On The Millions, would-be published author Edan Lepucki writes about her experiences dealing with the rejection of her manuscript by multiple publishers. It’s a wryly humorous piece about the thought process behind accepting that publishers don’t want a book, putting it in a drawer, and moving on.
One of the points Lepucki touches on is a lack of desire to try to self-publish. She cites the necessity of doing a lot of extra work that would otherwise have been done by the publisher, the difficulty of making money in self-publishing, and the stigma attached to it. She writes, “The truth is, I want a reputable publishing house standing behind my book; I want them to tell you it’s good so that I don’t have to.”
There are a number of posts in the comments that follow urging her to give self-publishing a try (including one by J.A. Konrath, who insists that traditional publishing is on its last legs). And there’s a response post on the “Branding Yourself” blog which suggests that the stigma only applies to writers, not readers, and points out that even if a “reputable publishing house” does publish a book, the author ends up doing all her own promotion anyway unless she’s a big name.
Lepucki herself replies in the comments that she has further opinions on self-publishing that she could elaborate on in a later post, but is not one to rule out options forever. Still, it doesn’t sound as if she’s exactly eager to give it a try.
Self-publishing may not be for everyone. As Lepucki points out, it is a lot of work. It’s up to every individual author to decide whether he wants to give it a shot. A number of authors have found it worked very well for them, but undoubtedly others have found it did not. Much as I find the idea of self-publishing attractive, I’ve grown wary of one-size-fits-all solutions.
Still, perhaps one day Lepucki might consider giving it a shot. If nobody else will take her manuscript, it’s not as if she’s got all that much to lose except a little time and effort.