Self publishing vs agents

jo zebedee

Journeyed there and back again
I've done two blogs over the last two weeks, one (linked to below) on self publishing and some of the thoughts around it, one (linked to at the start of this blog) about agents and how they select books. I also have another blog linked within this one that discusses bookstores and how they work for authors. Hope they're useful for people:


Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune
My experience is limited in most of these areas, but I definitely agree with "cut no corners". Self-publishing has a dubious reputation precisely because people tend to cut corners. "Don't judge a book by its cover" is a dangerous line of thinking, because half the time, the book cover is the first thing people will notice about your book, and they will definitely judge your book by it. I think getting a profesionally made cover is perhaps the most important, singular step to take, if you want people to take your self-published book seriously.

Second to that, which you also mention, Jo, editing and layout. A book with spelling or grammar errors will turn people off from the first page. Poor layout that makes reading annoyed can do the same. I have no knowledge of layout myself, but I had a friend who does layouts for books, and she gave me wonderful advice that improved the reader-friendliness of my book immensely. If you don't have friends to count on, find online sources. A good cover gets people to open your book, good editing and layout helps them read past first page, and a good story makes them read to the end.

jo zebedee

Journeyed there and back again
After putting out my first self-published book, I wish I had researched what all it entailed more, all of which you've laid out here. So here's to hoping it helps out other future self-publishers.
That's pretty much why I started to blog - I got fed up with people not being honest about what things are really like. When I lost my agent, who hadn't sold my book, I thought I was the only person that happened to. Actually, it's quite common. So, I like to try to share how things really are. It's got bigger, though, in terms of following so I try to be a little more careful what I post.