February 20th, 2010

What’s your take on self-publishing?

Aside from outlines, I don’t believe there’s any subject more likely to spark a ‘spirited’ debate between writers than that of self-publishing.   Personally, it’s not something I’d choose to do myself, but I can understand why some folks decide to take that route.
In all the discussion about whether self-pubbed novels are the public’s chance to read books that haven’t been vetted by ‘The man’ or just vanity printings from wannabe authors who aren’t good enough to make it the traditional way, we rarely hear things from the point of view of the most important person in the equation ie: the reader.
If you’ve got a minute, I’d appreciate your opinion/input on the following poll, but I’d like you to answer them from a reader's point of view, rather than that of a writer: 

Have you ever knowingly read a self-published book by someone who wasn’t a friend or acquaintance?


If I handed you a book (by a writer you’d not heard of, in a genre that you enjoyed), then told you it was self-published, how would that affect your level of interest/anticipation?

My level of interest/expectation would be higher.
My level of interest/expectation would be lower.
I wouldn’t care one way or the other.

As a reader, would you prefer to know whether or not a book is self-published before making a decision to purchase?

I wouldn’t care one way or the other.

As a reader, what editing quality do you expect from a self-published novel?

I assume it will have gone through the same editing process as a regular published book.
I think it will have had some editing, but nowhere near as much as that of a regular published novel.
I don’t expect it’s had much more non-author input than a spelling/format check.
I don’t care about editing quality when making my decision about buying a novel.

As always, everyone’s comments are welcome, but I’m particularly interested in hearing from folks who’ve self-published a book, or have ever considered doing so. 
I’d love to know which factors you took into account when making your decision, how you found the process, and what, if anything, you’d do differently if you had the chance to go back and do it again.