To self publish or not . . . . .?

I have recently been considering whether to self-publish my books on Amazon, so that they can be read on Kindle as well as through printo on demand. Although I have high hopes that a real publisher will want the PhD novel, due to its challenging nature, I can’t quite give up on the creations that lie wasted on the shelves of my study, wan and pale through lack of attention. I know that they are flawed, but I don’t think it would take very long to make them readable. And I have read much, much worse that is published via Amazon. So I am wondering, what would other people do? I don’t feel as if it would be a bad thing – at least people might be reading my work instead of me feeling as if those years of writing were a waste of time.
It brings me back to the question of why we write. I love writing, but I also love the idea that someone else might be reading my work. It makes me nervous – what if they don’t like it? What if they, in fact, hate it? But any reaction is at least a real reaction, and it would give me something to talk about at the very least. I recently read a post on Twitter or Facebook saying that life is made of stories. My life is certainly made of stories, one after the other, crowding each other out in my mind, the voices of narration and commentary, and I love to set them free. Maybe I should share. Maybe it is risking too much. Maybe self-publishing is the final admission that I may never be a ‘real’ published writer. Seeing my name on my one academic book publication was so exciting, but it would be nothing like seeing my name on my own published novel. So . . . do I wait, and hope . . . or do I do what so many others have done, and self-publish and be damned!?!

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About alyseinion

Novelist and Writer, midwife, Associate Professor, mother, vegan, pagan.... the list goes on.
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5 Responses to To self publish or not . . . . .?

  1. Could self-publishing be part of slightly longer route to “real” publishing? Or perhaps some editing could make your work more attractive to publishers- I have a friend who runs a networking group for freelance editors in South Wales (so if it’s not her thing, she could maybe pass you onto someone more appropriate), facebook me if you want her contact details, though I’m sure you have contacts of your own.

    Hope that’s vaguely helpful, Hayley xx

    • alyseinion says:

      Hi Hayley, thanks for this – I have a publisher interested in my PhD novel but it needs rewriting which is taking longer than I had anticipated it would. The other work has been edited to death, and as I have a PhD in Creative writing it is not the editing that is the issue – it’s simply the fact that it doesn’t fit popular genres! Hence my desire to self-publish. I know this can be a route for many to mainstream publication but it can also ruin authors’ reputations.
      Thanks for the input though

      • Fair points. I think, though, to self publish will only ruin an author’s reputation if the work is poor. Knowing your intelligence, and your commitment to good writing (hence the PhD), I imagine that your work is not poor and therefore think that it would enhance rather than ruin your reputation.

        Having now read your next post, I can see your problem with mainstream genres! Most erotic stories I’ve heard/read are horribly badly written and turns me off rather than on- to the point where I no longer bother to read erotic fiction any more. Anyway, I’ve already answered that post too!

  2. I also have a contact with tin hut tales publishers. Can put you in touch if you like. You might also want to join uk arts directory which they set up too. Its growing fast and specifically meant to help artists (in the broadest sense) network more effectively.

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