“Straight Expectations” by Jane Friedman discusses the ins and outs of self publishing
The March / April edition of Writer’s Digest contains a great selection of articles on self-publishing. The articles covered, literally, pretty much everything authors must know before beginning their self publishing journeys. Dog Ear is praised in “Straight Expectations”, a great article on resources for authors looking to self publish books.
The articles take a very straight forward approach to defining what authors need to know before choosing to self publish their books – no punches are pulled in any way, but conversely very little negative prejudice shows in ANY of the articles. I couldn’t actually find ANY myself, but a few other readers I surveyed felt that some of the writing was ‘too honest’ about the chances of self published works ending up in the traditional market… I tend to believe that reality is uncomfortable for many folks – especially when it’s applied to their dreams and wishes – so I was pretty comfortable that everything I read was pretty much just grounded in the realities of our market.
Jane Friedman – publisher and editorial director of Writer’s Digest – opens the discussion with an article titled “Straight Expectations.” This is a quick intro to the 5 key items authors should consider… not that any one of the items would dissuade a potential author from self publishing, but each is a critical item for review.
Contributor Andrea Hurst – president of Andrea Hurst Literary Management – is next with “The Stark Reality of Self-Publishing: An Agent’s Perspective” – tough medicine that authors looking to self publish their books need to take in large doses. She discusses the fact that even though self-publishing may seem to be a logical first step in getting your book into a traditional house, the chances of success don’t really seem to be much better than if you’d just sent a query letter and sample chapter – and with good reason. Self-published books that fail to find an audience do so not because they are self-published, but because of some other mitigating factor (such as quality of writing; lack of marketing by the author – yes, even as a traditionally published author you’ll be asked to help out to a large degree; or often times – just no market for the book on a broader basis…). Even with all the ‘medicine’ Ms. Hurst’s piece is an amazing perspective from one of the significant gatekeepers of the traditional publishing world.
Joe Wikert – you’ll know him from my comments about him on our self publishing blog – he’s one of the gurus I read on a daily basis because his take on technology in our industry is so insightful. His article The Changing Landscape of Self-Publishing highlights this in great detail – and highlights how little so many of us really understand about what is going on ‘out there’ – our industry looks nothing like what any of us expected even a single year ago – let alone 10 or 15 years ago.
Click here to see more information about various self-publishing companies, as it was discussed in Writer’s Digest.