Should I self-publish?

Posted by on Mar 13, 2014 in My Writing Journey, Uncategorized | 3 comments

Should I self-publish?

One of the questions I receive a lot is: Why not self-publish?  Why subject myself to the rejections of editors who decline to publish my story on the mere basis that they didn’t “love” it?  After all, writing is subjective, and what doesn’t appeal to one may appeal to another, so why not take my destiny into my own hands and publish my own story?

This is a fantastic question, and I have asked myself the same thing many times.  My answer is this:  Because that’s not what I want for my writing.

Allow me to explain…

I love to write, and I desire more than anything else to write WELL.  This means I am constantly looking for ways to grow in my writing ability, and I have found that this is very hard to do alone.  Possible, yes, but hard.  I want a mentor, and I believe that an editor fills this position nicely.  That’s also why I chose to be represented by an agent:  with an agent AND an editor, I will have two mentors who believe in me and my stories enough to pour the kind of quality time and effort into my work that I will need to get better in my writing.

But, what has that got to do with you?

That depends on what you want from your writing, which is also my answer to the question of self-publishing.  You are obviously devoted enough to your story that you believe the world needs to see it, and you’re right.  The world needs more stories.  How you go about getting your story to the world is as subjective as any agent’s decision to represent or editor’s choice to publish it: it all depends on what appeals to you.

Take the time to decide what you want from your writing.  Commit to fully researching both self-publishing and traditional publishing, and find out exactly what each entails.  Then make the decision that best gets you where you want to go.

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomasrousing/6897064987/”>Thomas Rousing</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

3 Comments

  1. If you’re weighing the decision to self-publish or publish, like most important decisions in life, it boils down to your personal situation and your expectations.

    • That’s absolutely true! There is no one right answer that is a perfect match for everyone.

    • I very much agree. That’s why this post focuses on my personal decision and the reasons for it. I know a lot of fellow writers who have self-published and are very successful, so I’m not criticizing that route at all. The point of this article is exactly what you said: it depends on your goals for your project.

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