December 4, 2013

Self publishing - 3

Dear M,

There is something else about self publishing that makes experienced people want to think twice before going for it. That, like everything else, is changing as well. However, it is still an important aspect, and we would need to measure and gauge it before deciding if self publishing is our option.

Even the most popular traditional publishing houses are opening self publishing wings these days. It makes it easier for us to say a certain giant publisher is publishing us, and respect falls at our feet in that instant. But the fact remains that we have not told the absolute truth.

You must have got the hint. There is a certain amount of respect that comes from people who hear you've been published by this-or-that publishers. They may not have read your book, they may not even know what the book is about, they have no idea if you are any good, but the moment they ask "Who is your publisher?" you are doomed - they have decided if you are any good at all. There will be a definite dip in temperature in the vicinity if you say that you have chosen to self-publish.

Not only normal people around you. In case you are approached by a traditional publisher later, it would not be a good idea to suggest that your first book was self published, unless it was a roaring success. "My self published novel sold a million copies" as opposed to "I sold two hundred copies of my self published debut novel."

There is a certain concept, belief if you may, associated with self publishing: it is that anyone can publish anything, and just because they can does not mean what they publish is worth reading.

It might sound like a minor thing, but, trust me, you want to think about this too when you consider self publishing.


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