I’m an author who has had two books published with a major publishing house and I also publish titles through my independent publishing company. In many circles there is a negative stigma associated with self publishing / indie publishing. In most cases, I feel the stigma is unwarranted. But, the stigma serves a mighty purpose: to attempt to limit and minimize the growth of self-publishers /indie publishers. Since I’ve had both experiences, I’d like to dispel 3 Myths about Self Publishing.
- Self-Published titles are inferior. I am a member of various librarian groups and I’ve often read comments from librarians who’ve stated, “I know it’s not right, but when I see the book is self-published, I don’t bother.” There is a tangible bias against self-publishers but people need to recognize they are discriminating unjustly. One of the biggest criticisms I hear about self-published titles is: “They are full of errors.” Some titles are, but titles from major publishing houses have errors as well. My first book, The Blueprint for My Girls, was submitted to Simon & Schuster without any errors and in their first printing, the had input an error in the prologue which didn’t exist in the self-published edition. Yeah. The major publisher added an error. Remember a few years ago when the author James Frey in his “non-fiction” book made up a bunch of stuff that wasn’t remotely true? The major publisher didn’t fact check him and basically sold a book to the American public which was misleading and full of lies. A MAJOR publisher committed that act, not an indie. This proves major publishing houses make mistakes just as self-publishers/indie publishers make mistakes. (Disclaimer: I am not denying the existence of independent books which have a bunch of typos. I am saying every independent / self-published book is NOT full of typos and therefore should not be deemed as unworthy.)
- You make more money as an author signed to a major publisher. I’ve had two separate book deals with Simon & Schuster and yet I make more money from my independent publishing company. If you read Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing manual, you’ll understand why. But, basically, if you sell a book for $10.00 and are signed to a major publisher, you get $2. If you sell a book for $10.00 that you published, you get $8.00. You have to sell WAYYY MORE books signed to a major publishing company to make the same amount of money. It’s no wonder that successful independent publishers like Tamika Newhouse remain independent.
- Self-Published Titles Don’t Get Recognized. There are many people/organizations who claim to love books, but they actively ignore independent titles. This is unfortunate. My book Retaliation was recognized by the American Library Association as a Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Of all the books that were published in 2009, my book made the top ten list. I published it through my own company. This was a major coup for my company after all is there a bigger book organization than the American Library Association? I doubt it. At any rate, there are various organizations which recognize self-published /indie published titles. I believe authors should seek them out. Here are a few to consider.
- Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
- African Americans On The Move Book Club Awards
- Book Works Awards
- eLit Book Awards
- Foreward Reviews Book of the Year Awards
- Next Generation Indie Book Awards
There are more, but just check some of them out and see how it goes.
When I was in California recently, I realized I must do more to support authors and to promote literature featuring African Americans because I know it is sorely needed. If you are an author, who’d like to receive more support for your books, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org I am starting a new initiative to increase the number of reviews and social media exposure for our books. I’d love to hear from you.
Peace & Love,