Letting Lunatics Loose

“Writers are the lunatic fringe of publishing.” – Judith Rossner

In this digital world, self-publishing has become a very real alternative to the traditional publishing route.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that for some people, self publishing in a digital format may be more profitable than traditional publishing.

For example, it is entirely possible that your share of the royalties on a book you publish yourself on Kindle may be greater than for a print book that you get published through a publishing house or agent.  That being said, I don’t think I would go that route if I had other options, unless I already had the sort of fan base that can provide a writer with a living.

The benefit of self-publishing is total control.  No one else is telling you what your art is supposed to mean, or how you should go about writing.  No one is droning on about how your characters aren’t likable or your scenes don’t work, or they simply don’t get it.

The downside is much the same.  No one is telling you that your writing is crap and you really need to work on it before publication, no matter how married you are to that metaphor in Chapter 6.

My belief is that if you are going the self-publishing route, you had better have a support group that includes very talented, very experienced editors.  Otherwise, hire a professional to take a look at it and tell you what is missing, where you have gone wrong, and what changes you might consider.

You can’t do it all yourself.  You are too close.  There are too many things going on in your brain that aren’t on the paper.  What makes total sense to you may seem foreign to anyone less psychic than Sylvester Stallone’s mom.

I’ve read a couple of self-published books, and the results are mixed.  Personally, I’m not willing to put my name on something that I don’t know for sure is ready.  In fact, I would rather have other people tell me it is ready.  When it comes to my work and other people reading it, I don’t like taking chances.

It is my name, and my reputation that is on the line when someone sits down to read something written by Jack Campbell, Jr.  However, I really like the feeling that someone else believes in what I’ve written as much as I do.

There may come a day when I go the self-published route, but not without the helpful advice of several talented friends.

Jack Campbell, Jr. is a dark fiction writer in Lawrence, KS. His writing has appeared in various venues including Twenty 3 Magazine, Danse Macabre, and Insomnia Press. He writes about reading, writing, and life on his blog at www.jackcampbelljr.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.