I had to write a column piece for my Newswriting class, so I decided to write it about how self-publishing is often looked at as bad because it’s so easy, and this is what I came up with. It’s not a particularly lengthy piece, but I think it gets the point across.
The general public has taken it upon themselves to deem self-publishing less than acceptable than standard publishing. Self-publishing was created so that any one person can upload their manuscript for free and sell it to the masses.
Certainly self-publishing has allowed those grubbing for money to upload unfinished, sloppy work in an attempt to make a quick buck. After all, when you can become as rich as J.K. Rowling, Steven King or James Patterson it’s hard not to want to throw whatever books you can out to the world. But, just because a few self-published works are bad, doesn’t make them all bad.
People making rash generalizations about self-published authors aren’t helping the writing community at all. Companies like Lulu and Createspace, which is owned by Amazon, have made it possible for anyone to achieve their dream of publishing a book by creating these self-publishing websites. And with the difficulty it takes to query an agent, get accepted, query an editor and get accepted again, self-publishing makes things easier, but still harder for everyone.
Self-publishing is no easy task. As a self-published author you are literally in charge of everything. Formatting, cover design, editing, eBook conversion and marketing are all up to you. Of course, if you have a lot of startup capital you can hire people to handle everything except the writing for you.
In some cases, one can even hire a ghost writer so they can sit back and reap the benefits.
People often forget that there are a lot of self-published best-selling authors who write good quality books. There are so many writers out there who care about their craft and spend months, and sometimes years working on their manuscript in an attempt to make it perfect before sending it out for people to potentially rip apart.
Despite how easy companies have made it to self-publish, it is an industry that requires thick skin to dive in to. With the ongoing stereotype that self-published authors don’t know how to produce quality work, it is a tough battle to get a self-published book into the hands of millions of readers worldwide to fight that stereotype.