rush into print. This approach just doesn't work. But this is something writers have to carefully decide, if they go the self-publish route.
Anne G