It seems to me that writers who self-publish are happier than those going through the conventional route.
Maybe it’s the motivation that comes from finally doing something – and being liberated from waiting for calls/emails that don’t come. Maybe it’s the anticipation of knowing a long-cherished project is within sight. Or perhaps they are just enjoying being the client of one of the highly professional self-publishing firms that today offer expert guidance through the options available, and whose attention they can confidently claim because they are paying.
Building on this, and to my great surprise, their contentment levels were not necessarily tied to the beauty of the finished product. Industry professionals have long assumed that only products that closely resembled their own output – content blended with appropriate format for optimum presentation – could offer any degree of satisfaction.
Try explaining that to a self-published author who has finally typed up the story of her family, as heard from her mother, had it bound and made available through a community history website – and in the process been found by long-lost second-cousins in Canada.
A view of writing as only valid if it can be sold through bookshops shows little understanding that self- publishing is a process, not a single product. Overall, the self-publisher’s motivation is vastly more complicated than has previously been assumed.