Why I won't self-publish
Added: Thu. Aug 06, 2009 6:40pm
Posted in: Books
I want to be a writer more than I can say. It's been my dream since I was a child, and to facilitate that I took as many English and writing courses as the various schools I attended offered. I also read. Man, did I read. Everything and anything; I have a voracious appetite for words that has no end. But the fact I read a lot does not mean I don't appreciate quality.
I'd love to be published. To see my name on a book cover would thrill me beyong measure. I imagine I'd park in Barnes & Noble for hours, pointing to my name like a 3 year old fascinated with a butterfly.
I also know how hard it is to get published. Agents and editors get thousands of submissions every month, and the vast majority go straight to the reject pile. Most writers don't know that many manuscripts get only seconds of the editor's time. If the first paragraph doesn't grab them or is laden with grammatical error, cliche, or deathly dullness, that's all you get. So that first paragraph better be perfect, and it better be exciting.
Editors will read past my first paragraph. I already know that. In fact, I have a whole pile of handwritten rejection letters from editors who liked my work, but still didn't buy it. So even if it's good...maybe it's not quite good enough. And sometimes it is good enough, but it's not what they're looking for.
It's pretty discouraging, and a lot of writers decide to self-publish as a result and a lot of them make money as a result. I don't have anything against self publishing, but I still don't want to do it. The reason is simple. If my writing doesn't grab an editor by the eyeballs and staple them to the seat...it's not what I want to put out there. I don't want to write mediocre. I want to write books that are so powerful they resonate across generations.
I don't want to be famous, it's not about that. I just want to be a great writer. Some writers stop me in my tracks. I can't put the book down and I can't stop thinking about it. That's the kind of writer I want to be. If I'm not a great writer...then I don't really deserve to be published. and so I shouldn't be. I'll be honest. I don't think I have the talent. But I intend to keep at it.