Monday, August 16, 2010

In Response to Rachelle Gardner’s Hair Ripping Blog

This blog is a response to literary agent Rachelle Gardner’s blog and comments on self-publishing. I posted it last November and received such a great response I felt the need to re-post it. (

If I were Rachelle, 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: I have painstakingly edited each novel and put my heart into every sentence. Some self-published authors have not. Some authors slap words on a page, or worse yet stream-of-conscientiousness on a page, and call 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 interest from the beginning of the book. 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 my novels are selling.

One of the responses I received to this blog stated a reluctance to purchase a self-published book because, “They are so horribly edited.” This reader paid twenty dollars for a book and found spelling errors. Yes, we all know Word corrects those for us; however, this author didn’t bother to use the spell-check. Yes, I agree not editing the work does give self-publishers a bad rap.

Another reader responded that books are expensive enough as it is and would rather pay money for one published by a reputable company than take a chance with a self-published author who may not have edited his/her book.

One reader made a contrary response. This one stated that with traditional publishing the author in many cases has to do all their own promotional work. In addition, the author has to sell a lot of novels to earn a return, so unless the publisher was going to pay a large advance, there was no advantage to publishing the traditional route.

Finally, one reader stated that, “Self-publishing doesn't equate second class books. It could. But it doesn't have to!”

What do I think? Can a self-published author find an agent and publisher? Absolutely! Will it happen? Well, that depends upon the author.

What do you think? Do you believe a self-published author can find an agent and publisher? Do you prefer going the traditional route or do you prefer self-publishing? Have you had any luck going the traditional way? I’d love to hear your responses.