Thursday, March 22, 2018

Podcast: Three Things That Are Wrong with Self-Publishing

A few weeks back I reflected a bit about things that I saw wrong with indie or self-publishing.

Don't get me wrong, I first embraced self-publishing back in 2004 and continue to self-publish as well as traditionally publish my writing.

So, I thought that, by identifying three of the biggest issues I continue to see happening in self-publishing, I could help writers navigate them.

My Stark Reflections podcast entitled "3 Things That Are Wrong with Indie Publishing?" (Revised to the shorter "What's Wrong with Indie Publishing") . . .

. . . goes through these in detail, both the issue and a potential solution that I suggest. And you can listen to the episode here.

But, in a nutshell, here are the issues addressed:


Digital publishing has removed the gatekeepers of traditional publishing. That's a great thing. But it can also be a not-so great thing.

We, as an industry, have given writers the ability to push the buttons, to publish direct; this amazing power. But we haven’t given them all the support, all the information, all the elements to help them make intelligent and informed decisions.


Self-Publishing can often seem similar to watching a group of 5-year-olds play soccer. They’re all just chasing after the ball. The ball goes left, the entire mob follows it left. The ball goes up-field, the entire mob scrambles to chase it.

Too many folks in what I like to call “mainstream indie publishing” are doing just that. They are blindly chasing after the people who have the ball in the hopes they might get their foot on it.


So much of what is possible in self-publishing today is possibly because of the launch of the Kindle and specifically the amazing free tools that Amazon created in Kindle Direct Publishing.

It’s ironic, then that Amazon is the company that continually forces authors into one of the largest ongoing debates in the indie author community – known as “GOING WIDE OR BEING EXCLUSIVE.”

I'm happy for authors making an honest and marvelous income from being exclusive to Amazon. But if you are exclusive, can you truly and with a straight face, lie and call yourself an independent author? I'd argue that you're a corporate author.

Fun things to contemplate.

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