Friday, January 10, 2014

My Formal Apology To All Self-Published Authors

Dear Self-Published Authors,

Basically, it boils down to this: I'm sorry for judging.

I know most people in "traditional" publishing try to tip toe around this, try to say they don't judge and that self-publishing is gaining credibility. But I'm sure you know differently. I'm sure you've felt the extra scrutiny you receive, and yeah maybe sometimes that leads to being a bit defensive.

So I'm saying it now. I'm sorry. For assuming you just "throw your work out there." For supposing you don't care or gave up on trying to break into the "Big 5." For thinking maybe you just want to avoid the editing process or that you can't work with other people well or that you are control freaks. I'm sorry for all the assumptions out there—some of them I admit right here and now I held myself.

You're probably thinking these apologies have everything to do with the fact that I am working to self-publish a novel right now—you would be entirely correct and I'm okay with admitting that. Sometimes you have to step into the same shoes to really get it, and I can assure you I'm beginning to see both sides so much more clearly.

The judging, I can already see it happening to me. I admit I thought because of my traditionally published books that I would be spared a little, but I'm starting to understand that is not the case. It's been a big lesson to me. A humbling one.

You guys work hard. Most all of you take this dead seriously. So it must hurt when someone says you didn't put in the effort. It must be heartbreaking when you follow every procedure, do all the edits from the editor you pay, take the time to create a good cover, learn how to market, learn how to format, learn how to take care of your cash flow and taxes, not to mention often putting out more than one book a year…

Yes, now I see why it feels like a slap in the face when someone calls you lazy. Or says you're taking the easy way out. Or claims your work is not professional.

I apologize for ever thinking any of that. Even if it was just once.

Because you are, for the most part, professionals juggling all the things my agent and publisher handle on my traditionally published books. Now that I face this, I see what an overwhelming feat that is. You guys are amazing.

And your books? They're amazing, too. Maybe they don't always fit in boxes like they're "supposed to," but that's why you do this anyway, right? Things that wouldn't fly in Big 5 Land—those are the things you're not afraid of. Sometimes you get flak for being different, but now that I'm about to put out my own very different novel I understand why you do it.

People might say this book of mine isn't right—it does things wrong, or it's weird, or whatever. They may blame it on the fact that I self-published it, instead of seeing that it's exactly what I wanted it to be and part of that is how different it is. I love different…sometimes traditional publishing does not.

I'm sorry people expect you to fit in boxes. I'm sorry the boxes exist to begin with, both for you and myself. I've never done so good with the fitting in, and the creative part of me is falling in love with the freedom I get from going hybrid.

So, again, I'm sorry. And I admire you. The hard work you do? I see it now, and I will never, ever stop seeing it.

All the best,
Natalie



122 comments:

  1. I shared this. why? Because it's beautiful and heartfelt. A lesson you learned. Thanks for sharing it.

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  2. This is amazing. Thank you. And good luck going hybrid! What an exciting time!

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  3. Wonderful post! I've learned many of these lessons from working with a small press, which some people sadly still put under the 'self-published' banner. I have nothing but admiration for indie authors and I wish you all the success! :)

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  4. Wow, this is wonderful and I am glad that TJ shared it! Susie

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  5. This is so refreshing. Thanks for the honesty and good luck with your own foray into self-publishing!

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  6. I agree! Someone asked me once, "Why don't you just self-publish?" I'm sure a lot of people have gotten that question--and it's sort of insulting to self-published authors who work so hard to be successful. I tried to explain to them that self-publishing was incredibly HARD, maybe harder then traditional publishing.

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  7. A very nicely worded post for sure. Thanks for saying this out loud, in public.

    Being (pre-)judged comes with the territory. Sometimes it's fair, sometimes unfair. But it's always there, and self-pub authors need to be both self-motivated and self-affirming... there's no one contractually obligated to cheer you on. Which is why, I think, self-pub authors tend to cheer each other on.

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  8. Thank you. It is hard to constantly feel like you've been judged and found lacking based on what is nothing more than a career choice. Despite the fact that I've published three books and have been able to quit my day job to write, many authors, agents, and publishers would not call me a professional.

