We read Ros Barber’s piece in the Guardian yesterday about why she would never self-publish. To each their own of course, but we couldn’t help but notice some holes in her arguments.
A lot of these views presuppose that it isn’t possible for writers to find professionals to help them with their books other than via publishers. That hasn’t been the case for years. Curated networks of talented, objective freelancers, the same ones providing services to traditional publishers, are available to anyone who wishes to seek them out. Yes, they cost money, but, just like in the rest of life, you get what you pay for. And do you really think publishers don’t expect writers to engage in full-throttle marketing for their books? There are precious few authors who would be attractive to mainstream publishing channels if they said they weren’t interested in throwing themselves into as many marketing and PR opportunities as possible.
And finally, while some people may indeed become zealots when put in charge of their own sales, it might be a little shortsighted to assume everyone who chooses to self-publish acts this way. It’s more of a personality thing, and these days self-publishing’s range of characters is more diverse than ever.