I’ve always had the utmost respect for people who write things and then take them through the process of getting published. I myself have written some novel-length original stories, but would never dream of walking into a publishers office, putting down the manuscript, and saying “will you read this and consider it for publishing” because I’m not that good of a writer (at least not in my opinion).

But lately I’ve been noticing this growing stain on the world of publishing. It is growing and giving people who don’t deserve them big heads. Snd that stain is self-publishers…

These are those online publishers which promise to help you get your short stories, novels, poetry, etc published. They send you a contract which makes you feel all high and mighty like you’re a real author, and in all fairness you are an author, but it doesn’t mean you’re a great author. Then they take your manuscript and as long as it’s not blatant copyright theft and meets their length requirements, they let you throw together a cover and all of a sudden your book which is worth about $0.50 is selling for upwards of $10 on Amazon. They publish anything because they’re always hoping to get lucky and get the next big one.

But newsflash! That doesn’t make you a notable published author. Sure you’re published, but only because some big corporation out there wants to make a quick buck. Books coming out of these “publishing houses” tend to be riddled with poor editing and spelling errors and are just absolutely HORRIBLE*. And yet many of the authors of these books suddenly feel that they’re so much superior to the people around them because they’re an “OMG PUBLISHED AUTHOR”

I’m a published author. Or well a poet. I’ve been contacted several times by some reputable publishing houses / compilers (names withheld for obvious reasons) to grant permission for them to enter a few of my poems into compilation books. Sure I don’t have a whole book of poems on the market, or a novel, but I have published things out there. Yet I don’t think this makes me better than you, since I know it doesn’t. And I certainly won’t ever introduce myself as a published author. So why do so many other people let it go to their heads? Especially when technically it isn’t real publishing at all!**

* I’m not trying to say that all self-published things are terrible. I’m sure there are some things that come out of these places and are great.
** No offense intended if you have self-published a book/poetry/etc. But I just don’t believe that self-publishing can be considered a real form of publishing since self-publishers will publish pretty much anything.

  1. It’s like having a blog and then calling yourself a publisher. Technically it’s true, but anyone can do it.

  2. Technically, I’m a published author. I have two poems published. But I don’t consider myself a published writer. I don’t go around telling people about it because I don’t feel that it’s a big deal.

  3. At the end of the day an awful lot of crap comes out these days, even by reputable publishers, haha! So the fact one has paid a vanity publisher to put their crappy fanfiction-esque novelette out for them is hardly worth getting a self-importance complex over!

    “They publish anything because they’re always hoping to get lucky and get the next big one.”
    Some publish anything because the authors normally have to pay for them to do it.

  4. It’s sad but these days being an author isn’t equal to being a writer. In the good ol’ days you had to be a writer to become an author. Now you just have to have money to obtain the once coveted title.

    I had several self-publishing companies approach me after allowing some of my poetry to be included in collaborative volumes… but I think that anyone who does so basically gets the same thing. A lot of times YOU have to pay THEM to get the ball rolling. Yeah. Then there are those that have the pyramid scheme going as well – “refer x amount of people and you get a bonus!”

    For me? I wouldn’t settle for self-publishing – it’s not something to be proud of. Something to be proud of is when you submit your work to a publisher who contacts you and says “this is amazing, we will pay you” – that’s when you can consider yourself a published author.

    I’m sure that there are some self-published works that are good, but I’ve yet to find one.