I’m cross posting this to FaceBook because I’m hoping to get some real feedback.
All in all I think the huge jump in self publishing is a good thing, but at the moment it’s a little bit like the wild west: lawless and unpredictable. There are self published books that are very good and that deserve to have found a traditional publisher, but there are also many, many pretty awful self published novels.
Now here’s the problem: It’s my sense (and correct me if I’m wrong) that self-published people don’t make a point of that in their bios or blurbs. So when I come across a blurb about another author that reads: author of x novels, or published x novels, I now have to stop to wonder about the how. Are we talking Norton or Penguin or Tor, or is this Amazon self-publishing? Further complicating the matter, there are some trends I’ve noticed about self publishing on Amazon that I don’t know how to interpret. If a novel out for less than a year (especially a romance novel) has 5,000+ comments and 96 percent of them are 5 stars, that novel is very likely to be self published, as far as I’ve been able to determine. I’m not sure what this means; I could make some guesses, but only guesses.
At this point when I come across a new novel, again, especially on Amazon, there’s no way to know if this novel is self published unless i go look at the details and dig deeper. Of course, I’m free to do that or not; it’s my loss if I pass up a good novel.
So now, I find myself worrying about my own blurbs. If somebody reads a bio or blurb about one of my novels or me, will they think, oh, probably self published? Which is why I’ve changed the blurb (when I’m asked for one). I now put down something like: nine novels in print with major publishers.
That may solve one problem, but it creates another one. It sounds snooty.
So what do you think is there a way to do this without (1) sounding stuck up and (2) adding a lot of details about the exact publishing houses? Or should I just stop worrying about it? I admit there’s a bit of pride at work here. It’s not easy getting published, and I would like to be acknowledged for the fact that I have. But at the same time, I don’t want to dismiss all self published work on general principles.