Why “self-publishing” is a misnomer

Why “self-publishing” is a misnomer

A decade or so ago, there was much discussion in the writing world about the difference between vanity publishing and self-publishing, and articles in writers’ magazines regularly proclaimed that “you should never pay anyone to publish your work.”

Those who took any time to consider the issue seriously usually concluded that self-publishing – where you took full control of your own work – was a step up from vanity publishing, where you paid a company to produce a book over which you had little control. Even so, since self-publishing involved an outlay on the part of the author, it was often tarred with the same brush as vanity, and for many, it was anathema.

Recently, the whole publishing dynamic has changed, and more and more authors are choosing to go it alone. Now, though, instead of using the term self-publisher, they frequently style themselves indie authors, emphasising the independent aspect of the venture.

Indeed, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the “self” in self publishing is inaccurate: it’s not a one-man show.

In traditional publishing, between the time when a writer finishes a manuscript and the point when it is published in book form, a lot of people are involved in a lot of work: there are editors, copy editors and proof-readers, layout artists and cover designers, printers and marketing personnel. However talented a writer is, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be an expert in all these spheres, so an author who does everything alone is probably doing himself – and his writing – a big disservice: he is consciously making the choice to settle for second best.

You’ve worked hard on the manuscript; surely you want to bring together the best talents you can and publish a book that is every bit as good as it can be? If that’s your aim, you can improve the end product by buying in the skills needed to complete the process professionally. And if you choose to take control but work with other professionals and experts, rather than thinking of yourself as a self-published writer, perhaps you should make a stand and call yourself an indie author.

Don’t forget that Tantamount offer a full range of editorial services via the AuthorBranding website. So, whatever the genre, get in touch if you’d like to talk about how we can help with your publishing project.