What is the Self-published Authors Appreciation Week?

We’ve seen a lot of hate towards the self-publishing industry lately on social media, so my friends and I have decided to show some appreciation for the amazing self-published authors who have made our lives more beautiful with their books.

It was Jodie from W&SBOOKCLUB that came with this fabulous idea, and soon many bloggers (including myself) decided to join in. Would you please check out her blog, where Jodie created a hub especially for this event?

Things you might not know about self-published authors

Self-published authors wear many hats that readers aren’t always aware of. When they’re done writing, that’s when the hard work begins. Self-published authors have to do (or outsource) editing, formatting, cover design, ISBN, copyright, distribution, PR, marketing, be active on social media, and the list goes on.

Getting a book on the market isn’t easy, and a lot of readers miss out on amazing books because the author sucks at marketing, and with millions of books on Amazon, it’s so hard to be discovered.

Did you know that statistics show only 1 in 500 readers will leave a review? Since I read that, I leave a review for every single book I read, even if it’s just a line or two. It counts.

So, starting today, we’re celebrating self-published authors. I will post daily for a week and share with you self-published authors that I have discovered and loved since I started blogging.

Here are some issues that self-published authors face often

  1. People assume that being self-published means no publisher wanted your book, so it implies it’s bad. That’s not always the case. More often than not, other reasons push authors towards self-publishing:
    • creative control (publishers like formulaic stories because they know those sell and don’t want to take risks)
    • higher royalties rates
    • faster turnaround (readers are demanding, and some authors release a book a month, but publishers often take a year to publish your book)
  2. Are you really published if you’re self-published? When someone hears you have a book out, the first question is ‘were you published or did you just publish it yourself?’ as if doing it yourself decreases its value.  The truth is, you’ll find outstanding self-published books, mediocre ones, and trashy ones. You’ll do the same with traditionally published ones, yet only self-published ones bear the stigma. Let’s make a food analogy: home-cooked versus restaurant meals. I’ve eaten fabulous home-cooked meals and not-so-good ones. The same goes for restaurants: some meals were incredible while some were less than stellar. Yet, I’ve never heard anyone try to discredit home-cooked meals because the person who cooked doesn’t have a chef degree. Imagine a guest asking your mom if she cooked the fancy meal on the table herself or if she ordered from a restaurant (you know, from a real chef with a fancy chef degree). That would be rude, right? My mom would go to the kitchen and come back with a wooden spoon to teach the guest some manners. That being said, assuming a book is of lesser value because it was self-published is rude too. (Hint: Use the Amazon Look Inside feature to read a sample of the book. If you don’t like the writing, don’t buy the book!)
  3. Self-published authors lack the skills of storytelling because they’re not validated by a publishing house. Here’s the thing about storytelling: you don’t need to a degree to do it right. To some, it comes naturally. Did you have a grandparent or an uncle who made up fascinating bedtime stories when you were a kid? I bet they didn’t have a creative writing degree, but that didn’t take away from the childhood experience you had. Now, if you read a lot, I’m sure you came across some traditionally published books that weren’t as good as you expected. I know I have. Although the same happened to me with a small percentage of self-published books (only a couple), I was really impressed with the quality of most self-published books. For the past couple of years, I’ve mostly read and reviewed indie books and discovered so many new favorites authors who don’t deserve the stigma.

Why self-published authors deserve our appreciation

  1. Because although the self-publishing process may seem easy, it isn’t. They had to learn new skills to see their hard work out there.
  2. Because their stories are worth reading. Again, I know not ALL of them, which is why I strongly suggest you use the look inside function before buying the book. It lets you read 10% of the book, and it’s more than enough to figure out if you’ll like it or not.
  3. Because if we appreciate home-cooked meals and support small businesses, we shouldn’t look down on self-published books. If it helps, imagine it’s a small business where one person does everything.
  4. Because self-published authors face the same obstacles that traditional publishing houses face, but they don’t have a team of industry professionals to rely on. They wear many hats to see their books out in the stores, so they shouldn’t feel less worthy of success.

My Conclusion

Self-published authors ARE REAL authors. They chose to learn new skills and do extra work (apart from writing) to see their dreams come true, and they never get credit for it. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and give up. So, this week we celebrate those who didn’t give up, those who followed their dreams despite the dismissive looks they got from friends and family, or the rejections they got from bloggers who rejected their books because they weren’t backed up by a publisher.

That being said, I appreciate all authors, whether they go indie or traditional. You do what’s best for you! And if you’re self-published, know that I’m proud of you! Your work isn’t less valid because you did it ALL without a team to back you up. You followed your dream and overcame all the obstacles alone. You’re a winner in my book!

 


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