    On the other hand, there are a growing number of people in the trad world who do understand the work involved in self-publishing and who don't treat self-published authors like second class citizens. Those are the ones I choose to interact with.

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  10. Thank you for the apology. I hope others follow suit. I love being self-published. I have my own publishing company now, I have a fabulous editor, an awesome cover designer and I just love the ability to be able to publish what I want when I want. It's terribly hard work, but worth every effort. Good luck on your self-publishing journey.

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  11. Aww, I'm a self-publish author, and to read this from a Traditional author that I love. Brought me to tears. I always try not to pay attention to what people say about self-publishing authors, mainly because I feel bad. But this just made me feel a little bit better. Glad you join are group.

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  12. I really really appreciated this and shared it as well. Thank you for being honest and genuine.

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  13. This will mean a lot to self-pub writers and those thinking about it. I've already forwarded this to a friend. I'm getting ready to try the 'big 5' but will consider the indie route if necessary. It really is a different world out there. Thanks!

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  14. It is good to remind ourselves of how much a publisher does behind the scenes. There is a lot more to getting a book out there then just 'putting it up' and it is excellent that you have posted this. Self-pubbed authors work hard and wear dozens of hats to keep their book out there.

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  15. This was well done and as a self pub I appreciate it. However I will say that even as a self pub author, a lot of the stigma that goes with the territory is well earned. Yes, I said it. There are TONS of self pubed authors out there who don't put the effort into that they should and are charging readers for books that are not even properly formatted, etc. I feel that it is our job as serious self pubed authors to inform the others that they are the ones making us look bad and take more of the responsibility instead of hating all the trad-pubed authors and readers who judge.

    A few weeks ago I paid $7 for a book that had not been spell checked, had two different chapter 9s and a missing chapter 14, and was beyond a waste of my money. If I had not been in the industry myself--which most readers are not--I would probably had thought bad of self publishing too. People not in the industry don't know the industry, just like we don't know the inner workings of everyone else's industry.

    In my honest opinion, I think more self-pubed authors need to realize that they will be charging people money for the end outcome and need to take it more seriously, and I am happy that you and so many of the other commenters here do. Our reputation is only going to get better if we start being honest with ourselves and each other and work to make it better.

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    1. I wholeheartedly agree with Jill! Having published books both on my own and traditionally, I handled the editing process with the same meticulous attention to detail. WE MUST RESPECT OUR READERS IF WE EXPECT RESPECT FROM THEM.

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  16. Thank you for this. As an exclusively self-published author, I feel this judgement often. And I give you serious props and hugs for stepping into new shoes!

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  17. Thank you! Appreciate that you "get it" now. Best of luck with your new self-publishing journey.

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  18. That's very sweet and brave of you, Natalie.

    If anyone ever gives you any shit about self-publishing or going hybrid or whatever, you tell them straight-up that you don't care what they think about self-publishing. Seriously. That will shut them right up, I swear.

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  19. I'm reading a self-published series now and it's amazing how, for the majority of it, it's better edited than the books I come across via the big publishers. I want to be an author, and already I'm thinking about traditional publishing vs self publishing. Both has benefits and down sides.

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  20. Wonderful post:) Regardless if you self-publish or not, any author who truly cares about their work will find the publishing process difficult and for SO many reasons. But man it's a FUN ride!!! Since you've lived in both worlds you should write a post about the two experiences. Yeah?

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  21. Natalie: wonderful and nice. Welcome to the "dark side." :-) I am in the midst of my first book...self-pubbed of course. People can say what they want, and they always will. But if you do it right, as you've described, their words are just that, words. I've always felt that if people are talking about me-good, neutral,bad-then at least I matter. Certainly Big Box and Self Publication are different worlds. So be it. We all choose where to live and it's better to happy where we live versus longing to be somewhere else. Thanks again.

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  22. A very beautiful and heartfelt post, and an absolute must-share.

