YAY OR NAY? Self publishing
Internet self-publishing has taken off, and has provided authors with a new way of getting their books out there - without taking the traditional publishing route.
As discussed recently on BBC's Click, self-publishing websites that are readily available have, according to Teresa Pereira from online publisher Blurb, 'democratised the publishing world and allowed anyone to make a book.'
Obviously after National Novel Writing Month and its annual success, many aspiring authors are ready and willing to get their books published, and some are even prepared to self-publish in the belief that they will be successful. Sure, it's worked for some - but with competition, coupled with the fact that the ability to self-publish is available to everyone who owns a PC - is this really a wise idea?
Blurb, which has been running for four years and has so far sold two million books according to the BBC article, allows users to create and market their book online. Teresa Pereira states that many charities use the service for fundraising, as it 'enables them to create a book without any risk at all.'
However, it seems as though many people with the dream of becoming a successful author are also taking this route, using sites such as Blurb and Lulu to simply upload their books - and sell. Author MG Harris told Click: 'It's all too easy to just end up writing whatever you feel like writing and then just say 'it's ready' with a few minor superficial corrections.'
Which is true - many books need to be edited a number of times before they're ready to hit the shelves. Traditional publihsers have the know-how, and also marketing teams that know what will sell. With self-publishing, unless you're very savvy in that department, selling the book is going to be a LOT of work. And whilst it might be tempting to bypass the hard slog of querying numerous agents and having to deal with rejection until it all pays off and have the novel you've spent ages working on up for sale in less than an hour, it's worth considering the downsides to this new, and also very simple, way of publishing.
Having recently finished my first novel, I'm currently in the throes of the querying process. I would love nothing more than to glow with pride at seeing my book available for readers to purchase. My novel, available to the masses. But would I really want to self-publish? In my opinion, it would take a lot of marketing to make readers want to skip the books released by top traditional publishers in favour of my Lulu-based effort. How many people, besides my parents, friends and other half, would simply stumble across it and think, 'aha! That looks brilliant, I think I'll buy that,' as I'm prone to do while browsing on Amazon?
Pardon the negativity, but personally? Not a lot. So for now, I'll stick with working on the submission letters.
So, readers - what are your thoughts on this? Would you self-publish - yay or nay? And why?