Monday, November 19, 2007

Self-Publishing - Pros and Cons (book printing)

By Michael Russell

15th book edition manual own print publishing self sell write

Self-publishing is not a topic that requires a definition. If you are already an experienced author and you used such tools for your writing, you know what you are dealing with. You probably have a blog or a website where you showcase your skills.

If you monetize your blog, you are even one of the self-published authors who makes money from his/her work. Many bloggers refuse to display AdSense ads or other such distracting features. They fear that displaying moneymaking widgets lowers the credibility of the blog and their own credibility. If we analyze the Web and the online self-publishing channels we find even more controversial opinions. But no matter how we look at it, self-publishing is more than a trend: it is a way of publicizing content quickly and freely.

The debate begins when the readers start doubting the quality of self-publicized content (particularly when we speak about self-publicized books). Ebooks don’t trigger so many controversies as printed books. The problems appear because of free self-publishing services where no proofreading is ensured and the books come from print without a proper quality check, hence many spelling and grammar errors.

Any professional writer knows that it is human to err, no matter how great the skills. Even academics use proofreaders prior to publishing their essays and treatises. But some young authors are not so careful. Many dream and pray for overnight success. They forget that sudden fame has the same value as a shooting star: it’s pretty as it glows, but soon forgotten. Real success is a marathon, not a sprint.

Considering these facts, should we vote against free self-publishing providers? Not really.

The ones who should care about the quality of their work are the authors. They should understand that “free” is not always the best choice.

For example, many foreign authors choose to write in English, because, let’s face it, the English speaking public segment is broader – hence the chances to make an author known are higher. Some of these authors are confident in their skills (and generally they have no reasons to doubt themselves), but they still choose to hire a proofreader prior to publishing their work.

Others are too confident and they forget that any language has subtleties mastered solely by natives. These “too confident” authors go on publishing their works without proofreading. Sometimes the results are not bad, but in most of the cases the readers will find enough reasons to complain.

The readers don’t really care where the books are coming from. They don’t really want to know who published the book (unless we talk about famous publishing houses or collectible books). But they do have the tendency to blame the printing house if they find spelling and grammar errors.

The readers don’t know that the modern authors tend to skip the proofreading process just to save a few bucks. However, even if your “name” as an author will not have too much to suffer, do you really want to deliver a poor quality book on the shelves of your readers? Do you really want the libraries to store something that later, when you are a famous writer, will come back to you like a boomerang? Think about it!

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Publishing

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15th book edition manual own print publishing self sell write

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