Perception & Publishing

glass-half-full with quote

I was at an author event last night, run by my local library,

and a woman who writes science fiction

– like me –

was talking to me about my experiences with getting published.

When I asked if she considered self-publishing

she recoiled in horror –

the expression on her face was plainly telling

but she backed up her reaction with,

“Oh, no. I want to make sure my book is of high quality and respected.”

I was flabbergasted.

I mean, I’ve always known that there’s still a stigma

on self-published books and those authors who choose to go that route,

and I’m aware that some writers have goals of publishing traditionally

or not at all.

But this wasn’t a glass half-empty/half-full

kind of perception here…

This woman honestly thought that the quality of her book would suffer

if she tried to self-publish.

Her narrow understanding of the industry and how it’s actually the individual authors’ choice

to make a well-edited, formatted, and eye-catching cover

or not

is what’s causing the hesitancy of suppliers and professional book reviewers alike

to degrade and back-talk all self-published works.

Her perception was due to


But not everyone has the same goals

or does the same research into their writing career.

I knew there was no changing her mind and the only reason she bought my book

was the fact that I did publish traditionally

and she believed

that meant a higher quality of product.


How has perception of book quality shaped your beliefs about the publishing world?

Categories: Notables

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2 replies

  1. I have a positive feeling about self-publishing. I mean it’s great for now since I can edit my own work, can work at my own speed and have deadlines when I want them to occur. But it still takes a whole bunch of work while networking with people and other writers. I am an author on and proud I can be on that site. Surely, online reading is not always the best activity to do….save those eyes while you still can! (note the sarcasm). But if you use use your time wisely, you can probably also turn your work into a paperback sold in or Barnes and Noble.

    I wouldn’t say that the lady you met was wrong either. She’s entitled to her opinion.I have tried to go that route as well, but sometimes if you are not Miss Money bags, than sometimes waiting is not always the right option for you. We must always seize the opportunity when it sets, for tomorrow might be too late.


    • I completely agree with you Rose,
      My reaction came from a place of astonishment in that she didn’t see self-publishing as a viable route – for anyone. I know several authors who have self-published and are doing well-enough and producing high quality works of fiction. It saddened me that her opinion was based on a narrow understanding of the current state of the publishing world.


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