If you don’t subscribe to David Farland’s Daily Kick, a free email service that shares outstanding advice about the business and craft of writing, what are you waiting for? (look for the sign-up box on the right, through that link.)

Here’s today’s installment. I decided to mention it because, well, you’ll see. He mentioned me. This will give you an example of a wonderful free service Dave offers. I may write a blog post later this week to add to some of the points Dave made.

Everything below the following line is from David Farland’s Daily Kick, 2/14/11 (and not written by me):

________________

David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants—The Dangers of Self-Publishing

Friday I wrote about Amanda Hocking’s tremendous rise to becoming a bestseller through self-publishing her e-books. I’ve heard from a lot of fans lately who want to give that a try, and by all means, if you think that you’ve got the chops, give it a try.

But let me warn you of the danger first. Unfortunately, you are not your own best critic. Nor is your spouse or your mother or your neighbor your best critic. As a result, when you think that you’re ready to publish, in most cases you’re not.

Time and time again, I find writers who are almost delusional. They’re like the singers that tried out in Hollywood last week on American Idol. They were by far the worst that the country had seen. For some reason, Hollywood attracts delusional people.

Because writers aren’t their own best critics, we often hear stories like the one told by Raymond Feist recently. He got a knock on his door, and when he answered, the fellow at the door said, “I’ll be you’ve never talked to a real author before!” Ray, who has sold millions and millions of books, just laughed and said, “Buddy, I think you’ve got the wrong house.” But the fellow persisted and showed Ray his two self-published novels. They were printed to a high quality, which showed that the fellow had some taste, and so Raymond bought them and the fellow went off to schlep his works door-to-door. Raymond then read the first few pages of one and said that it was one of the worst novels that he’d ever seen.

I’ve done that same experience on more than one occasion, picked up a self-published novel only to see a dozen horrible mistakes—everything from typos to misspellings and just genuinely terrible prose—all within two pages.

So I’m worried that in the rush of self-published authors this year, we’re going to see a lot of people embarrass themselves. More importantly, you might actually hurt your career.

Let’s say that you put up a book that isn’t quite ready, and it gets twenty reviews on line, and most of them pan your book. How easy do you think it will be to sell your next book, or the one after that? Those negative reviews will never go away, and they’ll dog you. Indeed, they’ll destroy the name that you’re trying to create for yourself.

So don’t rush to publish in e-book format.

Please be aware that I’m not saying “Don’t publish.” I’m just urging you to be careful.

Last year I won the Whitney Award for Best Novel of the Year with a book that I self-published. When I won the award, Howard Tayler, the self-published author of the famous Schlock Mercenary cartoons, said, “You know, Dave, you’ve just done a world of damage. You self-published for all of the wrong reasons: your mother begged you to do it. You didn’t want to take your regular publisher’s advice. Then to top it off, you sold all of your stock, got great reviews, and won a major award. I keep telling people not to self-publish, even though I’m making my own living at it, and now you come along and just reinforce the wrong message.”

Howard is right of course. Both of us were publishing to small market shares, where self-publishing made a little more sense, and we both succeeded, just as Amanda Hocking is succeeding, and some of you are succeeding.

One of my friends and past students, Moses Siregar, I just found out, is at the top of Amazon’s sales charts with his epic fantasy THE BLACK GOD’S WAR. Moses is a fine writer and is deserving of success, and I think that it will follow. But Moses also knows the risks. I recently heard some other New York Times bestselling writers tell him, “Moses, don’t self-publish!” They pointed out the risks. I then told him, “You know, Moses, I hate to say this, but I think you’ll do it. You’re savvy enough to know what you need to do in order to self-publish well, and I think that you should go ahead.” Now, four weeks later, he’s doing great. So go check out his book at:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Gods-War-Introducing-ebook/dp/B003Z0D2HK

It will only cost a dollar, and if Moses gets the velocity he needs, maybe his project will turn him into the next Amanda Hocking. Personally, I really enjoyed Moses’s work.

Oh, and don’t self-publish! For every one who succeeds, there will be hundreds who will destroy a potential career. Recognize that when you self-publish, you might just be gambling with your career.

Announcing:

Ken Scholes will be speaking to us next on the Farland’s Author’s Advisory Confernce Calls and you are invited to attend at no charge, as always. Mark your calendar, the date is Thursday, February 24th, 9:00 p.m. EST.

