Monday, August 5, 2013

Why I Self-Publish in the Face of Delusion

Donald Maass, head of the Donald Maass Literary Agency, says if you don’t want to reach readers, then by all means, self-publish. (see Mark Coker’s post )

He sticks by his guns in the face of Mark Coker’s telling Mr. Maass that he thought he was underestimating the transformative impact self-published authors will have on book publishing. He looked Mark Coker in the eye, smiled, and said, “and I think you’re delusional.” to which Mark replies, “Touché!”
But think about it. I have 800+ ebooks in my Kindle archives right now. How many of those are good books, and how many are great books, and how many are not worth my time of day? If an editor, publisher, and book store had vetted these books, I wouldn’t have to do the work myself. You wouldn’t have to do the work yourself, and you and you and you. That’s the picture I see when I look at self-publishing.
Am I against self-publishing? No, I am all for it . . . for myself. I have always been a do-it-yourselfer, from sewing clothes, to giving myself pedicures/manicures, even at one time cutting my own hair.  Why? Money, or lack of same. Do I plan to make money writing and publishing my own novels? No, that is not my goal.
My question to Mr. Maass is, “If I wait until an agent agrees to represent me, then wait for said agent to find a publishing company interested in my novel, then wait for said book to be edited, formatted, and published in the image of said publishing company, then self-market said book - as will be my responsibility - how many more readers will I reach and how much more money will I net than if I self-publish?
I have a feeling his answer would be, “There is no way I can answer that question, Gail.” (I love Mr. Maass’s book, The Fire in Fiction, and just know he would respond to me by name) “And,” he would add, “I think you’re delusional.”
The Fire In Fiction by Donald Maass

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