In the ever-changing world of publishing and book marketing, there is still a stigma attached to self-publishing, even by authors who are established with mainstream publishing companies. As big box bookstores like Borders close their doors, and at a time when e-books are outpacing print books, why is it embarrassing for an author or a publicist to announce a book as being self-published?
Is it the perception that in order to be a credible author you must have the “blessing” of a traditional publisher to feel you have created something successful; and do readers really care anymore?
Authors continue to have their works rejected by traditional publishers and find that to get those works into the hands of readers, self-publishing is the alternative. Although there are no prepaid advances and an upfront investment is made by the author, there must be a consensus that self-publishing has worth.
A good book is a good book, and readers want to read a good book, period.
Moreover, success stories of first-time authors making a good living on a .99 cent e-book causes wonder of who the next best seller will be, and they are out there. But, the downside seems to be in the marketing. Promoting and marketing any book is a daunting task. Gone are the days when traditional publishers send authors on a nationwide book tour, all expenses paid, or give them much assistance at all.
Book marketing is now left in the hands of the author or a hired publicist and book promoter. How does an author let their readers know that their book is well written and professionally put together, especially when the selections are full of those that are not? It’s like shopping through racks and racks at the bargain basement to find the expensive designer dress for half off retail.
However, self-publishing can be a blessing in disguise for those who wish to keep control of the process, especially seasoned authors who already have built-in connections in the book world. And, of course, the profit margins are better when there are less
Authors and publicists are charged with changing the perception of the value of self-published work. Media outlets, reviewers, and bookstores must keep an open mind and unblock their policies for self-published authors.
These are still revolutionary times in the publishing world, and it’s exciting to be a part of the new order. The process is, and will be, different. Rewards are available to those who produce quality work, just as in any other profession. The tide is turning and we should celebrate those who are rising to the top in a very competitive field.
Where publishing will converge is anyone’s guess, but as the landscape is changing rapidly, so must the perception. A good book is a good book, and readers want to read a good book, period. If bookstores don’t stock self-published works, and if critics won’t review them, the reader is stuck in that bargain basement rooting through the racks, or stacks!