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  23. Thank you, Natalie. Yes, there are some bad self-pub books out there, but then again, there are plenty of bad trad-pub books out there too. Many self-pub authors, including myself, take their work very seriously. We pay a lot of money for professional editing, high-quality books covers and professional formatting. Our goal is to have our work displayed on a shelf with trad-pub books and have a reader not be able to tell the difference. I appreciate you making your "confession" and repenting. :) You are forgiven. Welcome to the Dark Side!

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  24. That is the kindest thing I have ever read, and regardless if you are doing this because you are self publishing, I honestly feel that you mean every word. Thank you and there is absolutely no hard feelings!

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  25. Thank you so much for this! As I am self-publishing at the moment, this is the best kind of an encouragement. Even if it is just from one person :)

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  26. Lovely post, Natalie! I loved all the stuff my publisher did for me. Going out on my own had been a crazy amount of hard (and expensive) work. I stress about the credibility issue and struggle even harder to make my end product good.

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  27. Love to you Natalie! Becoming a hybrid is, IMO, such a frustrating and difficult decision to make, but an admirable one. We choose to be brave, to do hard things, and to live with an underdog status that is much undeserved. Hugs!

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  28. One of my favorite authors, a woman I'd looked up to for years, posted some very negative things about indie authors. It kinda broke my heart a little. Thanks, Natalie.

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  29. Brilliant. A beautiful apology not needed at all. Welcome. With open arms.

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    1. What Hugh said. Thanks for the post. Good luck with your new book!

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  30. Hugh always manages to say everything I want to say but better. And quicker.

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  31. A beautiful post, Natalie. Welcome to the world of indies/hybrids. I hope you have lots of success and fun with your new ventures :) xx

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  32. I have two self published books, one traditionally published book (by a small house) and in 2014 I will have a second traditionally published book and my first non fiction which I am self publishing.

    I think it is quite brave of you to own up to a common, yet inaccurate, judgement. Most self published authors I know have their work edited a few times - besides going through beta readers. It is a lot of work but the rewards can be worth it.

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  33. Thanks for the apology. Yes, we do get that flack but part of that criticism is correct in a way.

    Many of us are control freaks. We just don't think it's a bad thing. I love being in control so I don't get stuck with a horrible cover like the publisher put on my first published novel. And I don't have to work with the editor on the same book who seemed to think she was the author, not editing, and tried to change the tone. Instead, I choose an editor with an attitude I can work with. Some of us only work well with others when we're the boss. (*grin*)

    So welcome to our world and best of luck with your self-published project!

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  34. Now, if Scott Turrow can follow suit ... beautiful post. Thank you ;) Yes, different is what I love about indie publishing. It encourages works outside the boxes imposed on us by traditional publishing.

    Though to be honest, I come from a country where publishing opportunities are tiny, so we don't have this attitude about "traditional publishing vs indie". It was straight to indie for me. It made sense - I didn't want to spend years trying to get published. I want people to read me pronto.

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  35. Apology accepted. Best of luck with your new adventure. :)

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  36. Yay for this. It's really nice to hear. Finally a few barriers between trade and self-published authors are being broken down, and it's lovely to see.

    Good luck with your books, Natalie! :)

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  37. Oh, and I LOVE the cover of House of Ivy and Sorrow. Gorgeous!

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  38. Thanks for a heartfelt and positive spin on things. It's nice to see. And welcome to the fold!

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  39. Amazing post, how very Natalie of you :)

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  40. Apology accepted! Some of us have always been Indy by choice. Honestly, I never even considered a publisher. In this day and age of eBooks and global access, what's a publisher going to do for me -- me, a mostly unknown/mid-list author -- that I can't do for myself? Not much.

    Oh, and trust me on this: we must abolish the term 'Self Publishing.' We'll never get any respect with this term. 'Homemade' is great for pies, but it's lousy for books. There will never be a festival for 'self-published' writers. But, just like with Indy Music or Indy Film festivals, there WILL be festivals for Indy Authors. So let's stop with the 'self-publishing' and start with the Indy-Publishing.

    We're Independent, and we're proud!


