Self-published books are often misunderstood and unfairly looked down upon, due to some unfortunate stereotypes many people have about them. Thing is, if you turn down a book solely because it is self-published, you may be missing out on a whole lot more than you realize!
Still unconvinced? Stick with me for a minute, and I’ll break down three common misconceptions about self-published books.
Misconception #1: Books Get Self-Published When No Publisher Will Take Them
It is certainly true that some authors turn to self-publishing after a slew of rejections from traditional publishers. But there are other authors who never even submit their books to traditional publishers, because… they don’t want to!
Self-publishing brings all sorts of advantages. For example, it allows more creative freedom. Also, the path to making a living as an author is much more straightforward in self-publishing than in traditional publishing.
Of course, self-publishing brings challenges, too, which is why many authors still prefer traditional publishing. But for other authors, self-publishing isn’t a last resort; it’s a first choice!
Misconception #2: Self-Published Books Are Lesser Quality
Yeah, there are a lot of poorly written self-published books out there, and they give self-publishing a bad rap.
But self-published authors who are serious about their craft will put just as much effort into it as traditionally published authors—and oftentimes, a lot more money, time, and personal risk. At the end of the day, self-publishing is a business, not just a career.
There’s an entire industry out there of professional freelance editors who work with indie and self-published authors. It is perfectly possible for a self-published book to be as polished as a traditionally published one.
Besides, I don’t know about you, but I’ve totally read books before from big publishers and honestly wondered how they got published. Even traditionally published books can have major issues in the editing, story, and characters. Sometimes, having an editor at a big publishing company doesn’t guarantee that every flaw in a book will be caught and fixed.
In short, just because a book is from a big publisher doesn’t mean it’s automatically better.
Misconception #3: Self-Published Books Aren’t “Really” Published
I understand the instinct to think this; after all, gatekeeping can have its uses sometimes. It’s convenient to rely on a form of gatekeeping, such as traditional publishing, to weed out “bad” books. But honestly, that’s just not how things work.
At the end of the day, publishers are most concerned with what books they can sell en masse. They may pass up books that are too niche, that don’t fit into a clean genre or audience category, or that are too controversial—even if the writing itself is very good.
The gatekeeping that a big publisher brings doesn’t guarantee better books, as I’ve already outlined. It only indicates that a book might be more likely to sell massive amounts of copies.
To say that this is the only kind of “real” publishing strikes me as rather arbitrary. If an independent artist uploads their song to Spotify, without going through the channels of big music companies, has that song “really” been released? If an independent filmmaker gets their movie into theaters, without ever stepping foot in Hollywood, has their film “really” been released?
The answer, of course, is yes. Independent creators are no less legitimate than creators backed by major corporations.
At the end of the day, we all judge the things we like based on, well, whether or not we like them, not based on how they were released into the world. Self-published books should be no different.
So, if you see a book, you like the cover, the story sounds interesting, you take a look inside and the writing seems polished, basically everything checks out—then don’t pass it by just because it’s self-published.
You never know, you might just be missing out on a new favorite read.
Brianna is a proud geek who loves real-life adventure just as much as the imaginary kind. With a bachelor’s degree in Digital Arts & Design from Full Sail University, Brianna keeps a busy schedule, divided between freelance graphic design, working on indie films, and of course, writing novels. When she’s not working, she spends her time devouring books, practicing Krav Maga, and hiking in the pine-covered mountains of Colorado.
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About City of Reckoning (Nerasia, Saga I)
Kindy Sharro is used to hiding. As a Nocturan, her bat wings, claws, and night vision place her under constant threat of hunters, who cruelly slaughter her kind for sport.
But everything changes the day of the invasion. The Dorish Empire drafts the Nocturans it once persecuted to help defend against a godlike foe. Kindy enters the war, but she has an ulterior motive: Use the war to destroy her arch enemy, Charris Pouden, before he gains enough power to destroy her first.
Meanwhile, Lasía Mae’olo, an elite wolf-accompanied warrior, plots rebellion against the Dorish Empire. When she is drafted to fight for her enemies, she must find a way to subvert the war for her own purposes.
But suspicion and distrust haunts her every move. This war has many sides—and she’s not sure which side she’s on anymore.
The bonds of friendship will be tested. Alliances will be questioned. In a story of political intrigue, ethics of war, and young love, one question must be answered: Which side will you join?