Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing


I was listening to this podcast done by the blog The Readers and two of the bloggers, Thomas and Simon, were discussing an interesting topic: self-publishing. Simon claims that due to self-publishing’s popularity, there is a lot more bad writing being put out there in the book world.

I haven’t read that many self-published books and Simon is entitled to his opinion but I can’t agree with this. This was brought up during the podcasts because of the hype surrounding the upcoming film release of Fifty Shade of Grey. Now Fifty Shades of Grey is no masterpiece but I do think it’s unfair to combine all self-published books as bad just because of one really bad book. I haven’t read that many self-published books but the ones that I have read were pretty decent. Maybe not “I’ll reread them in the future” material but not horrible.

Traditional publishing puts out a lot crappy books and it takes publishing companies two years to publish those manuscripts. Why isn’t traditional publishing exempt from this criticism? Last year, I read a string of bad novels and they all came from big name publishers. Now, it doesn’t mean because one book I read that was published by one particular publisher, lets say for example Random House, that doesn’t mean all book published by the company are bad. Sure I may question their process of choosing manuscripts but that doesn’t mean all of them are bad. You just have to shuffle through the bad ones to get to the good ones. The same goes with self-publishing. It is common, with any art form, that there are going be a few bad apples in the pile. But it is up to you, either the reader or the viewer, to pick he ripe one. It just takes a lot of patience.

Remember, a lot of classic writes, like Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, paid printers and publishers to have their work published. Should we really looked down at self-published authors and call their attempts desperate when their predecessors have done it before?

I don’t mind self-published authors. I kind of admire them. Self-published books doesn’t really burden my reading but gives a new and different medium to read more. And there can be no debate on that front.

Thoughts? Do you guys read self-published works? If so, how many?

4 thoughts on “Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

  1. I read them and I just self-published. There are good ones, great ones, and then terrible ones. Just like in print and like with print hopefully summaries and first chapters/excerpts help readers weed out the bad ones. It depends on the genre too what you find.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While I do read self-published works, I do not automatically lump them in the same quality category as traditionally published works. What I mean is that my confidence with and expectations for the quality of traditionally published works (by that I mean through an agent and/or editor who then sell to a publishing house) remains much higher than my expectations for self-published works.

    While I want to embrace self-published books, and am even considering self-publishing for my own works, I don’t have the same expectations because there is no mandatory screening through an editor–or even a second reader. Someone can write something and publish it sans editing–pretty much as a first draft. Of course I don’t believe most do that, but they CAN–and that lessens my faith in self-published works.

    All that said, I don’t really care how something gets published–as long as the quality is good. But quality depends on many things. An editor is only part of the equation.

    Still, I do believe that many of self-published works are not worth my time. Others will be, but are harder to discover due to limited budget of the authors. I think the quality of self-published works is going up, but I still trust the quality of traditionally published books more.


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