HOW LONG!?!? 🤯


Every writer considering publishing no matter what the age. And the fact you like physical books makes me happy! Okay, for holidays e-readers are super. But otherwise? Give me a proper book any time…


You should see the pile me and my family carry to france every year. I think we take roughly 40-50 books with us, across the four of us


Which is one reason for ebooks. All you need to do is take your e-reader (after you download the books).


We do actually have an e-reader… stashed somewhere in the darkness of a drawer.


I have access to that, through my husband’s publisher. However, after that experience, I don’t know if I even want to ask. I think I’m just going to finish three books, put them online, and if they find an audience, they do, and if they don’t, they don’t.


If you just post it online, it’s no more likely to find an audience than anything else randomly uploaded to KDP or Createspace. Not that sales are guaranteed for traditionally published books either, but the odds are far worse for self-publishing. By all means, avoid your husband’s publisher, but don’t rule out traditional publication entirely. If you can get published for real, it will give you a lot of advantages that most authors don’t have on their own.


Well . . . self publishing is publishing ‘for real’. Which is why it should be approached carefully and done right. You’re certainly right that statistically more self-published books fail to find an audience, but in the end a self-published book can sell as many books as a traditionally published book, and if you do have a book that sells well you’re far more likely to get a fair return on your labor. .


Agreed. Comparisons between tradpub and selfpub are difficult, because the filter is in a different place. Maybe 1% of people who try for tradpub manage to get a deal. It’s essentially impossible to fail at self-publishing (in the sense that no matter how badly you do it, you have a published book at the end). So really the numbers for tradpub should include the people who tried it and failed and who didn’t then go on to selfpub. I suspect those will be hard to come by.


I don’t agree.

@Skyblacker2 said, “If you can get published for real.” I interpreted that as having a novel that the publishing industry believes will sell. Not all novels submitted and rejected.

It also doesn’t mean you can’t be successful self-publishing. The second half of the statement was, “it will give you a lot of advantages that most authors don’t have on their own.” That’s also true.


Hm, I think Steve was talking about something a little different - that it’s impossible to compare trad pub and self pub at face value because 99% of trad pub aspirants fail, and 100% of self pub aspirants succeed. Invariably that will lead to a difference in the average success rate. A better comparison would be the top 1% of self published books and all trad books (or whatever percentage does get published, let’s say 1% for the sake of the argument)

But Skyblacker’s quote - at face value - seems to suggest that self-publishing is not ‘real’ publishing - despite that many self published books are read at a higher rate than many trad published books, and better received in the marketplace. I don’t judge a book’s worth by whether it bothered with the gatekeepers and received a thumbs up from two or three people in the industry - I judge a book’s worth solely on how readers respond to it.


Yes to all the above.

I have no time for anyone who thinks self-publishing doesn’t count as real publishing, or that it’s less real than traditional publishing. That hasn’t been true for at least 10 years.


How do you define “publishing”? To me, it’s that entire gatekept process: selection, possibly some editing, and someone besides yourself having faith in the book (and proving that faith by investing their resources).


I guess I didn’t view it as that.

@Skyblacker2 was talking about posting a story that no one ever finds. “If you just post it online, it’s no more likely to find an audience than anything else randomly uploaded to KDP or Createspace. Not that sales are guaranteed for traditionally published books either, but the odds are far worse for self-publishing.”

Then he talked about the advantage of traditional publishing which he called “real publishing.” I agree his word choice wasn’t the best, but I thought it was in the context of your book might have more chance of being found if it’s published by a real (traditional) publisher than yourself, not that self-publishing isn’t real publishing.

EDITED TO ADD: OK, the post above this one was being typed while I was typing mine so I didn’t see it. Maybe you’re right.


This is what comes up when I type “define:publish” into Google (stripping out the examples and synonyms):

  • prepare and issue (a book, journal, or piece of music) for public sale.
  • print (something) in a book or journal so as to make it generally known.
  • make (content) available online.
  • prepare and issue the works of (a particular writer).
  • formally announce or read (an edict or marriage banns).

None of that says anything about anyone having to select the work to be published from among many that don’t get published, or the work being edited before it’s published, or the work having to meet some minimum standard of commercial viability. A traditional publishing company does all those things, but they’re not inherent in the concept of “publishing”.


Is that the technical definition of publishing? Perhaps. But the social definition – when you tell the other guests at a dinner party that “I got published” – connotes traditional.


I would say sales make self publishing valid. We have people here are are making quit-your-job money from their self pubbed work. I wouldn’t presume to tell them they’re not legitimately published – anymore than I would tell someone who trad published and had the book TANK that they are not legitimately published…

Honestly, though, I don’t choose to judge anyone. They finished a book and made it for sale. Quality will vary (greatly), and sales will vary (greatly), but in the end, “published” is just a label. If they want it, they’re welcome to it. Won’t affect me or my choices in the tiniest bit.


I agree that’s an achievement. But the achievement is sales, not publication itself. Just like a self-published author can brag about finishing that novel in the first place. There’s a spectrum of achievement here and all of it takes hard work, but certain words only apply to certain achievements.


We can agree to disagree, particularly since while getting the greenlight from a publisher is validating, signing a publisher’s contract is rarely good for the writer. So being “published” by your definition is definitely not an entirely positive label.


Not arguing with that. I was only focusing on the social connotations of the word “published.”


I dissagree that “i got published” denotes traditional. Thats just a left over societal assumption from days when self was a very different beast as was traditional. Im with @XimeraGrey in the “no judging” camp when it comes to other author’s paths and when i look at an author like @AlecHutson who wrote a hit with high ranks, award level recognition, and profits to quit the day job i… dont think its relevant if he was self or trad or indi. He has better results than most will ever achive with ANY of those methods. And he isnt the only successful self pub on here ( just an example of someone who def knocked it out of the park)