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Imprints and Self-Publishing

I was talking to another author before who had decided to forego traditional publishing, deciding instead to create his own imprint market, through which he could publish his writing.

I have been weighing the possibilities of self-publishing for awhile now, despite, for many years, dismissing it outright.

As a kid, I heard of vanity publishers who would release your novel, printed and everything, in order to boost the ego of whatever writer was dumb enough to listen to their sweet talking. The books that made it to the vanity press’s shelves were about as meaningful and significant as any fanfiction. Like fanfics, the quality varied. Some fanfictions are spectacular, while others are unbearable.

Amazon’s self-publishing market didn’t ease my nerves.

The sad truth of the matter is that self-publishing, for many years now, has been linked irrevocably in my head with “giving up.” That’s not to say that self-publishing is giving up–in fact, it might be harder in some cases than traditional publishing–but there is an element to it that seems like surrender. The big agencies weeded you out, and now you’re trying to set your roots among the rocky underbelly of the world.

However, this perspective on self-publishing is out-dated, even close minded. There are other means to become successful.

I only fear them.

I believe, in some small part, that I am avoiding an inevitable confrontation. Since I was a boy, I have obsessed over traditional publication. I never bothered to consider–in fact, I refused to consider–any alternatives. I would go the traditional route with agencies and publishers. That was that.

However, industries change. The world changes. While I stand with my head in the sand, the game around me is changing. The trick this wily fox must learn is not how to ignore change in a pursuit to keep the pace, but rather how do I integrate with the system, and work around my limitations rather than submit to them?