Self-publishing – why it’s no longer a good idea

I knew this anyway but it’s painful to see it in black and white:

The above blog, belonging to Claude Forthomme, lays out the facts as barely as possible and it’s caused quite a bit of fury.  The problem, as I’ve seen it for quite some time now, is that there are too many writers.  I myself feel like a teeny tiny voice in a vast ocean of teeny tiny voices, while the loud, ugly ones get to smash up against the shore.  Why bother to carry on writing when when the whole world seems to be at it and getting their crap out there more successfully as well.

It’s at this point that I remember why I write:  I write because if I don’t, I will go mad.  I will be a lunatic in an asylum smashing my head against a wall over and over and over just to make the pain of living stop.  I don’t want to be that person.  I don’t want to be a robot in a robotic job.  I want to be me.  And I am only me when I write.  Even if no one ever reads it.

Sometimes you just have to say fuck’em.


About susannahjbell

I am a writer of science fiction and other strange and surreal works. I mostly write novels and the occasional novelette. My published works include A Doorway into Ultra, the Fleet Quintet and the Exodus Sequence. I live in London in an attic flat but really want to live in a tree. I wanted to be an astrophysicist but would settle for an alien abduction. I write because I don’t know what to read.
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2 Responses to Self-publishing – why it’s no longer a good idea

  1. MG Mason says:

    A shame it may swing back the other way to a more insular publishing industry.

    The other issue is the number of free books. It’s frustrating to sell books too when there’s so much of it. My recent ebook Dead Heat has been well received, but I’ve barely made any sales. Why pay for a book when millions of people are prepared to give theirs away for free?

  2. I found it on your site and put up a response.

    I often read posts where people ask “Should I traditionally or self publish?” and like I wrote over there, that question is like, “Should I get a job or hope I scratch off a hot lotto ticket?”

    Yes. That would be great to get a traditional publishing deal. I’d like to write a book and then find a publisher who will put it into a great package and sell it for me.

    But I’d also love to be a movie star, football player, and an astronaut too. The tech hasn’t been invented to put me into any of those jobs, but the tech is available now that will help you publish your writing.

    So if you’re banging your head up against the wall in the traditional publishing world, why wouldn’t you self publish?

    If you’ve taken the time and put in the effort and you have something you’re proud of why wouldn’t you put it out there?

    Will self publishing guarantee success? No. But it gives you a shot and for many folks, that’s more than the traditional publishing industry can say.

    That’s not a knock on traditional publishing. Everyone and their uncle wants to publish a book so the folks in charge of that world only have so much time to take on so many projects.

    If you’re not one of them, then self-publishing at least provides you with a chance.

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