Let's Discuss... Self-Publishing!

Thursday, 24 January 2013
Hey everyone! Today I thought I'd do a little discussion post for you all since I haven't done one in ages! I was kind of stuck on what topic I should do for a while but I finally came to the decision to write about one that's quite controversial to a lot of readers. Self-publishing.

Now, the reason I'm doing this is because I am genuinely interested as to what you, yourself, think of self-published authors. I've seen a few bloggers who are very much behind self-publishing and do all they can to advertise the author's work/s on their blogs, but I've also followed a few bloggers before who I've not seen review a self-published book or advertise a self-published author through an interview, guest post or anything else even once. And I want to know why. In both cases.

Personally, I feel like some self-published authors deserve as much publicity as published ones. The reason for this is because I've read a few great self-published books myself. For example, Reckless Magic is one I can think of off the top of my head. I read this a while ago (and I mean a long while ago!) but I can still remember just how much I loved it even to this day! And true, even though the editing wasn't perfect, I still loved the storyline, characters and the romance. I simply managed to ignore the rough edges because I just loved everything else so much.

However, as much as I would like to say I always grasp the opportunity to review a self-published book - in all honesty, I don't. Or, I feel like I just don't do it enough. And due to this, I feel like a terrible book blogger. This is because a few things turn me off when a self-published author asks me to review their book. For one, I've read self-published books before where the editing really did affect my enjoyment of it and, consequently, without wanting to admit it, this has tainted my outlook on self-publishing.
Now, I know this is unfair to some self-published authors for one main reason in particular. Not all self-published authors are self-published because their books have been rejected from publishing companies. Some authors have just decided to go indie because they feel it suits their style more. I really admire and respect this. They're trying to get a name for themselves on their own. They want to get a reputation without the help of a publishing company. Which, I think, is really brave and honourable. I mean, in all honesty, who, out of us, doesn't get excited when we see a new book coming out from HarperCollins? Or Random House? I know I certainly do. So, don't you see? These authors who've decided to go indie have willingly taken on big publishing companies like these. Isn't that kind-of amazing?
So, overall, I think I sit on the half-way mark when it comes to self-publishing. As much as I feel like, as a book blogger, I should be all for them... I'm just, well, not. My outlook has, admittedly, been tainted because of past reading experiences where the editing has just got in the way of the enjoyment of it all. However, I do think that a reader owes it to all those indie authors out there to try at least one self-published book at one point in their lives. I'm certainly going to try and read a few more. :)
What about you? What do you think of self-publishing? Are you all for it? Against it? Why? Have you read any self-published books before? What did you think?
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo


  1. I know what you mean. When I first started blogging, I got many requests from self-published authors. I didn't know why. And then I realised it was because many blogs don't review self-published books. I thought I'd give them a go, and didn't enjoy the experience. In the few I read, I tried as hard as possible to ignore the bad editing. And when I say bad, I mean bad. There were typos everywhere, and a lot of the sentences were logically incorrect. For example: a character would be sitting down, and then in the next line would sit down. These few books, and I'm sure they're just the minority, put me off self-published books… I do feel rather guilty though, being a blogger and all...
    ~ Ruby @

  2. Interesting post, Rachel! I totally agree with you - I am sitting on the half-way mark too. Some self-published are amazing and deserve to have so much more credit (Derrolyn Anderson springs to mind, she is such a talented writer) whereas others are just.. urgh. I read one a while ago which was the worst book I have ever read - the plot, editing and grammar. However, a lot of bad books have been published too, it sometimes depends on the opinion.
    I know what you mean about feeling bad about being hesitant when a self-published author requests a review. I only really accept books when I absolutely love the sound of them. And, like you said, who doesn't get excited when Harper Collins or another awesome publisher offers a book!? :D A lot of squealing, happy dancing and smiles are involved, hehe! :D
    In a nutshell, some self published books are amazing and some aren't. A lot of bloggers decline them straight away either because they only accept books from a well-known publisher or just believe it is no good.. which, to be honest, is up to them.
    I also love talking to the writer face to face (or email to email.. ;)), it makes me feel closer to the book and it is pretty cool to talk to an author anyway!
    Thanks for the great post! Sorry for the long comment... I got carried away :P xx

  3. I am also mixed about self published authors, I can either really really enjoy, some books that are self published but sometimes I just can't stand them! I still get a lot of request from self published authors and I read most of them and end up disliking them a lot. I had to change my policy system to get try and filer the review request for self published authors BUT I keep reminding myself that they are not all Bad!

    Fantastic Post Rachel

  4. Hmmm...interesting topic. The truth is, I've actually never reviewed a self-published novel...I'm not really sure why, but I'm just a little turned off by them. I know that makes me sound awful! I guess I just haven't given them a chance. I think I'm going to try and accept at least one self-published book for review this year :) Then I'll see where I stand :) I can see how the editing thing would be really annoying though!

  5. So... I understand your questioning here. I think most people (especially bloggers and avid readers) are wary of indie authors. The problem is that there truly is a stigma attached to self publishing. Oftentimes someone will read one, or even two, pretty horrible self-pubbed books and then stop reading them all together. But thats kinda unfair, if you think about it, when there are hundreds of thousands of self-pubbed books out there.

    I know that as a blogger, Im wary of almost all books i get for request, even from huge publishing houses, because I only want to read something i would truly enjoy.

    So... i guess my finally thoughts are that some indie authors rock (Amanda Hocking -from before she got published, Tammy Blackwell, Amy Bartol, Samantha young -even before she got published- just to name a few) But there are a LOT out there that just are not good at all!! (i read one the other day that didnt even have a climax... and the grammatical errors were outrageous. )
    But I think that Indie and Traditional authors should all be given a fair chance. I wouldnt turn down a book JUST because it was self-pubbed, but i would look closer at the reviews already written.

  6. This a really brilliant, thought-provoking idea for a discussion post, Rachel.

    I think I've read and reviewed about 4 self-pubbed books in the past. I enjoyed 2 of them, but the others were awful. And the grammar in all of them made me want to scream and throw the book across the room. I'm generally puzzled at how sooooo many errors and misspellings are missed in editing. I interviewed a self-pubbed author before and she told me the worst part about writing a novel is "the editing". Surely if she had actually spent more time editing there wouldn't be so many mistakes in the book?

    Anyhow...I'm pretty much like you. In the middle. Although even when a book is offered to me by a "BIG PUBLISHING COMPANY!" there is still a large chance I will decline. For me, it's about the book and the plot more than where it was published.

    Thanks for sharing your views, Rachel. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading everyones opinions on this topic. :)

  7. I've read and reviewed some self-published, and some not. The fact is, I will write a review of everything I have read, even if it is something I would only give one star to. I think this reduces the number of self-published novels I get, because authors know that if it's bad, I'm going to write a completely honest review.

    I've recently been pretty heavily promoting a relatively indie novel, that hasn't been published by a 'big' publishing house. I loved the novel, and I think it deserves some real recognition. I'd promote novels like that far more than I would promote 'big' novels, even on the same liking scale because I don't think they get enough publicity. The author has often put more love and attention into it anyway.

    Rose @

  8. Great post! I've done both: traditional publishing through a publishing house for my first book and self-pubbing now for my second book. Both have pros and cons for the writer. When I decided to try self publishing (my book, Monster Mirror, will be out 2/22/13), I hired a professional editor to go through every single line. Then my critique partner went through everything again. Yes, that's the biggest thing I hear when readers talk about self-pubbing - the errors. I want everyone to enjoy Monster Mirror without any distractions! Nothing to take them out of the story!


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