Monday, September 5, 2011

Self Publishing: Just a fad or is it changing the written word?

Today is Kaye's usual day to blog but unfortunately, she is very under the weather right now! So I decided to steal her blog spot just because I can. (Insert Wicked Laugh here.)

Actually, I'm kind of stealing my blog topic for today, too: Self Publishing. It seems like that is the hot topic right now for writers everywhere. And why not? It's easy to do, one way to side step the big publishing houses, and it doesn't require an agent. I look back on the last seven years of my writing career and have to laugh, though. When I first started getting serious about writing, the words "self publishing" were a dirty phrase that could only be whispered in dark rooms where serious writers weren't allowed. It wasn't considered the best option, and if you did it, you'd have zero chance of getting an agent. Ever.

My how times have changed! Watching the shift in thinking about this subject has been remarkable. Self publishing is no longer considered a dirty word with the advent of POD houses and the popularity of eReaders. Technology continues to change our lives, and finally, it's touched the stuffy world of publishing. I've noticed a lot of blogs and articles in magazines about how much easier it is to get your book out there with self publishing. Of course, you still have to do the promotions for it, but even if you get published by a big house or a small press, you're still going to have do most of the book's promotions yourself anyway. I recently read one blog where the author had been given back her release rights by a small house. Unhappy with the sales she'd made through that house in the first place, she decided to self publish it with a new cover. Sales skyrocketed for her, and she made more in a month doing it on her own than with the time she'd been with the small press.

Personally, I think the stigma attached to self publishing is slipping away, and it even has agents scrambling for ideas on what to do in the future. In addition to the popularity of self publishing articles, I've seen many sights touting the importance of an agent. Writer's Digest even did a big feature on agents this past issue which makes me think some of them are concerned about the latest trend of self published authors. I follow several agents on Twitter and keep seeing their tweets about everything they can do for writers. Yes, I think agents can do much for a writer, and if you have the chance to work with one, do it! On the other hand, many writers can be successful and sell books without one and this is largely due to self publishing and self promotion.

All Things Dark and Dastardly will be published by a small press this October. We've worked with an editor in order to get the book in awesome shape, and I think that's the most important thing you can do as a self published author. If you are going to put your work out there, hire an editor! Writers who made the mistake of publishing their first draft of a manuscript are the reason self publishing had a bad rep in the first place!

We will be releasing excerpts and unveiling the Dark and Dastardly website in a few weeks, and we look forward to your feed back! In the mean time, what are your thoughts on self publishing? Writing trend or publishing world changer? 

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