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  41. I'll be sharing this, too. I appreciate you taking the time to put into words the preconceived notions so many people have about indie authors, and I appreciate the humility it took to admit you had held some of those opinions yourself. We're all constantly learning, aren't we? I'm sure you'll find the indie community is full of supportive authors who will welcome you. I'm wishing you the best!

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  42. Thank you so much for writing this. It really touched me and will touch a lot of other self-publishers out there. I'll share as well.

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  43. Welcome to the shark tank, Natalie. As hard as indie publishing has been over the past couple of years, finding the right editors/cover artists, learning marketing and formatting, and even dealing with a film option (which had me totally out of my element), I've made some of the best, most supportive author friends. Beautiful, heartfelt post and here's wishing you the very best of luck navigating the new waters.

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  44. You weren't totally off the mark in your assumptions. Speaking for myself, I AM a control freak, and I DON'T care about breaking into the Big 5. And there is plenty of crap out there making self-publishers look bad, whether it's unedited, unformatted, or just plain not ready for public consumption.

    But of course you can't make the generalization that ALL self-published authors are like that. It's gutsy to publicly admit that you're wrong. In the words of Dr. Kelso, "I like her. She's got girl-balls!"

    Good luck in your self-publishing endeavors.

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  45. Classy lady with a great post. SP authors are a diverse group and like any group there are differences. Welcome to the pool, the water is fine. Stop by KBoards some time,

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  46. Very cool post! Thank you! I also want to say that without self publishing I would have never written so many short stories, never seen a short sell 30,000 copies. Never made enough to pay my mortgage for a year from a 10,000 word story. Traditional publishing could have never given me that experience and it was really priceless.

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  47. Wonderful post and as an exclusively self-published author who has faced some of the heat, I thank you for having the courage to post this. Best of luck with your self-publishing venture!

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  48. THANK YOU in caps for not only the apology but for understanding that there are those of us who self publish who are dead serious about our craft. I went to normal route for ten years and could not break that ceiling. I had a reputable agent for five years who couldn't get me or my work noticed. Now I'm self published and proud of it! Yay us! Good luck on your travels. Barbara Whittington

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  49. Thanks, Natalie. High five. And welcome to the dark side! You'll like it here. We have higher royalties. ;)

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    1. Yep, what Libbie said :)

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    2. And welcome to the dark side! You'll like it here. We have higher royalties. ;)

      *****

      And cookies!

      Lots of room at the table, Natalie. Pull up a chair :)

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  50. Welcome to my world--as a hybrid author I came late the party but am now incredibly glad I did. Bravo!

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  51. *applause*

    I'd add some smaller publishers to the same group of being looked down upon. I've been with a niche religious publisher for over a decade (one I'm sure you're aware of), and it took me a long time to break in there. At the time, my stories fit that market, and that market only, and I knew that's where I belonged. I also knew that the day would come where I would look to the (then) Big 6. But I've gotten as much or more flak for being with them as I have for self-publishing (I'm a hybrid).

    Even some NY Times bestsellers have looked down their noses. I know of one who is highly respected who shared a book signing with a fellow author of the same house I'm with and actually said to his face when she learned who he published with, "Doesn't they publish bad writing?" (Ignorance and arrogance, oh, my.)

    I'm in the place I predicted years ago: I have stories that demand a broader audience. Yet I'm guessing I'll always be a hybrid--sometimes a square peg just fits the square hole.

    And to confirm how hard we work: I've been actively writing and submitting since 1994. In a few months, I'll officially hit the anniversary marking TWO DECADES solid of consistent, hard work. I take my craft very seriously. I'm way older than you... :)

    Anyway, bravo!

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  52. Thirty years here and many publishing credits, mags, newspapers, one story dramatized by BBC for NPR. Still I'm working away still loving what I do and doing what I love. Here's to it!

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  53. You're so brave to post this - which means you will be an awesome indie author! Best of luck to you!!!!! <3

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  54. Thanks for your post! It shows how big of a person you are to admit your wrongs & to apologize. I'm SP'ing my 6th book next month in a year. And no matter how many times I do it, it never gets easier. But I love it. Best of luck to you! Welcome to the indie community!

