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Self-Publish? Don’t Even Think About It

A cottage industry—or really not so “cottage-y” anymore—has been built around dispensing advice to would-be authors on how to self-publish their book(s). How-to-guides, blogs and website services, and weekend-long conferences are devoted to eschewing the traditional method of publishing and teaching folks to do it themselves.

What you’ll rarely hear at one of those publishing DIY events? Why you shouldn’t self-publish.

All that skill you have as a writer? It means exactly jack when it comes to publishing. Publishing is a business, and business is about money. Artists are notoriously bad at business. You want to get your art, your story, out there? Good for you. But if that’s your object, you probably shouldn’t self-publish because it probably won’t get out there.

Or so says blogger deanfortythree, who often writes and rants about this topic (all emphasis his). His blog post, “Why You Shouldn’t Self-Publish,” lists six reasons why self-publishing is a bad idea.

Feeling dissuaded? Don’t send off that agent query just yet. Because deanfortythree followed that post up with—you guessed it— “Why You Should Self-Publish.”

Number five? “You define success.”

And maybe that’s something both self-published and traditionally published authors can agree on. Every author must define success for him or herself so as not to let our perceived lack of success—or our greatest accomplishments, for that matter—be defined by others.

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