Notes from An Alien

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Tag Archives: Authors Making Money On Other Authors

Is Self-Publishing Good or Bad? & Are Self-Published Authors Doing It “Right”?


I’m sort of a “self-published” author—it depends on one’s definition in a rapidly changing field—but, I prefer the title “Publishing-Aided” author.

Many folks use the term “self-publishing” for any book that isn’t produced by the Big Six (and two of those look to be merging).

Also, even though there are 64 posts on this blog about “self-publishing”, most of the material is about the U.S.A.

I hope my readers from other countries can fill out the global picture in our Comments :-)

A company called Bowker is, in the U. S., the official ISBN Agency.

The article Self-Publishing Sees Triple-Digit Growth in Just Five Years, Says Bowker seems to show self-publishing as a major force in our Book World.

Yet, author Melissa Foster has written Are Self-Pubbed Authors Killing the Publishing Industry?

To me, Melissa’s piece is a mixed-bag of opinions and the 80+ comments that follow it show how polarized people are about “self-publishing”.

Melissa says: “Self-published authors have created a devaluing of the written word, and, some of them are scrambling to see how low they can go to get noticed.”

I say: While I realize that Melissa is wanting to make a point, she states the case far too broadly.

Her “devaluing” refers to low-priced e-books and various methods folks are using to promote their work—she calls them “gimmicks”.

Melissa says: “The lesson may be that if indie authors don’t value their work, chances are no one else will either.”

I say: First, she calls them “self-published” then “Indie” yet, even in the confusing early days of this phenomenon, those two terms seem quite different

Then: Is charging a low price for a book automatic proof that the author doesn’t value their work?

In our materialistic culture, is it a “rule” that one must always charge “what the market will bear”—especially, when that market is being so heavily manipulated that people are struggling to get along?

While Melissa is an “award-winning author of three International bestselling novels” she alsoteaches authors how to navigate the book marketing world, build their platforms, and leverage the power of social media, through her author-training programs“.

In those 80+ comments, Melissa admits that her post was not edited

Strange, since this is one of the most common complaints leveled against self-published authors.

Also, in those comments, she goes head-to-head in personal attacks with another person

I get the feeling that her post is more a come-on for her making money telling other authors how to “succeed”.

The real shame, in this radical phenomenon called self-publishing, is that there are so many authors out there trying to make money preaching to other authors

No matter the Numbers and Dollars, it will be quite some time before authors (or, readers) can definitively claim to confidently comprehend what Value self-publishing has bequeathed to our Book World.
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