The Rehabilitation of a Snob: a True Confession

My Bad.My name is Linda, and I am a snob.

For years, I have defended traditional publishing as the only true route to success in this business. I have held disdain for those who rushed to provide the public with works that may not be quite ready, because they have found the traditional route discouraging or the vanity route faster. I have argued that self publishing is a recourse for those who don’t want to pay their dues, those who don’t want to put the work into their manuscripts that is required to polish and perfect their stories.

And while I don’t totally renounce my beliefs, I am learning the positive attributes of self-publication.

What a blessing it is to have this avenue open for us. To have more control over the editing process, over what covers illustrate our content, over the distribution and pricing of our books (well, that one’s kinda tough, but I’m learning). Since so much of the marketing lands on our shoulders anyway, why on Earth would we want to share our profits with agents and editors? Find a freelance editor who has a sharp eye and a keen knowledge of the craft, then take it from there.

Of course, the downside is still there. Among the vast majority of those outside the publishing loop–those unaware of the monumental changes occurring in our industry–self-publication still holds a certain stigma. “Self-published” means “vanity published” means “bad books.” We’re fighting that stigma, and authors who rush to put their books out there after typing “the end” on a shoddy first draft only add to the problem.

But I have an award-winner under my belt, and a small, but growing, readership. While I still want a lucrative contract with a major publisher some day, I can’t argue with the fact that my once-traditionally pubbed book turned self-pubbed is making me more money than all my others put together. And I can’t argue with the fact that many big-name authors are driving down this road to self-publication and lending it a new hue of credibility.

So, to any and all self-pubbed authors I have ever argued with, I humbly apologize. You definitely have a point.

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
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24 Responses to The Rehabilitation of a Snob: a True Confession

  1. Fun, Linda! Thanks for posting your confession. Sigh. Snobs unite!

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    • Giggle!

      I haven’t changed from wanting a big contract and a whopper of an advance some day, but I don’t think I’m going to restrict myself to that dream anymore. I’ll build a larger readership first, decide which genre I want to devote my career to, and go from there.

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  2. I too felt that way until about 18 months ago, and despite my contract with a small press, fully intend to self-pub future projects. I’m intent on using my time within my contract as a training ground, improving my writing, and earning enough money that I can put money back into hiring an editor and a cover artist. There are SO many resources out there to help self-pubbers, it’s kind of at a point where you have to ask the question why you WOULD NOT self-publish!

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    • Well, I know why I wouldn’t self-publish, but for my argument to hold validity, I’d have to land a contract with a major player first. Contracts with certain small pubbers have the benefit of being recognized by the organizations I belong to that issue the more prestigious awards. Other than that, you’re right. The resources are out there for anything you’d want to do as a self-pubber.

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  3. Yay, Linda! I too was a snob. With 4 traditionally published books I felt it was just a matter of time before I’d get a publisher for everything I would ever write. Then I learned that no matter how wonderful, full of quality and worth a book is, sometimes publisher simply will not invest the time and money to publish certain things. So I too entered the indie publishing world. Am having a ball with it and loving the creative freedom it brings. Yay, Linda!

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  4. scmathisen says:

    Things, they are a changin’… Someday two truths will dawn on most writers. You can make much more money self-publishing AND no matter how nicely you dress up and market a bad book, it will not sell. Do the work to put out a quality product. I always think of KM Weiland as one of the best examples of self-publishing done properly. Thanks, Linda for your example here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely, Katie is the perfect example of how it’s done. But bad books do sell. How else can we explain Shack and 50 Shades of Grey? Still, I’m with you. I want my books to be high quality in both content and style. 😉

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  5. K.M. Weiland says:

    As you know, I’ve self-pubbed from the beginning, and, while I won’t say I always did it for the right reasons, I will say the only cause I’ve ever had to regret it was hurtful words said early on (not by you – just the general attitude against self-publishing). It’s a very freeing and validating feeling these days to know that the rest of the industry is suddenly a lot more willing to accept outside-the-box success.

    So welcome aboard! I’m not surprised at all to hear Ride is doing well for you.

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  6. Lisa Grace says:

    It’s okay; you’re forgiven. 🙂 I am so glad you decided to self publish your wonderful book. Do you have it on audio through ACX yet? And add it to Allromance.com too.

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    • Linda says:

      I haven’t thought of doing an audio in quite some time. Back when it first came out, someone from San Antonio contacted me about doing it, and I thought at the time it would be a good idea. I wonder if I still have her email address . . .

      Thanks for the tip about Allromance!

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  7. Gay Ingram says:

    Apology accepted. Have gone the self-published/small press route for several of my books with different experiences resulting with different publishing houses. I, too, enjoy the input expected from authors and say-so I have in the process.
    One caveat – do your homework. Investigate the track record of a publisher before you sign on the dotted line. Just extricated myself from a toxic situation and earned the title “author diva” as a result. But…it meant no release of a shoddy, unprofessional piece of work bearing my name would be made public.

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  8. jbesuden says:

    The math is pretty straightforward.

    Traditional Publisher:

    Kindle ebook $9.99
    25% royalty –> $2.49
    15% to agent –> $2.12

    Self-Publishing:

    Kindle ebook $2.99
    70% royalty –> $2.10

    Will you sell more copies at $9.99 or $2.99?

    And the same concept applies with paperbacks.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Good to see the indie route working out for you! Only a few years ago, I remember balking at the idea of even READING a self-published book, let alone producing one myself. Nowadays I find myself reading and enjoying indie books quite often, though I still believe that the traditional route will be the best fit for my own project.

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    • I still intend to pursue traditional publishing too. I self-pubbed Give the Lady a Ride after the publisher released it, and I’m going to self-pub a sequel for it, but it’s always been my dream to land a big publisher. Someday!

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