Why Not Self Publish?

Posted by on September 4, 2011 in Literature, Submissions | Comments Off on Why Not Self Publish?

Writing. Editing. Publishing. Marketing.

It’s easy right? It’s easy to put together thousands of words into a coherent and compelling narrative. Easy. Like staring down Nolan Ryan and thwacking a fast-ball right over his head and into the upper deck. That looks easy too. Perhaps my reference is a bit dated or topically irrelevant for my intended audience–sounds like something an editor might comment about. The joke is often something along the lines of a writer spends months bleeding their soul onto the page and an editor comes along and fixes their spelling. Sure. I’ll fix your spelling. I’ll check your facts. I’ll even explain the difference between an em-dash and an en-dash. But, these things are just a part of the process–perhaps even an afterthought. The main task of an editor is to coax out the best possible version of your story all while keeping keeping the whole thing from jumping the rails and smashing into a propane-pipeline.

With self-publishing, vanity-press, a writer is at a fundamental and distinctive disadvantage. Lack of review. In every field, every profession, there is a peer-reviewed vetting process. A scientist’s ideas and conclusions constantly squirm within the crucible of scrutiny from one’s peers. Designers and advertising agencies produce hundreds of marketing ideas before just a single idea makes the cut and gets accepted by other marketers. Think of how athletes are constantly training and conditioning to be better, faster and stronger. The peer-review process, the editorial process, is basically the same as an athlete’s conditioning process. With a publishing company, with an editor, an author has the security of knowing their work is in peak form, and that ol’ aunt Agnes won’t be phoning up in a couple of days to report all manner amateur mistakes.

Why do we buy Cheerios? Nike? Coca-Cola? The reason is simple: marketing. Okay, so you’ve gone the vanity-press method: you have a link to your ebook and you paid a hefty sum of money for several dozen print copies, you have Agnes waiting on hold and now what? You’re already down perhaps thousands of dollars, not to mention the time it took you to write the book, and suddenly no one seems to have any interest. Well, the answer is simple: marketing isn’t as easy as it looks and ought to be left to those with experience. When buying a cut of beef I want the butcher’s opinion–not the cow’s opinion. Your book comes from you. No one is going to listen to you mooing all over the place talking about your tasty beef. That’s the butcher’s job, and it’s the job of professional marketing to spread the word about your delicious book.

Simply put, this is your work–your writing. It really doesn’t matter to me right now how good your book is or whether or not you have the potential to write ten more; it matters to me that your work gets the best treatment. You’re not going to find this treatment with a vanity-press. There are services out there that will edit your book, but for the cost of hundreds if not thousands of dollars. We’re not interested in your money. Only your words and your partnership. Our service is to make your book be its best.

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