Self-Publishing Is NOT Wrong

Self-publishing is a touchy topic among us. There are readers and writers on both sides of the line. Some see self-published books as substandard. Is it correct to say so?

Misconceptions from the Naysayers:

1. The book won't be as well-written or good as those from known companies.
So none of the books ever printed by traditional publishers ever got YOUR thumbs down? Goodness, you're not a very discerning reader! I find books all the time I can't get through and we're not talking indie books. You won't like every self-published offering but that's to be expected.
2. It is only through a book's failure that someone self-publishes.
It is true that many who don't get published through traditional means see this as another path but it doesn't mean the book is a failure. Studying publishing success stories reveals just how many rejections a book had to go through to find the right fit; if some people can skip the extra years of rejection, it is a good thing for them.
3. A writer who publishes their own book will never find success in publishing later on.
It may make it nearly impossible to place the book after it is self-published but your other books it generally won't affect unless your self-published book was very unflattering. As times change, so do agents' and editors' perceptions. Hey, if your book sold a fair number without a whole team behind it, it could show your ambition and skill in a good light. There have been a few books that wouldn't have became HUGE successes without first self-publishing.* It all depends.
It is becoming more accepted to self-publish and easier though there are still many things to consider:

1. Do your research!
Know how much it costs, what features you get, what clients have said about their service, is it worth the money, etc.
2. Think about time/energy.
You are most likely NOT going to have an editor pushing you to make it a better book or a publicist lining up radio interviews. You have a LOT of freedom doing it yourself but the number of sales also falls entirely on you.** This becomes complicated if you have a full-time job or other aspects of your life demanding time.
3. Realistic goals.
Everyone would love their self-published offering to end up in a million homes but that is a very unlikely story. So keep reaching higher but understand the averages.
4. Realize the trade-off.
While you're researching, also research traditional publishers. Figure out where your writing project falls and what would suit it best. Some projects are better off but some won't be. If YOU feel like traditional publishers are the way to go, you may not feel the same sense of pride with a publishing service.
Bottom Line: Self-publishing isn't for failed or sub-par books and can be the right direction for some people. No one should feel they have "no other choice" but to self-publish. Everything depends on the project and the person behind it. It is your book, do what YOU think is right.

-Jennifer Jackson

Footnotes: *Christopher Paolini's book was first self-published. I'm sure you remember ^Eragon^
**Some companies offer packages that include editing services and SOME promotion but don't expect them to be automatic.


  1. I agree. If your book is well edited, getting it out there by self-publishing sure seems the way to go.

  2. If one feels it is the right avenue, they shouldn't be pressured into trying to find something most people find more "legit". People either see it as something horrible or something that has to be shoved at people. There is a time and a place for everything. (: