Self Publishing Isn’t Real Publishing

Hopefully you don’t agree with the title of this article… I actually threw it out there to inspire folks to read and chime in. So… Did my troll work?

“Not real” is something that I’ve heard repeatedly since self publishing my memoir. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told folks that I self published and then hear back, “Oh. So you haven’t really been published.” Even the other name for self publishing, vanity press, has an unctuous feel to it.

In the past, When people told me that I haven’t really been published, I hung my head low and agreed with people who made this statement.

Times have changed. These days I keep my head held high, raise an eyebrow, and say, “Um… My book is in print, it’s available at all major retailers, I’ve sold more than 2,500 copies, and I get quarterly royalty checks. How exactly do you define really published?”

In today’s technology filled world, I believe it’s perfectly valid to self publish your manuscript.

On top of that… Think about the numbers associated with this undertaking. Using my book as an example:

  • I spent more than a year writing the 100,000 words in my book;
  • While we’re on that topic; my manuscript was 100,000 words;
  • It took two months to work through my rough draft and glean a finished product;
  • Months-and-months of my time was spent researching the world of publishing;
  • I wrote more than fifty agencies and publishing houses;
  • The self publisher I used assigned me an editor and we re-edited my manuscript;
  • Last but not least, the entire publishing process (after everything else) took more than six months!

After nearly three years of hard work, my book was bound and published in soft and hard cover formats.

What do you think?

If you’d like to see my self publishing adventure, checkout my article, How I Self Published. Also, if you dig, checkout my Inkslinger category for more writing-based blog posts.

I hope you enjoyed my brief tirade,
Vaughn (a published author)

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About Vaughn Ripley

Vaughn is a happily married daddy, author, and CIO. He is an HIV+ hemophiliac, and is one of the longest surviving HIV+ people in the universe.
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Follow Vaughn on Twitter: @vripley
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Read his personal blog: HIVLongevity.com
Visit his web page: www.VaughnRipley.com

Comments

  1. One of my favorite “non-published” books!

  2. This is a very interesting topic you bring up. The whole publishing landscape is so different than it was even a few years ago. Digital technology has rewritten all of the old models from production to distribution. In the near future, there are going to be very few people who publish in the traditional way. I used to work extensively with publishers for my educational software, but became disillusioned. When you self-publish, you can get 70% of sales. With publishers, you get 12% (if you are lucky) so it’s not unreasonable to think I’ll come out ahead at some point soon.

    • So very true, Ted! Thanks for the kind words and keen insight. I agree! And, I feel that many people have no idea… I believe that we are going to see a flip-flop of what is useful and popular in the very near future. Folks are going to open their eyes to a whole new realm and world.

      Cheers,
      V

  3. Liz Humphrey says:

    This post is reminiscent of other concepts in the past that were hard won through true public popularity, like email and the Internet in the nineties. With today’s access to “self-published” material everywhere such a Youtube and fan fic sites, how can you hold onto the thought that you need to have a “true” publisher? Pave the way Vaughn! We are living in a great era where anyone can put themselves out there, and perhaps be recognized for their talents.

  4. Carole Scott says:

    Nice job, Vaughn. I met you through Scott LaRose . . . back when I had Alan Hobson come speak at Agilex; you attended and forged a personal connection to Alan.
    Hope you are doing very well these days!
    Carole

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