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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Warnings against Self-Publishing

Happy Columbus Day! This week's web entry comes from Stacy Deanne, a best-selling novelist published by Simon and Schuster. Ms. Deanne was featured in 2006's "Literary Divas: The Top 100+ Most Admired African-American Women in Writing." She knows her stuff. You can check out her web site at

Today I'd like to refer you to her blog called "Warnings From a Traditionally Published Author: Don’t be Bamboozled Into Self-publishing a Book." In this minor rant, Ms. Deanne speaks plainly "of the prejudices that self-published authors have against the mainstream [publishing] industry in general."

She lists a number of "myths" about self-publishing that one self-published writer might use to push a person who has completed a manuscript into avoiding the traditional publishers and going the self-published route. The myths are some I've heard frequently. They include:

You can't get there without an agent.

Traditional publishers don't look at new authors.

You'll make more money if you publish your own book.

I'm here to promise, just as Ms. Deanne does, that these myths (and others in her piece) are false. I've had nine novels accepted and have worked with three different publishers, yet I've never had an agent and I started as an unknown. I've also seen friends self-publish and sell fifty copies to close friends and family, while my first book was translated into five languages and sold more than 112,000.

If you're thinking of publishing your journals for your grandchildren, or producing a manual for members of your hobby club who want to learn a skill, self-publish. It's the best method for you. If you're sitting on a novel you'd like to share with the world, take the time to learn about traditional publishing. Go with the largest, best-known publishing house that will take you. Heed the advice of those of us who've been there and done that. Succeed.

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