Actually, I can cover this one pretty easily.
For updated thoughts on this topic, see this post.
Now that we've covered that, I really ought to explain why, because intelligent people always have an argument to back them up.
I'm not a fan of self-publishing because, mainly, I don't believe it gives the writer any legitimacy. Every once in a while, a self-publishing writer will get lucky and become relatively famous, most likely because some publisher found their work, liked it, and picked it up. But that's extremely rare.
Writers who go the self-publishing route are essentially giving in and not going the extra mile. They're telling the publishers who run the world of book sales that their judgment is wack and that they the writer are too amazing to try and turn their work into something an experienced, trained publisher would accept.
When writers publish their own work, they most likely haven't had a genuine editor come through and help them correct and perfect their novel, which is just a stupid idea. Real publishers are editors, who make sure everything is exactly right before they send it into the world to be read. Editing is really freaking important. Every book is trashy before it goes through editing, so why not make the full effort to get it to the best state it can be? You owe it to the idea, to yourself, and to your readers.
Really, when it comes down to it, very few people are going to go trolling through self-publishing novels for their next read. Publishers exist for a reason--to perfect books and select those that deserve to be read by the public. (Of course I occasionally question their judgment, but the point is, they're professionals, and they tend to get it right.) So if you're going to be a novelist, do the work, and get yourself published, for real.
That is my self-publishing rant. Probably some of you disagree with me, but there you have it.
I'll see you next week, my friends, for a post full of quotes on writing, and remember, NEVER GIVE IN.
WE ARE SPARTA!
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