I want to play a game.
No, not that kind of game.
Today, I want to talk about some of the things I’ve seen posted and written online about self-published books and authors. Some of them are pretty gross, and I just wanted to take a minute and clear up some confusion. So let’s get started.
If indie books were any good, a traditional publisher would accept them.
False. Not to mention rude. Traditional publishers are very, very picky about what they accept. It’s a difficult industry to break into, and it’s highly subjective.
Also, some authors don’t understand what they’re getting into before they get pretty far into the process. There are indie authors who initially accepted book deals from traditional publishers and then backed out of their contracts to self-publish instead because they wanted more control over their work.
Self-published books are low quality
It depends. If the author does their homework and is careful about formatting and so on, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference between a self-published book and a traditionally published book.
I have a copy of The Frozen Flame (not an affiliate link) by Sionna Trenz and it’s a great looking book. I haven’t finished reading it yet, so I don’t feel comfortable talking about the content until I do, but the physical copy of the book itself is very nice. Nobody would know just from looking at it that it didn’t come from a major traditional publishing company.
Self-publishing is hard
Mostly true? Everyone has their own threshold of what’s easy vs what’s hard, but it is true that more work falls on authors who self-publish. Publishing is not just an art, it’s also a business. Indie authors are responsible for sourcing out editors, cover designs, formatting their books, doing all of their marketing, creating ad campaigns, and so on. They also have to watch out for scammers if they choose to hire editors or designers to help them with this process. (I have an upcoming post about hiring editors, so keep an eye out for that).
Traditionally published authors often don’t get a choice in their covers. The publishing company helps with editing and proofreading, formatting, and some of the marketing. However, it’s still a business and there’s still more to it than just writing a book and handing it off to the publisher.
If you self-publish a book, you can’t traditionally publish it later
Mostly true, but there have been some exceptions. Generally those exceptions are mega bestsellers. Think Fifty Shades of Grey big.
You can’t buy self-published books in a brick and mortar bookstore
False. I mean, there will be some indie books that you won’t be able to find in a brick and mortar store, or at the library, but it is possible to distribute self-published books to stores. I’m not going to get off topic and go into those details today, but you can look here and here if you want to know more about that.
I’ll probably revisit this topic when I have more self-publishing myths to bust (or confirm), but I think I’ve covered enough for one day. What do you think? Feel free to share your own myths in the comments below!
Image Credit: Content Pixie
Related posts: Legit self-publishing options