People often ask me what got me started in self-publishing, or what it’s like to be a writer in general. I’ve decided to start a series describing my journey through self-publishing, dispelling myths from realities, and also featuring occasional guest blogs from other authors (these posts will be labeled with the tag “Indie Author Life”).
To kick-start this series, I’m excited to feature my friend and fellow indie author Kaitlyn Oruska. Kaitlyn is the author of the Haven series, which chronicles the life and experiences of a teenage mother. She is currently working on a new novel, Wishing Well, set to release August 25th, which I have had the privilege of beta-reading and cannot recommend enough. Find her website here.
Self-Publishing is Not Synonymous with Shitty
“I don’t typically read self-published books,” a commenter on a blog post remarked. “It seems too risky.”
I’m a live-and-let-live kind of person. I’m rarely opinionated unless it hits on a topic I hold dear to my heart. Five books, one novella and a million ideas in, there are few things closer to my heart than writing.
Any author/writer/storyteller will tell you the same – I didn’t choose writing. It chose me. Just like musicians find themselves drawn to creating music and artists find themselves drawn to painting or sculpting or what-have-you, writers find themselves drawn to words and stories.
It’s no surprise that books are magical. You open them, read a few words, and suddenly you’re sucked into a new world where you’re a new person with new friends and a new family, doing things you never believed possible. Perhaps you like romance, or sci-fi, or maybe realistic fiction that mirrors life. Whatever you’re into, the result is the same. Reading takes you to a previously undiscovered world and teaches you things you might not learn in the real one.
So when I stumble across something that dismisses self-publishing as being less than (sometimes going as far as to refer to it as a genre), it’s difficult not to be offended. There are so many misconceptions, and as a proud indie, I feel it’s my duty to clear them up to the best of my ability.
Authors who self-publish aren’t good enough for traditional publishing.
This is one I see a lot.There seem to be a lot of potential readers who believe self-publishing is always the last resort, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. I know of plenty who chose this route for their own personal reasons.
If this logic was correct, where would that leave authors like Stephen King and Suzanne Collins? Both were rejected plenty of times before being picked up.
Books by self-published authors are poor quality.
Most of the books I’ve fallen in love with these past two years were, in fact, self-published. The way in which a book is published has nothing to do with the quality of the story itself. If you read one self-published book and found yourself unimpressed, please don’t punish the community or even the author. There isn’t one book in this world that works for everyone.
Self-published authors are in it for the money.
This is something that comes with anything on the newer side. Some see success stories assume everyone who does something similar is in it for the money and potential fame.
If this is true, I’m doing something terribly wrong.
It takes a lot to write a book. It’s rewarding, yes, but it’s also stressful, occasionally devastating, and always tiring. And when you’re done, there’s no guarantee anyone is going to love your story. It’s a huge leap of faith to put your book out there, and the people who are in it for the money aren’t going to last long.
I grew up loving books, and I was always told don’t judge a book by its cover. I still stand by that, but let’s take it a step further.
If you see a book that catches your eye, give it a chance. Don’t worry about where it came from, how it came to be, who wrote it, etc. Choose your books because there’s something about them that seems interesting, that holds a promise for an adventure you’re never going to forget.
Choose your books for their characters, their plots, and writing style. Don’t judge them by their method of publication.
In short, self-published is not synonymous for shitty in the same way traditionally published isn’t synonymous for best book you’ll ever read. Self-publishing hasn’t taken anything away from the reading community – it’s added thousands more books to choose from.