Saturday, February 5, 2011

This Damn Stuff is Eating my Brain

I’ve been thinking a lot about self-publishing lately. I’m sure this is going to come as a surprise to some of you, but I don’t actually hate self-publishing. I’ve been going out of my way to try and find some good self-published books and, while I’m still striking out in the novel department, I’ve found a lot of short story collections that are genuinely unique and interesting, but a bit too niche to make a mainstream debut. In short: they’re perfect for self-publishing.

So no, I don’t hate self-publishing, the idea has potential. What I hate are crappy books and self-righteous jackasses; both of which are, unfortunately, a part of the self-publishing community, though I can only hope they’re diminishing into a vocal minority. I also kind of resent the logical fallacy that, “everyone has stories, therefore anyone can instantly be a writer,” but that’s another blog post altogether.

Where was I again? Oh yeah, self-publishing.

I’ve never considered self-publishing any of my own stuff. I’m not entirely adverse to the idea, but I would be disappointed if that’s all I ever did; I’d much rather count that as the “landing among the stars” bit of “shooting for the moon.”

I would, however, like to start editing self-published books, because it’s needed, I’ve been schooled in the techniques, and I’m interested enough to give it a go. I’m also unemployed with a lot of time on my hands. And because, honestly, if a self-publisher is willing to go the distance and hire an editor, even a cheap, inexperienced newbie like me, then they deserve a certain amount of respect.

Getting an editor means they're being professional about their work. Responsible. It means that they want the best for their project, they want their work to be the best that it can be. Heck, they've probably also hired a graphic designer to create an engaging cover. That's the kind of self-publishing that I can respect, because they're not narcissistic or ignorant. They're responsible professionals.

If only all self-publishers could be that way. Sigh...if only...


  1. Actually, from what I've read so far, I'm not surprised. You've brought up valid points in the couple of entires I've read (the whole book design thing- thank you!), but never actually bashed self publishing, just the jackasses who run into it without actually thinking it through and then run around smug like they've somehow done something braver than a traditional publishing company.

    I just read this book, Heirs of Mars. I loved it. This is a guy who tried the traditional publishing route, had good responses, but things just never went forward so he did it on his own.

    I hope you enjoy it. I think it's only in e-book format though.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion. I despise e-readers, but it looks like I can get it as a .PDF. And oh, a well-designed cover. That definitely increases the potential that it'll be a good one. ^_^