The Question about Self Publishing

I remember some thirty years ago a company called Vantage Press or Viking Press offering what was called “Vanity Publishing”.  Back then, due to technological restrictions, the options were limited.  they would send you a large manuscript envelope, print your book up in hardback, choose the layout and design, and force you to purchase a set amount of copies.  it was up to you, the uneducated and non-networked writer to market, sell, and promote your work.  I thought then how futile that seemed, largely due to my inexperience.

Has my attitude changed?

Several weeks ago, I attended a seminar by the Kansas Writers association ( called Publish or Perish,  in which three members shared their experiences with publishing.  Two had used the “modern” route of self-publishing with differing degrees of success and different stories to relate regarding their personal experience.  one was fortunate enough to have been accepted by a small press for publication of her novel but had words regarding self-publishing as well.

After years of attempts, failures, uncertainties, feeling left off of the Technological Train, I succumbed to to publish a novella, Kansas Two-Step.  I ordered copies at a reasonable price and am waiting for the results.  I will share my experience on this blog when I receive “the goods”. 

I do not consider this any more than vanity.  But if it stokes my ego and encourages me to seek more traditional routes, then I can only consider it a success.  I can no longer contemplate what the Big Publishing Houses think, certainly not in this economy when it costs more to produce a work of fiction and not have any guarantee of success for the publisher.  This is all a game, a business, a series of events designed to reach a potential rewarding goal.

The underlying aspect is the continuation of our creative efforts; the telling of a story or relating of an adventure; the thematic evaluation of a concept or notion.  

After all, what else are we going to do?  Work for a living?



  1. jenniferneri said,

    June 9, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Exciting! Please do post when you receive your book!


  2. jenniferneri said,

    June 9, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    I’ve been thinking about this…And I think you’re right. If self-publishing provides the fuel to keep going, then it’s a GREAT thing! I just listened to an interview with John Irving on another blog, and while I found him interesting, he says that he does not think of writing as an art, but rather as a craft. I’m not sure there is such a clear differentiation.


  3. tikiman1962 said,

    June 9, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    “Art” implies an aesthetic principle which, as we all know, has a variable definition based on personal experience and point of view.
    “Craft” implies the means to achieve the end, the tools and development thereof in order to reach that goal.
    The argument comes down to one of form versus function. Art versus craft.
    Consider this: How many well written pieces have you read that have NOT touched you as a human being? Craft without art.
    How many moving stories had plot gaps, semantic flaws, and poor expression? Art without craft.
    Therein lies the answer: The goal is to achieve BALANCE.


  4. jenniferneri said,

    June 11, 2009 at 11:07 am

    I think it exactly this balance that has me writing. As a scientist, there are so many aspects in writing that have to ordered. As an artist, it is all about creation.


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