Every so often, the argument comes up that self-published books shouldn’t be considered authentic, or that self-published authors aren’t serious about their craft. We have worked with many self-published authors, and here are some reasons why we support them:
Many indie authors have their books put together professionally: A lot of self-published authors invest their time and money to hire a book designer, website designer, copy editor, proofreader, and others, to create a book that is perfect for them and of high quality. All of the authors that we have promoted have had their books professionally edited and designed.
Self-publishing is the route that worked best for them. There are many examples of authors who self-published before their books were published traditionally, like E.L. James and Lisa Geneva, who wrote in a 2008 blog post:
“Before I self-published my first novel, STILL ALICE, last summer, I tried going the traditional route. I spent a year querying literary agents. But no one wanted my book. I was sitting in a holding pattern with a completed novel and no one reading it, waiting to find out if STILL ALICE was ‘good enough,’ waiting to find out if I was a ‘real writer,’ unable to give myself permission to write the next book.”
After self-publishing, Still Alice went on to get published by Simon & Schuster and was turned into an Academy Award-nominated movie starring Julianne Moore. Who is to say that self-publishing a book won’t eventually lead to bigger things…like an Oscar winner?
They are serious about what they are doing. There are many people out there who are great writers who don’t have a publishing deal. Many of those people have very likely crafted their books for years, were involved in writing workshops or groups, or enrolled in MFA creative writing programs. Many of these people have been rejected, and self-publishing is a resource they have available to put their work out there. We have worked with many authors who spent years writing their novels, memoirs, or self-help books, and these books are self-published, well-written, well-edited, and well-designed.
In fact, some may have had a traditional publishing deal that fell through for a number of reasons. Several authors we have worked with were going the traditional publishing route until something happened: an imprint got shut down, an editor passed away, or the author disagreed with what a publisher wanted to do with a storyline.
Self-publishing was a thing before it was a thing. Authors like Benjamin Franklin, Jane Austen, and Walt Whitman had at some point self-published their novels, according to this Poets & Writers article. In the tradition of literature, self-publishing has been a route people have taken for hundreds of years – but with Amazon, print-on-demand, and other resources, it’s had a bigger boon than ever.
Whether you are a traditional or self-published author, writing is hard work. It’s also an art, and it’s up to the author to ultimately decide which way they’d like to display that art.
If you are a writer who has taken or is considering the self-publishing route, do not be discouraged by negative comments. Continue writing, honing your craft, editing your work, and proudly displaying your art—because you wrote a book, and that in itself is a feat!