Sorry I've been so lax in putting up blog posts lately. I've been busy having adventures throughout the world (which I've been documenting on other people's blogs...here's one about how I ran the Inca trail with two Olympians...speaking of that, I think I need to do some battle scenes at altitude in my next fantasy novel since I can't think of anyone ever doing that effectively [by the way, do me a favor and "like" that page]).
So I was just sitting here in this high rise apartment in Lima and I started thinking about the whole self-publishing quandary. Currently there is a real snitty attitude about self-publishing, even though basically every novel that is currently regarded as a classic was self-published (I'm being a little wishy-washy with figures there, but it IS a fact that self-publishing has been the norm rather than the exception throughout literary history).
I've done both and I personally prefer to have a publisher since I think I need somebody to kick my butt a little bit, design covers, edit, etc. Still, I started out self-publishing and I kind of look back on those days now with a bit of wistful nostalgia.
You see, self-publishing makes sense if you're just writing for the sake of writing. If you're actually attempting to pursue writing as a career and make money, then yes, self-publishing is pretty worthless. But if you just want to practice your craft, take daring literary chances, and get your work out there where people can get their hands upon it (and rip it apart), by all means self-publish.
Honestly, in the normal evolution of writing, self-publishing will probably bookend your career. You should self-publish in the beginning just to get an idea of what the process is like, and then, fifty years down the road when you're so famous that everything you write is guaranteed to be a bestseller, you can probably self-publish again to maximize profits. This whole idea that you don't want to self-publish something because then that book is "lost" is utter rubbish. Above all, a writer must continue to write, not sit around guarding their one novel length work against any and all mistreatment.
The fact is, there are a bunch of pretentious morons out there who ceaselessly spout out a lot of garbage on "modern day literary theory" and who frankly don't know what they're talking about. Many of these people are college professors, who look down their nose at writers who have self-published, even though getting a Ph. D. is the academic equivalent of self-publishing in my opinion (you pay somebody a lot of money to give you a piece of paper that says you're worth something). Since self-publishing is a lot cheaper than getting a Ph. D., it seems like the smarter investment (and you learn more). Still, it's probably best to publish under a cool pseudonym (Clem Wretched).
For now, at least, I'm darn happy with my publisher Rhemalda, but I don't begrudge anyone for self-publishing. That being said, I'm probably not going to read anything that was self-published either (then again, I don't read much of anything anymore...I'm too busy writing...like the Marquis de Sade).