Saturday, October 1, 2011

Self-publishing quandry

Should I or shouldn't I self-publish?
Nearly everyone I know wants to write a book, whether it be a novel, memoir, autobiography or family history. The publishing market today does not allow for every book to be published; thus, well-meaning individuals turn to self-publishing.

Writing requires an enormous number of skills, among which are:
* well-defined topic
* clarity of thought
* spelling
* sentence structure
* punctuation
* syntax; that is, the proper use of the English language
* accuracy of facts

* I have a copy of a self-published book that has no author's name in sight.
* I have a copy of a self-published book that has factual contradictions in it.
   The original event either took place in 1959 or 1961, It did not take place both times.
* I have a copy of two self-published books that make no sense. I cannot follow the topic.
   The sentence structure is horrible. The sentences are convoluted and/or fragments.
* I have a copy of a self-published book that is a diatribe about the government.
   The author is bitter about his lot in life.

These aren't books. They are personal journals. I understand people wanting to give family
members a remembrance, but they shouldn't impose their personal histories and inaccuracies
on the general population.

If you have a good story, write a good story. Get help. Join a writers' group. Join a professional
organization. These people will be as honest about your writing as their consciences allow.
Paying for professional editing services is a last resort. Often the cost does not warrant  the

Follow your dream of writing a book, but when you reveal it to the general public, make it
something they can be proud to have read so they can tell you with sincerity, "Job well done."

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post! :D

    I personally prefer reading published books over self-published ones, *usually* because the authors of the SP ones aren't really the best at writing... Not to be mean or anything. I've read a couple, and I tried-I really did-to like the books, but they were all over the map, and very unprofessional.

    My advice to aspiring writers out there is to try and get a literary agent first, and if worse comes to worse, self-publish. Then again, I've never gotten a novel published, so you don't need to trust me on that :P

    For those that decide to self-publish, a good prmotion idea would be to offer a copy of your book to a book-reviewing website. I recommend sites like and for YA novels :)