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The Stigma of Self-Publishing

When I interviewed Allison Parkinson, she revealed to me that she was inspired her to go down the route of self-publishing her books after being told to think of it almost as a way of opening up the publishing world to everybody. She said “Your stories do still have to be good quality but in terms of physically producing a book, we can do it ourselves now, we don't have to rely on the traditional route. You can publish it and then send it out to the world, and they decide whether they like it or not.”

Unsurprisingly, Allison had been thinking that if she didn’t get her books traditionally published, it meant that they were “not good enough and would never see the light of day”. I know Allison is not alone in those thoughts because after all, isn’t it something that we’ve all believed? Unfortunately, there is certainly a superiority complex when it comes to the notion of being traditionally published versus self-published.

Below are the most common stigmas that keep many authors from fulfilling their writing goals and dreams.

1. Self-published Books are Poor Quality

There is an underlying assumption that all self-published books are poorly written, badly edited and the book cover amateurish. I’m sure we’ve all come across some shockers and those that are well meaning but ‘less-literary’ than others but isn’t that the same in any industry? Certainly, the lack of restrictions on self-publishing enables these to reach our bookshelves but arguably, can’t we make that case within traditional publishing as well? What is becoming clear though is that even traditional publishers are realising that there are talented self-published authors out there.

2. You’re Not Really ‘Published’

For many, self-publishing your book traditionally doesn’t have the same ‘respectability’. This is an unfortunate point of view that undermines a writer’s authority and implies that, consequently, it is of lesser value than if it were traditionally published. Of course, whatever the route, a published book is a published book. What you are saying to the world is that you have taken on a major role in your book’s production and that you have passion and fortitude for your work.

3. No-one Wants Your Book

Another assumption people make about self-published authors is that a traditional publisher didn’t want the book. Actually, however, some self-published authors don’t even attempt to get a traditional book deal before choosing the self-publishing path. For them, it is simply about getting their work out there and having something to show for all the time and effort they’ve put into their writing. It is not a secret that, self-publishing can give an author more overall creative control, faster printing turnaround and higher royalty rates.

Thankfully, there are increasing number of authors like Allison Parkinson who breaking these self-limiting beliefs. Allison changed her opinion on self-publishing after she was told to think of it “almost as a way of opening up the publishing world to everybody”. Allison thinks that “there are so many people with so many wonderful stories to share and they can't all get traditional publishing deals. But I think it's nice, where you've got a situation where we can all exist together. So, some people may choose to go down the traditional route and other people can self-publish and do really well. Self-publishing allows for more people to share their stories than has ever been possible before. And that's the beauty of it, so there are so many stories out there, people can share them. I think now is the best time ever to do that because there's so many opportunities now to do that”. We at MindBody Publishing couldn’t agree more.

There are so many opportunities in the non-traditional routes due to the many platforms and services that happily assist authors down this road. We’d like to think that soon you will be able to count MindBody Publishing amongst them. We are building a portfolio of services that will soon be on offer all designed to encourage you and take away some of that intimidation that comes with publishing a book. In words of MindBody Publishing’s founders “We will provide some publishing knowledge. You just provide the story and invest in yourself. Let's learn and share our histories together ways that will enlighten, stimulate and entertain. Our goal is to give voice to new and diverse creative talent as we also discover and make history in this new world”.

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