A suggestion to self-publish is no longer the perennial publishers’ put-down

Course Leader Alison Baverstock is featured on the London Writers’ Club blog this week describing how she changed her view about self-publishing.

While once she “winced at infelicitous typesetting and unspotted spelling mistakes”, she now considers self-publishers as adding “valuable sustenance to the book as cultural icon”. While once the suggestion that a writer should self-publish was “a conscious put-down”, a form of “intentional diminishing” of both the author and their work, she now considers self-publishing as a way for writers “to progress their work; share it with others and gain feedback; make it available online through a blog or ebook and build a following; print off a single copy and see how it feels in the hand”.

Is self-publishing now the best option for writers then? Not necessarily. Alison says:

Don’t get me wrong. Working with a professional agent or publisher is usually the best option. Why would you commit to the associated effort and investment, if someone else is willing to manage and pay for the process for you? It’s a problem for the industry that a publisher’s involvement is only really evident when absent, and the main learning to emerge from self-publishing is a realisation of just how much effort is involved.

But don’t underestimate the flexible use of self-publishing, and the value of the wide variety of new services available to the writer, from manuscript consultancy and editing to ebook conversion and print on demand. The options available may benefit you at any stage of your creative journey – and you may be closer to this now than you think.”

Read the full piece at the London Writers’ Club.


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