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Why all the self-publishing hate?


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#1 K.M. Hanson

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 07:04 PM

Well, the question basically. I have been visiting award sites, and group sites on Goodreads and other websites, and every time I see something about nominating books for reading, the person or organization always drops a "no self-published books or e-books." 

 

Personally, I would stand my own book up next any traditionally published work. That is just how I feel about it, and yes, I am my own worst critic.

 

But holy hell, why all the hate?


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#2 dogsbody

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 07:33 PM

In a word (or four): lack of quality control. You put a lot of time, effort, and outside assistance into your book, but that makes you the exception to the rule. 



#3 Cerulean Shaman

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 02:17 AM

This is a long, ongoing debate, but to put it simply dogsbody is right. There's so many wringers a traditionally published book has to go through that it's far more unlikely for it to be a product filled with terrible writing. I've read a lot of self published novels and I certainly agree with that assessment. I'm no published author and right now this damn query letter is killing me, but when you can automatically see a hard difference in quality between your work-in-progress (that you still consider a work-in-progress!) and stuff people are trying to sell you, well, it's obvious to me why self pub has such a bad rep. As Overlord pointed out on the Fantasy Faction site it's very telling that many of the extremely successful fantasy authors who started self pup accepted traditional deals when they were offered.



#4 K.M. Hanson

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 11:32 AM

Yeah I agree 100%. I just SO wanted to stay away from the traditional route... cut out all the middle men/women and the BS that comes along with it. 

 

I am still on the fence about shopping my second novel to the traditional route, but at this rate I might just have to. 

 

There just has to be a better way to do this. I paid for a professional editor... and my professional, I mean a solo, career editor. I also hired a professional cover designer to create a cover that truly conveys the "meat" of my book. It was an investment on my part, but I wanted to put forth the best product possible to the readers. Will I make the money back? Likely not, and also not the reason I got into this. 

 

I am in a debate right now with an awards-runner about this (through e-mail, since I questioned their no self-publishing policy). I FULLY understand not wanting to open up the floodgates of self-published works and them not wanting to overwhelm their judges. 

 

The industry has changed, though. The advent of the e-book and self-publishing has forever altered the writing landscape. so in this discussion we are having, I am stating that there has to be a better way to distinguish between different types of self-published works.

 

My self-published work still involved the rest of the writing industry, just on a smaller scale. Does that make it better? No (that is up to the reader to decide). I still collaborated with others in the industry though, those who make a living from it (i.e. Editors and Cover Designers), so there in lies the difference.

 

Am I wrong on this? I would like some more opinions.


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I would like to thank R.A. Salvatore and Robert Jordan for raising me in their fantastic worlds.

 

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#5 K.M. Hanson

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 11:39 AM

This is a long, ongoing debate, but to put it simply dogsbody is right. There's so many wringers a traditionally published book has to go through that it's far more unlikely for it to be a product filled with terrible writing. I've read a lot of self published novels and I certainly agree with that assessment. I'm no published author and right now this damn query letter is killing me, but when you can automatically see a hard difference in quality between your work-in-progress (that you still consider a work-in-progress!) and stuff people are trying to sell you, well, it's obvious to me why self pub has such a bad rep. As Overlord pointed out on the Fantasy Faction site it's very telling that many of the extremely successful fantasy authors who started self pup accepted traditional deals when they were offered.

 

Just a quick note: I asked my editor why when I read a lot of traditionally published work I find grammar mistakes, tense mistakes, etc. She said that a lot of company editors are not meticulous due to their workload, and most published authors who are famous (R.A. Salvatore or George Martin) put forth manuscripts that editors barely look at due to their success. That is just from an independent editor's perspective, but it did help me understand a lot. I believe she told me it is also the reason she decided to remain an independent editor. 


The%20Attuning_Cover_175Thumbnail_zpsomk

 

I would like to thank R.A. Salvatore and Robert Jordan for raising me in their fantastic worlds.

 

https://www.facebook...ristoferMHanson

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#6 Litgal

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 02:47 PM

Personally I think things are getting more fluid and that there is less antagonism.  I am a hybrid.  I both traditionally and Indie publish. I've not experienced the hate. In fact the Indie novel-in-six parts that I was part of this past fall was shortlisted for an award at the recent HNS Conference and ended up first runner up.  No matter how you publish there will be doors that close to you while other's open. That's what choice does.  And there will always be some unpleasant people.


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#7 dogsbody

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 06:19 PM

The industry has changed, though. The advent of the e-book and self-publishing has forever altered the writing landscape. so in this discussion we are having, I am stating that there has to be a better way to distinguish between different types of self-published works.

 

Sure there is. There's a pretty healthy subculture of indie authors rallying around review blogs, conventions, and awards that focus on their particular publishing path. Many indie authors enjoy financial success (for their own, personal values thereof) and some of them become so well-known they're pursued by those in the traditional industry. Not everyone's Amanda Hocking, but there are ways and corners of indie publishing which have resulted in respectability.

 

(Though if I may, I don't think arguing with someone over their awards criteria is one of them.)

 

Think of it this way: there are always hoops to jump through. They either come before publishing (acceptance from agents, editors, etc) or after it (self-marketing like a beast, proving your credentials in the indie world before being demanding equal consideration alongside traditional offerings, etc). You can never get out of jumping through them entirely, only when and where you encounter them. (Actually, I'm sure many traditionally published authors here would protest they still have to hoop-jump after publication, and I don't want to dismiss that. But even small press-levels of publicity and marketing help are a godsend in the face of the overwhelming disinterest of the book-buying public.) When you cut out "the middlemen/women," you get to certain points faster, yes, and you're your own boss. But you eventually end up having to do all the work they would have done for you on your own. It sounds like you're at that place now. 

 

Personally, I don't believe indie publishing as a whole will ever be as well-regarded as its traditional counterpart, simply because of that quality control issue. But I agree with Litgal, I think attitudes have changed vastly when it comes to individual titles that manage to distinguish themselves in the field.   



#8 K.M. Hanson

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 10:49 PM

We are actually having a very healthy discussion about their awards criteria, so no arguing involved. Basically just bringing up the same points as I have here.

 

I do like this discussion though, as I am learning quite a few things from it. 


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I would like to thank R.A. Salvatore and Robert Jordan for raising me in their fantastic worlds.

 

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