Ken is the author of LAMENTATION, and the topic will be “Self-Awareness: an author’s first best tool.”

To get on the call, dial 1-218-862-7200. When the line picks up, dial the calling code, which is 245657. The call is free, long distance charges apply.

_____

Get email notifications of new posts:


 


Tags: , , , , ,

This entry was posted on Monday, February 14th, 2011 at 7:49 pm and is filed under Ebooks, My Work, On Authors, Publishing, Success Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

25 comments so far

 1 

One way to gauge the quality of your work is by submitting short stories to respectable and professional publications. If you can sell those, then you can at least be confident that your work has some merit.

February 15th, 2011 at 5:05 pm
Moses Siregar III
 2 

Good point, John.

In my case, I used lots and lots of test readers, including some readers who are professional editors and published authors. The last thing I did was to put my novella up for sale as an ebook and then find out what complete strangers said about it.

February 15th, 2011 at 8:29 pm
 3 

Way to be a positive example, Moses! 🙂

I think joining a critique group (one that specializes in your genre) is a must if you’re going to self-publish (or pursue agents, for that matter). He’s right in that friends and relatives aren’t usually the best critics. Too, it doesn’t hurt to have a few short story sales under your belt, as that at least lets you know you’ve got a modicum of talent.

Some people just need to crash and burn though, and we have to let them. 🙂
Lindsay recently posted..Guest Blogging Your Way out of Obscurity

February 17th, 2011 at 5:50 pm
 4 

Self-publishing…toying with the idea for a novella, sort of interested in dippin my feet in those holy waters.
The problem for me is that I’ve been sampling self-published works, many of them consistently in Amazon’s top 100, and they suck eggs. Poor story, poor writing, zero editing, enough head hopping to give me vertigo.
The other problem is that the above self-published works are making the creators money so therefore, they view themselves as successful authors. Maybe they are? Is this the dumbing-down of the reading public or does it have to do with the fact that if you spend a mere 99 cents, who cares?
Julia Rachel Barrett recently posted..How do you weight your characters

February 25th, 2011 at 11:25 am
Moses Siregar III
 5 

Julia, I wish I could say I disagree with you, but I’ve read my share of self-published clunkers. I’ve also found some good ones, though. I like Scott Nicholson and right now I’m reading one by N. Gemini Sasson that I really like. I haven’t read Hocking yet (not my genre), but obviously people really like her stuff.

It is true, though, that it’s possible to make good money with a less than polished book. Which is kind of sad.

My goal is to put out books on par with the traditional houses, and I’m paying for the services I need to accomplish that.

February 25th, 2011 at 11:48 am
 6 

Moses – I have this feeling that right now, many people who want to be an author are riding the crest of the new self-publishing wave. There will be a trough. Things will sort themselves out and readers will become more discriminating, even if it’s only about how they spend a buck.
I’ve also read quite a number of recent releases from the big houses that have been poorly edited – which shocked me. In one book, which was actually a pretty good story, I counted 25 typos/errors in grammatical constructs, on a single page. Very distracting.
Julia Rachel Barrett recently posted..How do you weight your characters

February 26th, 2011 at 10:45 am
Charm sie
 7 

I have this feeling that right now, many people who want to be an author are riding the crest of the new self-publishing wave. There will be a trough. Things will sort themselves out and readers will become more discriminating, even if it’s only about how they spend a buck. Thanks 🙂
Charm sie recently posted..online games

September 12th, 2011 at 4:27 pm
perzanne
 8 

Things will sort themselves out and readers will become more discriminating, even if it’s only about how they spend a buck. Thanks 🙂
perzanne recently posted..Diet Plans for Men

September 13th, 2011 at 6:08 am
Cynthia
 9 

You have a very interesting life.. Self publisher is not an easy work..
Cynthia recently posted..What is ChexSystems?