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  55. Very cool--two thumbs up. And good luck to you as you begin the journey~ :) <3

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  56. Enjoy the creative control and marketing that comes with self publishing! Well-stated post. :)

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  57. Lovely post. Welcome to our world. May your sales surpass all your hopes.

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  58. Big Love to you Natalie! This line is the best: "the creative part of me is falling in love with the freedom I get from going hybrid."

    This is why I just chuckle a little at the judging and the disparagements (that are mostly ill-informed). Because I know each time an author goes indie, they discover a taste of that freedom and I know... it's just a matter of time before everyone gets it.

    Meanwhile, I'll continue on, not really caring what people think (except my readers, I LOVE THOSE PEOPLE TO PIECES), and writing what I love.

    Congrats on joining the indie pond!

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  59. Love this. I wish you as much success as I've had with self-publishing. May it be satisfying, lucrative and creatively-rewarding for you!

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  60. Thank you, Natalie, for taking the unpopular stance of defending self-published writers. It means a lot for trade published authors to acknowledge that self-publishing is not 'second-rate' but merely an alternative to trade publishing.

    I hope your self-published book is as successful as your trade published books.

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  61. Thank you for taking the time to write this. :) And I wish you the very best with your first self-published book! May it be the first of many more!! :)

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  63. Lovely post!!! I write for the Big 5 and I self-pub, and yup, I bust my butt on ALL my books!!!!!! Welcome to the wild world of self pubbing Natalie!

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  64. You deserve all my respect for writing this.

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  65. Really nice post. I think you've hit a lot of important points. Sure, some people put out unpolished work, because they can. But successful indies are successful because their books are written and presented to the standard readers expect--in other words, to a professional standard. Welcome to the other side! Best, Rosalind James

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  66. Thank you. I am a proud self published author who is regularly dissed by traditionally published authors and the industry -- from the book reviewers who won't consider reviewing a self pubbed author to author friends who can't stop telling me about the "team" behind them to people who say they would "never" self publish. To the people who smirk, just a little, when you explain your books to them because they "know" they couldn't be that good.....

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  67. Sweetest blog post ever. I *heart* you already. :D

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  68. Thank you for posting this. It means a lot. I take what I do very seriously. I figure that the little collections of flash science fiction I produce will be the only thing I leave behind when they pry the keyboard from my cold dead hands. Hopefully, others who believed as you once did will read your piece and become a little more enlightened. Welcome to town and I hope the moccasins are comfortable.

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  69. Thanks. This was great.
    And welcome to the world of control.

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  70. Congrats on all your hard work - traditionally published and indie. I've done both as well, and it's exhausting. If you need any help/advice/shoulder to whine on - feel free to contact me. I'll cross my crossables for your success.

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  71. Props to you for posting this. Best wishes to you on your upcoming book. :)

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  72. Thanks for this! I worked on my book for 2 years before I released it on Amazon a few months ago. I worked hard, had it edited, had people beta read and had a professional grade cover made. I understand why you would form the opinion you had previously. I've read/seen/heard of countless books that give indi pubbed books a bad name, but they can't take away from the number of amazing novels out there. Thanks again for writing this and good luck with your book!

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  73. Maybe this is conceded to say, but I feel my novel is "better quality" than if I had gone with a big 5 publisher. A lot of people helped.
    http://jabrambarneck.com/2013/12/12/thank-you-team-fire-light/

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  74. Thank you so much. This means more than words can say.

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  75. There's no getting away from the fact that there's a heap of chaff out there. Anyone can now write and publish their own book in the same way that they can now style and cut their own hair, only with self-pubbing, we haven't yet reached the stage of developing Unhelpfully Unglamorous Fringe & Ponytail Awareness. So a whole bunch of great writing is buried under a heap of less than readable material, all of which has prompted a generally negative response from the trad publishing world. But we're only a few years into this bold new venture, and like light-up trainer nappies for babies, it isn't going to unhappen or be uninvented. Things will improve, and new ways will be found to ensure that truly great writing will get seen and respected. maybe then, more people will look at self pubbing and say, "I'd love to write a book, only I can't actually write like all these guys" instead of treating it as an opportunity to bombard cyberspace with the literary equivalent of LOLCatz pix. Uhm — hope that doesn't sound too negative.

