Monday, June 16, 2014

Not self-publishing—independent publishing

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I am not a self-publisher, because I did not publish my books by myself. I was part of a team of talented, dedicated, professional, skilled and very giving people, to whom I am indebted and grateful.

You know by now that my new book, Army of Worn Soles, will publish in e-book form on June 22, 2014—less than a week from the day this post goes up on the blog.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been busy with all sorts of not just last-minute details on the book itself, but also with advance promotion and publicity. I’ve been answering questions, and learning, from those answers. A question that has come up (however, not as frequently as I expected) was about “self publishing.”

I prefer the term “independent publishing,” simply because I think it’s far more accurate. I don’t publish any books by myself.

Publishing any book calls upon a wide range of skills:
  • writing—creating the story or the information for the reader
  • substantive—“story editing,” a review and critique of the overall worth of the manuscript, whether it’s complete, or there’s too much material, and whether the basic ideas make sense
  • copy-editing—ensuring it’s clear, grammatical, logical?
  • proofreading—looking out for spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes and silly little errors in logic (like setting the opening of a chapter on a spring morning and ending, without indicating any passage of time, with a winter night)
  • design—of the cover as well as the interior
  • layout—setting up the interior according to the design, and making sure that the whole book follows the same design
  • manufacturing—transferring from manuscript to e-book or print format with the highest fidelity to the final manuscript and the highest production quality affordable.
Each of this is a major task requiring specialized knowledge, and no, I don’t attempt it myself. I can do many of them, but not all—not well.

And I have always said, “You can’t edit your own stuff.”

The team

When it comes to publishing my books, I call upon a supportive team. For Army of Worn Soles, that team included:

  • Fred Brooke, Alan McDermott, Russell Blake and Cinta Garcia de la Rosa as pre-readers
  • Rebecca Dickson as my stalwart editor
  • David C. Cassidy as cover designer
  • a large team to help promote the cover and excerpts, whom you are meeting through other posts on this blog.

Army of Worn Soles, like my other books, is a truly collaborative effort.

No, I do not self-publish. Army of Worn Soles, and all books I write, followed a cooperative publishing model, one promoted and supported by Independent Authors International. Like those published by the Big Five commercial publishers, are the result of a team of talented professionals applying developed skills to producing a quality book.

 

7 comments:

  1. I love this - when someone asks me if I self publish, I'll say no "I actually am an independent publisher." I love this. What is different? The team I employ to make the work incredible - more than just a simple self publish upload. Love it!

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  2. Very well said. It's encouraging to see an independently published author who takes the process seriously and handles it professionally. Good luck with the launch of your book!

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  3. I'm about to publish my first full length book - and am intending to go the KDP route via Amazon. But always called it self-publishing - now I'm reminded it's not just me at all. Thanks so much for this Scott.

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  4. I love it. I also consider myself an independent author, not a self-published one. It's an honor to be part of the team for such a great book!

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  5. You are so right! No Indie Author can do it all and we've all got great teams behind us.

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  6. You are not an independent publisher—that term already has a menaing in the publishing world. You are self-publsihing (which is not pejorative, just the truth, and self-published authors should own the term). I wrote something exploring this: https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/6354535-independent-vs-self-vs-vanity-publishing

    We writers, of all people, should get our terminology right.

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    1. The meaning of terminology and of basic words themselves change over time and location.I understand your point, and in your post on Goodreads, but as I said in the essay above, I cannot say I self published because I did not publish by myself.

      If you don't like "independently published," maybe a better term would be "collaboratively published" or "cooperatively published."

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