HOW LONG!?!? 🤯


Actually, it does. “I published,” denotes that you self-publsihed.

Look, I’m self-published. And I believe my novels are as well written as many traditionally published ones. Not all, just like not all traditionally published ones are equally good. My novels won’t win a Pulitzer.

Saying that, the odds of finding a crappy self-published novel are far greater than a traditionally published one. There is no policing in the self-publishing world. That doesn’t mean the gems aren’t there. It simply means there’s a lot more junk there than in the traditionally published world.


There are still gatekeepers, but they are now the readers who have to wade through the ever increasing slush pile on Amazon to find the books they want to read. While the ease of self publishing means anyone can publish, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone should :wink:

As already noted there are some absolutely terrible novels being uploaded to Amazon. There are something like 5 million ebooks on Amazon and ranks only go to about 3.5 million - meaning about 1.5 million ebooks have never sold a single copy.

There’s some interesting discussion taking place in Goodreads groups where many readers feel burned by horrible self published books lacking in the basics of craft and editing. There are readers who are avoiding all self published books because they want to know that books have been vetted in some way. They want to narrow their choices to books that have been through gate keepers. That’s why it’s even more important in a flooded market to ensure your self published titles have high production values and that means being able to make the hard call of whether a story is up to par or not.


Ah. Well, now you’re changing the parameters of the discussion. “I got published” does indeed suggest that someone else published your book, and is different from self publishing your book.

But to say that self-publishing is not ‘real publishing’, as you originally stated, is simply incorrect. My book is for sale and accessible to everyone. It has been widely read, with more Goodreads ratings (a proxy for popularity by some) than any other adult fantasy (high/epic/sword&sorcery) debut published in 2016, self or trad. It has a 4.25 average on Goodreads, and I’ve sold 35k copies (at least - actually probably more by now). Would you still claim it hasn’t been ‘really published’?


How Long - By Charlie Puth

Ooh, yeah

I’ll admit, I was wrong, what else can I say, girl?
Can’t you blame my head and not my heart?
I was drunk, I was gone, that don’t make it right, but
I promise there were no feelings involved, mmh

She said, “Boy, tell me honestly
Was it real or just for show?”, yeah
She said, “Save your apologies
Baby, I just gotta know”

How long has this been goin’ on?
You been creepin’ ‘round on me
While you callin’ me “baby”
How long has this been goin’ on?
You been actin’ so shady (shady)
I’ve been feelin’ it lately, baby

Ooo-oh (yeah)
Ooo-oh (encore)

I’ll admit (I’ll admit), it’s my fault (my fault), but you gotta believe me
When I say it only happened once, mmh
I tried (I tried), and I tried (I tried), but you’ll never see that
You’re the only I wanna love, oh, yeah

She said “Boy, tell me honestly” (honestly)
“Was it real or just for show?”, yeah (real or just for show?)
She said, “Save your apologies” (apologies, yeah)
“Baby, I just gotta know”

How long has this been goin’ on?
You been creepin’ ‘round on me (on me)
While you callin’ me “baby” (baby)
How long has this been goin’ on?
You been actin’ so shady (shady)
I’ve been feelin’ it lately (lately), baby

Ooo-oh (yeah)
Ooo-oh (encore)
How long has it been goin’ on, baby?
Ooo-oh (yeah)
Ooo-oh, you gotta go tell me now

She said, “Boy, tell me honestly
Was it real or just for show?”, yeah
She said, “Save your apologies
Baby, I just gotta know”

How long has this been goin’ on? (on, on)
You been creepin’ ‘round on me (on me)
While you callin’ me “baby” (baby)
How long has this been goin’ on?
You been actin’ so shady (shady)
I’ve been feelin’ it lately (lately), baby

How long has this been goin’ on?
You’ve been creepin’ ‘round on me
How long has it been goin’ on, baby? Oh
How long has this been goin’ on?
You’ve been actin’ so shady (shady)
I’ve been feelin’ it lately, baby

I had too


Yes. While you’re obviously brilliant by a few standards, I’d still say that “getting published” was not part of your trajectory.

Yup. Between bookstores, libraries, Little Free Libraries, and Kindle Deals on past NYT bestsellers, I have enough vetted books to last me a lifetime.

