Self-publishing doesn’t carry anything like the stigma it used to. This is a good thing, of course, as it opens more opportunities for writers, and we’re all looking for opportunity. But should we all jump on board and self-publish all the writings?
There is certainly the argument that self-publishing has the potential to give the writer a far greater dividend than any other form of publishing. But this is something of a furphy. All the really successful self-publishers have either built their success on an already established traditional publishing career (like Konrath, et al) or they’re publishing lottery winners (like Hocking, et al). For ninety nine point nine per cent of the rest of us, self-publishing will garner far smaller results.
Let’s look at the alternatives.
One of the myths bandied around all the time by the self-publishing evangelists is that traditional publishers are mean and nasty, and not interested in new talent. This same nonsense is applied to publishers of short and long fiction, to publishers of books and magazines, be they print or electronic. It is true that a lot of big business trade publishers operate on something of a risk-averse model. They’re unlikely to take a chance on anything really left of centre, because they operate under a certain agenda. But there are numerous small press outfits around who are very keen on “different” stories, to set them apart and build their own legacy.
Publishers are not mean, nasty or averse to new talent. They’re just very busy and receive a lot of submissions – and a lot of what they receive is pretty poor. Writing, like any other craft, takes time, effort and commitment to master…