logophile: (Difference Between Fiction and Reality)
[personal profile] logophile posting in [community profile] independentauthors
A common thing I see everywhere where mainstream publishing happens (authors, agents, and editors among others) keep saying that self-publishing is great for non-fiction, but that fiction is a dead weight. As often as I've heard this, it just doesn't add up in the numbers I see from my fellow indie authors who are currently published in various places.

It seems to be that those mainstream people who write and publish fiction like to discourage those who would rather spend their time writing and publishing than sending query after query in the hopes of winning the book contract lotto. This isn't to say mainstream publishing is a bad choice, as I rather like many mainstream published books. However, it does make me question if the stigma of self-publishing was created more out of fear than a pure lack of quality.

Personally, I have a cover artist I pay well, two editors I use and pay for the privilege of using, and a layout designer to who sets up all my interior pages and my cover to send to my printer. I've done everything I can to ensure the product I produce and sell is as top quality as possible. I think that's the key. Self-publishers should take pride in their work and not think that self-publishing is a shortcut. It's not. It's taken me two years to get Rachmaninoff where it should be for release, and I don't regret a moment or dime spent. :)

What about the rest of you? Do you read self-published works? Are you self-published? Why did you choose to self-publish, if you have?

Date: 2010-04-24 03:47 am (UTC)
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
From: [personal profile] melannen
In my (admittedly limited) experience, "self-publishing works for nonfiction" translates as "non-fiction authors don't expect to make a living from their work."

Which isn't true for all, even most, nonfiction authors, but I do think the idea of the person sitting at home writing a local history opus or a monograph on bats, who wants limited distribution but has no desire to go pro, is far more accepted than the similar version for fiction writers.

In terms of actually making significant money from self-publishing, far, far more people get there in fiction and comics. (Whereas amateur poets are allowed to fall in the same category as the people writing monographs about bats, I think.)

Date: 2010-04-24 04:45 am (UTC)
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
From: [personal profile] melannen
...I am the sort of person who has been known to put self-published books about model trains on her Christmas list. Um.

But, yes. If you say "I've published a book about model trains / local species of lichen / colonial American glassware / poetry about my mother's garden" or whatever, people might think you are weird and obsessive, but you aren't expected to establish your bona fides as a writer with sales figures or publishers' names the way people who write fiction (and scripts and comics) often are.

I would actually love to see non-fiction self-publishers get some of the tools for actually making money that fiction self-publishers are developing, though. I would love to see more indy nonfiction getting published and actually visible and professional.


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