Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This blog is a response to Rachelle Gardner’s blogs and comments on self-publishing.

If I were her, I’d be ripping my hair out at the roots. Why can’t we all just agree to disagree?

Can a self-published author find an agent and publisher? Yes and no.
The question is: Is the writing good enough? The answer: That depends upon the author. For example: I have three POD suspense novels available through my website: http://www.mj-macie-mysterybooks.com. I have painstakingly edited each novel and put my heart into every sentence. Some self-published authors have not. Some have slapped words on a page, or worse yet, stream-of-conscientiousness and called that a book.

Recently, an author published by Simon & Schuster sent an email asking why I had chosen to go with POD. She stated that my work had been edited, I have a natural talent and that I had captured her from the beginning. My answer: I listened to God and my husband. “Get the work out there and they will respond,” my husband said. So, I did and I am getting responses.

So, can a self-published author find an agent and publisher? Absolutely! Will it happen? Well, that depends upon the author.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your responses.

M.J. Macie


  1. Another question that must be posed is whether aforesaid self-published author wants an agent/publisher. I've suffered so much lack of self respect (Rodney Dangerfield - eat your heart out) that I'd love to obtain some success. However, I realize that is all vanity. Vanity publishers are not confined to the typical vanity presses we think of normally.
    I truly believe that with the rise of many new Christian authors, traditionally published authors of the past will have to choose to self-publish or go unpublished. Some people will have to learn a lesson in humility. God is really not keeping track of who the publisher for His word is. He just wants someone to be obedient and share it with the world.
    Donald James Parker
    Author of Love Waits

  2. I agree and stand corrected. I had no right to assume every writer wants an agent/publisher. By self-publishing, the writer has a freedom the traditionally published author doesn't have.

    On the other hand, I disagree that God doesn't "keep track of who the publisher for His Word is." I truly believe God is involved in all aspects of our lives, whether saved or not, and whether published or not.

    Thank you so much for such a great comment. It sure helped open my narrow-minded eyes. As my husband always reminds me, there are two sides to the proverbial coin.

    M.J. Macie

  3. I'm sorry as a avid reader I got very "turned off" but a lot of self-publishers (one of which is my own brother) because they are just so horribly edited. One such author I spent 20 bucks on her book through amazon and there were spelling errors! I mean word does that for you now. I think this is why the stigma with self-published hangs over the "good" authors heads.

    Also, the fact that people think, "Well why did they have to Self-publish? If it was any good they would have been picked up right?"

    Personally I don't think this, but I have seen it mentioned in forums. I know how hard it is to get published. I also think there are agents that pay attention to self-published authors. You might not get your self-published novel into the hands of a publisher, but you might get the attention needed to get the next book in.

  4. ParaJunkee,

    I know what you mean. Being obsessive about my writing, I made sure I edited my books repeatedly. Word can't be expected to catch everything and too many people trust it implicitly. I have trust issues and don't. I also have family who read the material after I feel it's finished and they too check for errors.

    If you flip through a few pages of my novels on Amazon.com you can see for yourself. Nothing makes me want to slam a book against the wall like misspellings and bad sentence structure. I've dealt with it as well.

    I assumed if a person is going to write a novel that they have a basic understanding of grammar and structure or find an editor who does. That's what I get for assuming. Not having that basic understanding makes it easy for unprofessional editors to make hack work out of a person's novel and they don't even know it.

  5. The stigma assoociated with self publishing is the one thing that has kept me out so far.
    However, what has pretty much changed my mind is the raw deal authors seem to get from traditional publishers these days. Even if you get picked up it seems that in many cases you have to do basically all your own promotion anyway. At the royalties they pay you have to sell a lot of books through a publishing to get a return on that amount of work. So unless they wer going to pay a large advance I can't really see the advantage anymore.

  6. I guess either way, it's tough. I didn't know publishing the traditional way was as hard as self-publishing. How can a writer get a break? We all need to make a living. We have a tangible product and it seems almost impossible to get it out there. What's a writer to do?

  7. I think our posts are saying very similar things! Self-publishing doesn't equate second class books. It could. But it doesn't have to! Thanks for sharing your perspective!

  8. I thought our posts were similar too. That's why I had to write and ask you to check out my post. It's amazing how so many of us are on the 'same page' about publication issues.
    M.J. Macie

  9. hi, i found you on book blog! Okay, anyway to answer your question...

    i have to be in honest in saying books are expensive enough as it is and i'd rather pay money for one published by a reputable company. picking up a self-publishing book (to me anyway) is a huge risk. but like you said everyone should agree to disagree. not everyone is going to have the same thoughts on the subject, but i think people should hear the other side out before freaking out and feeling the need to defend themselves.

  10. Thank you for your honesty. I guess you're right about dishing out money for a book from a self-published author being a risk.

    I wish there was a way we self-published authors could prove our novels are edited and appropriate to the genre. Right now, I know you can read a few pages of it on Amazon.com. Other than that, I'm open for any suggestions to prove my novel is edited and appropriate to the genre.

    Thanks for responding and I hope you will again.
    M.J. Macie