    Like you, I've taken the self-pubbing plunge. It's only short stories so far, and I've done it for a couple of reasons:

    1) People are now used to downloading single songs rather than whole albums so the mood is ripe for downloading breezy stories and thereby resurrecting what has become something of a literary mule. Alternative explanation: we're all turning into attention deficient goobers.
    2) The gatekeepers of the literary magazine world demand more exclusives than novel-seeking literary agents, and while I like the air of nobility that comes with this one-at-a-time basis, sadly I'm mortal.

    What's interesting about your decision to play the hybrid/chimera/cyborgninja writer is that it will allow you to see things first hand from both perspectives. You've had trad success, and this will inform your professionalism as a self-pubber, but then there's that whole orangey, bouncy zest of yours that I know will relish a writing landscape with fewer boundaries.

    Time to get knitting a Mrs Thoroughly Exciting costume...

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  76. Thank you! What a wonderful post.

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  77. That's okay now you've come over to the dark side you're welcome :-)

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  78. Well done and well spoken. Here's wishing you success on all terms, but always and most especially your own.

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  79. It takes courage to write it down. Congrats!

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  80. I am a new author and self publishing is hard work! I put in more hours now then I ever did at my IT job! Thank you for being on our side!

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  81. I spent ten years writing a trilogy, which I financed myself with my retirement savings. Ten years later, I had a trilogy, but no money, and I was 64 years old. So I took a crash course in marketing from the School of Hard Knocks, and now, fortunately, my books are providing me a bit of a pension, although for how long, who can say?

    So yes, when people call me lazy and greedy and all the other things they throw at me, it does sting a bit. But what hurts the most is that they won't condescend to actually read my book and judge it on its own merits. It's crap by definition, simply because I published it myself.

    The fact that traditional publishing has no interest in publishing a trilogy (or 1000-page book) by a nobody says nothing about the quality of my work. Fortunately "traditional" reviewers are starting to figure it out. The Historical Novel Society, a respected traditional reviewer, just opened up to indies and gave my books their highest recommendation.

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  82. All true, Natalie, except for "...not to mention often putting out more than one book a year…".

    Most of us work too long and too hard on a SINGLE book to be able to put out more than one a year!

    Russell
    Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.

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  83. Thanks for sharing and welcome to the world of self-publishing. You will love having control of your own works.

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  84. I don't mind the scrutiny. Bring it!

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  85. Natalie, I think there's probably a larger percentage of self-pubbed authors who used to be traditionally published than people realize. And some of us had no choice. Dropped by our traditional publishers, we self-publish for our fans, for our very livelihood. And we're not about to put out anything but a professional product. Glad you're backing us up. Welcome.

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  86. This made me cry - but in a good way.
    Annie

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  87. Brilliantly put. Welcome aboard and good luck with this new journey!

    AD Xx

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  88. Visiting from a friend's blog who shared a snippet of your letter. So well put!

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  89. Caught this over on The Passive Voice, and had to read the rest.
    Here's the thing that is heartbreaking for me. 40 years of writing, of trying to get it right so that someone--an agent/publisher--would take my work. Nothing. Rejections became not just hard, they were devastating! I quit trying after that many decades, and knowing my writing doesn't suck. I self-pubbed at age 50, because I figured it wasn't going to happen for me.
    Then a micro publisher picked up my first book in my vampire series and it was great to ride that for a couple of years. And then he quit the business last year and I was forced to put those 3 books up my self and go totally Indie. Now, that's what I'm doing and I do like the control.
    Now that you've put on someone else's shoes and walked a mile, I'm glad you've got it straight. Good luck, and thanks for posting this.