September 13th, 2011 at 7:58 am
rika
 10 

I keep telling people not to self-publish, even though I’m making my own living at it, and now you come along and just reinforce the wrong message. | 😛
rika recently posted..super mario bros online

September 25th, 2011 at 10:48 am
Vicky
 11 

i consider you as a talented one it is not easy task to write and publish we dont know reader will like it.
Vicky recently posted..angry birds

September 28th, 2011 at 9:32 am
jazz0506
 12 

The other problem is that the above self-published works are making the creators money so therefore, they view themselves as successful authors. Maybe they are? Is this the dumbing-down of the reading public or does it have to do with the fact that if you spend a mere 99 cents, who cares? | 😛
jazz0506 recently posted..Super Mario Games

October 5th, 2011 at 12:01 am
megatron06
 13 

Which was actually a pretty good story, I counted 25 typos/errors in grammatical constructs, on a single page. Very distracting. | 😛
megatron06 recently posted..mario game

October 17th, 2011 at 6:53 am
Ozillediez
 14 

Great life you have now, I like Scott Nicholson and right now I’m reading one by N. Gemini Sasson that I really like.
Ozillediez recently posted..angry birds guide

October 18th, 2011 at 6:33 am
betyang
 15 

Nice post. Thank you so much for sharing this post.
betyang recently posted..free movie download sites

October 22nd, 2011 at 8:34 am
fab0506
 16 

Is this the dumbing-down of the reading public or does it have to do with the fact that if you spend a mere 99 cents, who cares? | 😛
fab0506 recently posted..tips to a healthy diet plan

October 24th, 2011 at 12:00 am
Angrybird :D
 17 

Great post! But I haven’t read Hocking yet not my genre, but obviously people really like her stuff. Thanks for sharing.
Angrybird 😀 recently posted..angry birds flash

October 28th, 2011 at 8:11 am
perry143
 18 

great blog post i am so glad that i found this post seems very useful blog.
perry143 recently posted..Internet Answering Service

November 1st, 2011 at 8:13 am
karyll
 19 

I haven’t read Hocking yet (not my genre), but obviously people really like her stuff.
karyll recently posted..Temporary Tattoos

November 2nd, 2011 at 12:37 pm
Chell
 20 

I used lots and lots of test readers, including some readers who are professional editors and published authors.
Chell recently posted..download angry birds for pc

November 3rd, 2011 at 9:19 am
hunterX0506
 21 

The other problem is that the above self-published works are making the creators money so therefore, they view themselves as successful authors. | 😛
hunterX0506 recently posted..play racing games online

November 7th, 2011 at 4:42 am
Elissa
 22 

I like Scott Nicholson and right now I’m reading one by N. Gemini Sasson that I really like. I haven’t read Hocking yet (not my genre), but obviously people really like her stuff.
Elissa recently posted..angry birds online

November 10th, 2011 at 9:05 am
Miles01
 23 

Excellent you sold all of your stock, got great reviews, and you won a major award.
Miles01 recently posted..angry birds tips

November 11th, 2011 at 11:16 pm
 24 

hello there and thank you for your info – I’ve definitely picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise several technical issues using this website, since I experienced to reload the web site lots of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and can damage your quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I am adding this RSS to my email and could look out for a lot more of your respective interesting content. Ensure that you update this again very soon..

July 8th, 2014 at 6:08 am
 25 

My partner and I stumbled over here by a different web address and thought I might check things out.
I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking over
your web page for a second time.

Feel free to surf to my site; webpage – Sherlyn
Sherlyn recently posted..Sherlyn

August 18th, 2014 at 11:34 am

3 Trackbacks/Pings

  1. Tweets that mention David Farland on The Dangers of Self-Publishing (In Which He Mentions Me As A Positive Example) | Moses and Dionysus Walk Into a Bar ... -- Topsy.com    Feb 14 2011 / 9pm:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Livia Blackburne, Moses Siregar III. Moses Siregar III said: David Farland on The Dangers of Self-Publishing (In Which He Mentions Me as a Positive Example) #ebooks http://bit.ly/eamkcJ […]

  2. Guest Post by Moses Siregar III: Using “Free” to Generate Pre-Release Buzz | David Gaughran    Jul 22 2011 / 6am:

    […] managed to generate some pretty good pre-release buzz for my novel. For example, David Farland mentioned me in one of his free Daily Kick emails (a popular free service he offers) and cited me as someone […]

  3. viewme    Mar 27 2012 / 6pm:

    viewme…

    […]David Farland on The Dangers of Self-Publishing (In Which He Mentions Me As A Positive Example) | Moses and Dionysus Walk Into a Bar …[…]…

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)
URI
Comment

CommentLuv badge