When I started with self publishing in 2009, I did it because I had a book I knew would sell if I could get it to market quickly. And it did, because I did.
There were a lot of traditionally published authors at that time telling us aspiring authors that self publishing was a “kiss of death” action. Do it and risk never being taken seriously by the traditional world.
I did it anyway, largely because I couldn’t get the attention of the traditional publishing world and again, I really believed in my book.
I had hoped that my book sales would later attract a traditional publisher, as has happened for some self-published authors. What I didn’t expect was for many of the traditionally-published authors to start coming over to self publishing, attracted by not only the book sales some self publishers are scoring, but also by the money.
Hear for yourself what these authors are saying – and what exactly the new word “Hybrid Author” means to them on the Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast by Simon Whistler. Episode 36 is particularly interesting as Beverly Kendall talks about the survey she completed last year studying what self publishers are earning.
We need new language for this new world of self publishing.
For one thing, we need to figure out if it is self publishing or self-publishing. I say it needs a hyphen when it describes, and otherwise should stand as two words.
There needs to be a different word for an author who owns her own ISBN and does it herself versus someone who accepts the ISBN from the upload site (do not accept the ISBN from the upload site), versus someone who buys a package from a “vanity” press site.
There are indie publishers, (independent publisher) which my kind of self-publishing business actually is, but if I don’t intend to publish work by other authors, I don’t feel that indie publisher is a fit – though I’ll use it anyway.
And I’d like a nice, encouraging piece of language to describe authors who are truly self published, and own their ISBN and have print and ebooks available – but aren’t yet doing it full-time because it isn’t yet earning full-time. Not a penalizing piece of language – an “on the way there” piece of language.
My wish list wouldn’t be complete with wanting a piece of language – preferably colorful – for the kind of author who self publishes crap – and another similar word for traditional publishers who publish crap. And a place to apply for a refund.