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  90. Hi, Natalie,

    It's so refreshing to hear this. I am a self-pub author and was struck by how many readers' blogs refused to look at self-pub books when I was doing my blog tour. I understand the market is glutted, and that's not the bloggers' fault, but I think from the first five pages of reading a book, never mind looking at the cover and back, one can gauge how professional a book is.

    I got an endorsement from Compulsion Reads, and they have a strong rubric for vetting. We need more groups like CR to help readers separate the wheat from the chaff.

    Your "confession" is honest and forthright and helps chip away at prejudice. Thanks!

    Lyn

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  91. This is very refreshing. I am not a published author, but I have followed authors' blogs and writing blogs for years. I have been horrified at how traditionally published authors tear down self-pubbed or indie-pubbed authors again and again. In any other art form (music, film) it seems that the diy-ers have much support and credibility from fans and mentors from the music and/or film industry.

    It is hard for me, when I see authors that I admire, feel superior and publicly put down authors who have worked hard to self-pub. I think that this blog entry should be read by all traditionally pubbed authors and that those authors need to step down from their high horses and embrace and welcome their colleagues to the family.

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  92. You are brave and wonderful for admitting such a thing. Thank you.

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  93. Thank you for this wonderful post! Although I'm happy with the path I chose, I have to admit, it still stings to get the lingering judgment. As someone said above, indie author/publishers need to be both self-motivating and self-affirming, and being both can sometimes be draining. Posts such as these are a shot in the arm and a reminder that maybe, just maybe, perceptions are slowly changing :).

    Best of luck in your journey!!

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  94. Write memorable words, and edit meticulously, and you will eventually earn the same respect you've shown your readers--no matter who publishes your work. Plus, you will raise the bar for self-publishing before the critics can raise their eyebrows at your chosen path.

    I blog for YOU, serious writers: www.susanllipson.blogspot.com ("Writing Memorable Words")

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  95. This was a lovely essay. Thank you for sharing.

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  96. Honest and brave. Well done. I've never minded the judging, some of it is based on early endeavours into self-publishing and could be seen as valid. I don't mind that many of my fellow self-publishers got it a bit wrong in the early day. That's how progress is made, by following those brave enough to make mistakes on our behalf.
    And now I see so much growth and professionalism in the industry. And attitudes are changing, largely thanks to people like you Natalie who are not afraid to stand up for the small independent authors struggling to get their words out into the world. Your post is appreciated.

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  97. Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!
    Policy administration

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  98. Natalie, thanks. A delightful post to read when I am feeling low on the esteem level.

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  99. I appreciate this post more than I can possibly express. THANK YOU.

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  100. Thanks for posting. I've always worked very hard at what I do, to be snubbed by so many for, well....being self employed. You wouldn't ask any other self employed person why they don't work for a big corporation.

    And as far as there being 'chaff' out there. I dare say that's true of traditional publishing too. There are tons of mistakes and awful books out there from them too.

    It is hard work, like all self employed people I wear a lot of hats, but I love it and the independence of being an indie author. I'm doing what I love. I choose the right editor, cover artist, I'm in control. Plus I have the luxury of changing things, if I decide it could be better or found I missed something. It's not for everyone, there are plenty of routes to publishing. Do what's right for you. Just don't criticize those who chose a different path.

    Thanks for the great post. Sharing.

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  101. I'm finding the stigma toward Self-publishing is changing (I write this as I'm getting ready for a book festival I did not sign up for, but was invited to attend as a featured author), but we have a long road ahead of us. And the only way to pave that road is to put out strong work and encourage others to do the same by forming critique groups and helping other authors do the best work they can write. We are a community and we elevate everyone's opinion of us by elevating the quality of our output as a whole.
    Welcome to the community. Although you may find some authors will hold your Indie badge against you, by and large I have found the bulk of authors, no matter how they're published, are supportive and more than willing to talk about the craft and best practices once you show you're serious about what you do.
    Enjoy the ride! It's truly a wild one, but the best roller coaster of my life :).

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  102. This post is awesome. Thank you for your honesty.

    Best of luck and congrats on your self-publishing journey!

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