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August 13, 2011

I’m so vain

A friend of mine picked up the proof of my soon-to-be released children’s book, Trapped in Dunston’s Cave, Book 3 of the Caribbean Adventure Series. She read the back and spotted the line that read “Published by CaribbeanReads Publishing”.

“You found a publisher,” she exclaimed, her voice filled with joy and relief as if I had won the lottery or discovered a cure for cancer.

“No, I am publishing under my own company’s name,” I replied, struggling to maintain my grip on my pride.

As a self-publisher I get this response all the time. Looks of sympathy cross the faces of would-be well wishers when they discover that my work was not snatched up by a big publishing name. I think that John Locke expressed my frustration well at some point in the tirade which is How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months!

“When I invested my own money to start my insurance agency no one accused me of making a vanity investment. … When Bill Gates and Paul Allen invested their time and money into developing code for the Altair computer, no one accused them of writing vanity code. But if Bill Gates and Paul Allen invest their own money to write a book, they’re no longer businessmen, they’re vain! … How absurd is that?”

I agree that self-publishers have to blame much of this attitude on themselves because as was pointed out in some posts earlier this month, many don’t do their homework, don’t get their books edited professionally, seem not to have heard of a spell-checker. But the truth is that self-publishing is not easy and the market will eventually weed out the careless and the best of the crop will survive if we, the readers, let them.

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