Wednesday, March 16, 2011

To Self-Publish or Not to Self-Publish

The opinion of Kevin McLaughlin ( to a question I asked: "Can you self-publish and still establish yourself as a reputable author? Or do you really need to be backed by a big publisher to achieve success?"
The New York Times is not (yet) listing indie authors on their ebook bestseller list. Other newspapers are, and the scandal will probably force NYT to do so eventually. But it's a clear sign that in some quarters, at least, outselling most of the competition is not "enough success" to be considered "reputable".

Likewise, most of the major professional orgs still exclude indie authors. The Author's Guild, Mystery Writers' Guild, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Novelists Inc, and other major groups exclude indies completely. Other groups, like the Romance Writers of America, allow indies in the door, but exclude them from higher tiers of membership and awards.

Of course, *readers* don't seem to care. Right now almost 40% of the Amazon ebook bestseller list is composed of indie published books. There are individual indie/self published writers selling over 10,000 copies of their books per day, more than most traditionally published books sell...ever. I have a hard time seeing that level of public readership as "disreputable", myself.

What are your goals? Whose opinion do you care about more, the publishers of the New York Times, or the readers of your work? That's up to each writer to answer.

No comments:

Post a Comment