I read a book the other day that was self published. First, I just want to say that I have no problem with people who want to self publish. I knew a girl in college who self published a book of astrology, and I think that is awesome. Great for her.
The problem I do have with self publishing is from the people who decide to self publish a book that isn’t good. Not even just not good, but horrendous.This is the problem I had with the book I was reading.
Now, the plot was interesting enough to keep me going. It could have been better, but it was decent. My main problem was with their continuous typos, grammatical errors, and unrealistic dialogue. And the cliches! There were at least 5 on every page! And I’m pretty sure these issues would irk even someone who wasn’t a writer.
I read a piece on Cracked.com yesterday titled: “How to Become an Author, in 5 Incredibly Difficult Steps” and I just want to say that if you want to become an author read this piece, because it is 100% true. Well, I can’t completely say that about the publishing part, because I’ve never been published, but about the actual writing process I can say it is. Self publishing makes me feel like the author is cheating. I know that’s not fair to say, but that’s how I feel. I mean, I could go and self publish any one of the books I’ve written (once they were finished, that is). But I don’t, and here’s why:
I was told by a friend not to. Specifically, she said: “And I do not want you to self published, because you are better than that.” Or something along those lines.
And I don’t just feel like they’re cheating because they’re taking the easy way out for publishing. They are cheating because they do not get the experience. Going through publishing houses and editors helps teach writers how to write. You just have to continuously edit a piece over and over and over until your eyes bleed and you can’t stand to look at it any more. I feel that self publishers are missing out on one of the greatest experiences of writing.
So, if you’re going to self publish: learn to write first. If you know how to write already, good for you. That’s half the battle. Then find someone who edits and get them to look at it. Editing is the other half of the battle. If by the time you’re done all this and you still want to get it published I suggest looking into publishing first. Don’t just automatically go to self publishing because it’s the easy way to do things. Trust me. You’ll benefit from the experience.
Disclaimer: This post was written for those people who think publishing a book is easy. It is not meant to offend anyone who has been self published before. That was your choice, and this is mine.