Friday, November 12, 2010

Is Self-Publsihing About Vanity?

I am very close to completing my latest draft of my novel.  This draft should be the final version, but I've said that before and it wasn't true.  One of my friends thinks I need to stop trying to make it perfect.  But that's not the reason I revised it.  I revised it because I had feedback that the characters were flat.  It can't be published with flat characters because the reader will not care about what happens.

Now that I am close, I bundled up the files and made a PDF which I uploaded to Lulu.  I decided to put a copy of the book there in case I decide to sell it on my own while I seek a publisher.  But a very odd thing happened when the process was complete.  I had the strong urge to order a copy of my book.

And why not?  I've been working on it for months.  I would be to see one possible incarnation of it.  But I had to remind myself it was not complete and not ready yet.  I still have edits to make the last few chapters. And it makes me think: is self-publishing about vanity?

How you answer that question says a lot about you and your goals in the writing field.  If you answer yes, then, I can say is good luck.  Obviously, for you writing and entertaining the reader is not your primary focus.  For me the answer is no.  Self-publishing is not about vanity; if I choose that path, it will be because I cannot find a publisher to take a risk on me.  In that context, self-publishing is about providing an alternate outlet for writers so they too can be heard.

Frankly, I hope it does not come to this.  But it could.  And I want options.  It could very well be that the publisher who does accept my work will only publish me electronically to start.  If that happens, I'll would a service like Lulu to offer hard cover and soft cover editions too.

We'll see. It should be much longer now.

Wish me luck.

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