It seems to me that a lot of people are attracted to the idea of paying money to vanity publishers (including such online services as Xlibris) to get their work published.
I'm suprised that anyone would still do this! Ask any professional writer and they'll advise you not to use such shady services to get your work published.
I've read a number of short stories/novels that have been published on-line (again, I refer to services such as Xlibris) and I've got to say, every one of them has been poorly written (usually with clumsy dialogue and bad grammar). It's plain to see why those people have to resort to paying money to get their work published.
I've always believed that if your work is strong enough, you'll eventually be published. If you have to resort to online publishing or vanity publishers, then you should look to your own writing skills (or lack of writing skills...) to find the reason for this.
So... What do you think? http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
February 6th, 2001, 04:44 AM
I believe the second is true, but the first is not.
Publishers don't publish always what is good, but what sells most.
February 6th, 2001, 05:56 AM
The problem with vanity publishing is that there are success stories, even if the success stories are the equivalent to winning the lottery. This leads people to believe that they are the exception to the rule; their story was good and people will buy it by the truck loads; that stupid editor didn’t know what he was talking about. It is the easy way and the writer doesn’t have to improve his/her skill. The “work” is taken out of the process.
Though I have heard of people who use it to great advantage, but those people are rare and they put a lot of effort into publishing their books.
I remember back when I just wrote stories. I didn’t know anything other than I wanted to express myself on paper. With some encouragement from my English teachers, I decided to pursue publication. I bought one of those Writer’s Market (which I just love). I also subscribed to Writer’s Digest Magazine. And slowly I learned tricks and techniques and things to look for when writing my stories. But that took time and a willingness to see my own faults. I also had to learn how to be objective about my work and admit that some of the stories needed a LOT of work. Now, I’m constantly striving to improve my skill.
February 6th, 2001, 10:18 AM
I've just been reading a book about publishing, writing, copyrights etc etc etc... And i can't see why Vanity Publishing would an attractive offer, it seems like a lot of cost and no real gain (unless you get the equivalent of winning the lottery!).
I've always said, if i can't get anybody to publish anything of mine. I'm going to start my own company, be my own editor and publish it myself!!!! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/biggrin.gif http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/wink.gif http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/biggrin.gif
March 5th, 2001, 09:32 PM
Having just had my first novella published, I'd be interested to know if any others who have responded here have had their works published too? It's not always easy, given the number of manuscripts submitted every month across the world, and I agree, mainstream publications does not necessarily mean the work is good. Equally, a self published work may not be bad.
Vanity publishing I guess is a different matter entirely, I suppose. Although, for some, it may be a chance to get a foot in the door. Matthew Reilly is a good example of this, having paid to get 1000 copies of his first book published, he has since published two others with a mainstream publisher (Temple, Ice Station) and both have been bestsellers. Ironically, his first effort is now to be published as his third book! He may not be a fantasy writer, and he cops a bit of criticism for his far-fetched plots, but hey, he's selling books!
[This message has been edited by erebus (edited March 06, 2001).]
May 11th, 2001, 01:26 AM
I've not had my work published as yet, but when I do (if that time ever arrives!) it's going to be through regular means. I won't be taking the self publishing route.
It's a personal choice. I respect people who are self-published, and I'm sure that they derive a lot of self-satisfaction from seeing their work in print. It's just not for me.
Many people fail to get their novels published through regular means, so they complain about the state of the publishing industry and point out that the supply of new novels often outstrips the demand. They say that, statistically, a new author doesn't have much chance of being published. That the fault lies with the industry, not their novel. What they don't do is look to themselves and their own work to find the reasons for their lack of success. I'm sure that many people are unfairly unpublished, but I'm afraid that isn't usually the case.
There are some self-publishing success stories. People do go on to have a great career in writing as a result. But those cases are few and far between.
The truth is, if you want your work to reach a wide audience, if you are serious about becoming a full-time writer, then conventional publishing is the only realistic route you can take.