If I read a story on Wattpad, it’s like beta-reading a friend’s manuscript. I enjoy the social element and critique, but it’s not a leisure read like John Grisham.


Um, IF they promote it.

I once read an article by a well-known author explaining that, at a traditional publishing house, they decide on their catalogue for spring or whatever, and only the two or three TOP slots get decent promotion and buildup. The others, well…If you’re not very near the top of their list, you’re hanging out there on Twitter trying to promote your book all by your lonesome anyhow. It was very disappointing and scary to read, considering how many YEARS it takes to get in that catalogue at all. Then there was the article I read by the author who attended the sales force meeting when her book was coming out, and NONE of the sales force had heard of her book or even knew her name. How much promotion do you think she got? You have to be very lucky to get the kind of buildup those people CAN do, but only do for a select few. They save most of their advertising dollars for the big names, proven names they know will sell. My husband’s books didn’t get a whole lot in the way of promotion. The first and second one at least got Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly reviews. The last one…If you’re that book the top editor is excited about, good for you. But will you be that book?

Then there are the books, like Fifty Shades, that touch a nerve so deep within the common consciousness of their time that the author doesn’t have to lift a finger. E.L. James said she didn’t do one thing to promote her book. It was so provocative and people loved it so much it just took off, ba-bang-ba-bang-bang, no effort required.

If I don’t have that kind of book, oh, well. And if I do, it will find an audience.


I agree that it’s better to be promoted than not. But apples to apples, an unpromoted traditionally published book will probably sell more units in bookstores than an unpromoted self-published book will sell in KDP.

Harder to find an audience in the digital slush pile, though.


I don’t think it’s necessarily any easier in the bookstore. And you don’t have to sell anywhere near as many to make the same money. AND…in the years and years it will take your books to wind through the system to the bookstore shelf, you could have three or four books already for sale.

I’m 50. I ain’t got that kind of TIME anymore.


And don’t forget your KU reads. Think of all the people who read your entire novel on KU. Add those to the 35K. You published a quality novel that was well received. That’s success in publishing.


Ah, but was it ‘really published’? That was your initial comment, not ‘getting published’


I factor those in. I take my total page reads and divide by the number of KENP pages. I’ve sold around 17k ebooks, had 9 million page reads, sold about 2k audiobooks and maybe 400 paperbacks (the last is a total guess)


Lets not forget that a gate keeper DID want your book. An agent response from Donald Mass is no small feet even if it took a year lol. And he still was interested even though the book was out. I dont understand any definition that wouldnt see you as a successfully published author


Oh, I’m quite certain that if I’d kept hammering away at querying I could have eventually gotten representation. I chose to self publish, because right now I believe self-publishing is a better option for writers unless you’re in the tiny, tiny slice that is both trad published and earmarked for bestseller status.

I dislike the stigma of self-publishing as a fallback for writers who aren’t good enough for traditional publishing, because it’s simply not true, and perpetuating that myth is condescending and rude.


1000% with you


I would maintain there’s a growing number of self-pubbing authors whose works are as good, if not better than the trad pubbed books. There is, however, still a significant number of people whose works should not be out there, and they are the ones causing the problems and perpetuating the myth.


Is it a myth if it’s statistically backed up? A glance at KU would suggest that for every @AlecHutson, there are a dozen if not a hundred authors who self-published because they weren’t ready for prime time.


Well, it’s a myth that all self published books are crap or that all self published books were not ready for prime time or turned down by traditional publishing.

It’s not a myth that the majority are crap. By the numbers, it’s probably only 5% that are of the same quality as a traditionally published book. But that’s still a decent number.


That’s so sad to publish only not to sell a single copy.


Yes, that’s what I was thinking. I’m actually enjoying a self-published book right now, something my husband bought to support the blogger who wrote it.

But if I’m just browsing, there’s a lot more crap to crawl though in KU than a bookstore. In a bookstore, a book that meets my interests will probably be a good read. But on KU, a book that meets my interests is more likely to shoot itself in the foot with rookie errors.


True – but at least on KU you can return it and select another with no fuss. I don’t do a lot of browsing on there (usually). I still look at reviews and ratings and “See Inside” before I select something – specifically because I’ve run into so much crap.

But I’m happy to say that my good-to-crap ratio has greatly improved!