Anaïs Nin is a perfect example of someone who self-published, something that is frowned upon, even today. American publishers rejected her writing yet some high profile writers praised it. Why was it rejected? Well, it was deemed to be uncommercial; in other words, it wouldn’t make enough money. Defiant in her approach to pushing her work, Anaïs decided to print the books herself. Printing them by hand with the help of a friend – dedication to her craft can never be under scrutiny. It is interesting to note at this point that when her self-published work sold rather well, the publishers were then interested in reprinting them.
Firstly, I have no problem with people being taken on by agents and publishers. However, I do have a lot of excitement for those who go out and do it themselves. Many years ago I read about self-publishing and how industry bods were quick to dismiss them because if they didn’t get published by the “industry” then it must have been some bad writing. Taking the wonderful Anaïs as a superb example; her work may not read like a Harry Potter novel but it is some of the most beautiful and thought provoking prose ever written. Not everyone likes to read speedy thrillers or gore soaked adventures. Some like to be inspired, touched and invigorated by language that speaks to us. Anaïs wasn’t really the kind of writer to employ a detailed plot, the language she used just leapt off the page and enveloped you into bohemian worlds. For some publishers it seemed that good writing just wasn’t enough.
You are probably wondering what my point is here. Well, writers should never feel in order to be writers that they have to be signed by an agent or have millions of books in every shop around the world. You are a writer if you put pen to paper once an idea hits you. That is what being a writer is. Think of this, your writing came from inside you and you want it to remain as it is. You want to be in charge of every single piece of its journey, which of course ends up in the hands of a reader. In fact, there is no reason why you can’t do it yourself. Getting your story printed is relatively easy these days but the hard work may start when you try to distribute and market it but isn’t that kind of fun? Getting to know people, networking and finding readers who can look you in the eye and genuinely say they love your work? It’s funny because so many people say self-publishing is for bad writing but to be honest, I have read so many bestselling books that I believe are poor but it always comes down to the fact that everything is subjective in this world and this goes for the world of publishing too. Don’t let anyone or anything put you off, if you want to self-publish then do it. You are an artist, you are in charge of your craft and you can do whatever you want with it.
“Publishing today is a complete mess. I know brilliant authors who can’t get their books published,” Moore says, explaining that many publishing houses are afraid of taking risks on fiction. Moore’s solution? “Publish yourself. Don’t rely upon other people.” Alan Moore (Source)