Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness
Part of the appeal of self-publishing is writer control: the author can publish the book they wrote in whatever shape they wish, from rough draft to fully polished or any state in between. A writer can call it whatever genera they care, and fill it with idiosyncratic grammar, such as using then as a coordinating conjunction. No editor will command something be done or it won’t get published—the prohibitions of defamation, plagiarism, and explicit underage sex and drug use excepted.
But, if an author wants the book to be seen sitting side by side with books published by Traditional Publishing houses, not only online, but in bricks and mortar bookstores, and to actually compete with them, the book will (most probably) be required to meet the same quality standards demanded by those houses. If a writer wants certification that his or her book meets those standards, the writer will have to make (most of) the changes demanded by a self-publishing house’s editors in order to get the book into the same shape as a Traditional Publishing house would demand. For this effort at iUniverse, a book is given a certification of this high quality—a signal to separate it from all the other self-published books on the market, one that says, this book is just as good as anything from Random House, Simon and Shuster or Little, Brown and Company. That alone makes it special.
With A Perfect Blindness, the control of the content mattered less than control of the time line. I could fit my revisions in around my full life, and not have any editors demanding I meet their deadlines. I paid for this—it’s MY timeline. I took advantage of this and it was helpful, yet the quality of the book after all the work mattered vastly more than anything else. I wrote it to sell.
As proud of it as I was before the start this process; only now do I have some confirmation that my pride is not misplaced: Other people are spending their time and money on my book in an effort to get it noticed and sell more. Not only does that feel good, it makes me work harder. I now have other people whose time and money is wasted if I slack off.
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