Why people don’t read self-published books


Self publishing is the modern way

Why don’t some people take self-published books seriously? Not everyone can interest an agent or publisher in their work, just as not everyone (no matter how talented) can play in the NFL. Some writers make the effort and pay the cost and self-publish. Writers sell writing to live, you know.

Some really skilled football players get turned down by the NFL, and sometimes for one single reason. There just aren’t enough positions on all the teams put together, for every one to play football on a pro team. Other good players play on regional leagues. Some coach. Some teach. Some even write books about football. That doesn’t make them bad players, or dumb players, or trashy players.

It makes them non-NFL players.

How self publishing is like football

It’s not. Except in a single way: not everyone can get an agent or publisher – a single, fallible, mistake-making human – to slow down and buy their manuscript. That’s the breaks. There aren’t enough slots in publishers lists for all the books that want to get written. About 80% of Americans believe they have an important book in their head. Do the math – lot of books. There aren’t that many football players, and look at their  chances to go pro.


Lately, some of the biggest writing names on the planet are going with self-publishing either in print or digitally. Steven King. John Grisham, Libby Hellmann, Stephen R. Covey, Maryan Pelland. Now read below why some people won’t even consider a self-published book.

One really terrible reason not to read self-published books

I subscribe to a newsletter called TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home. It’s a good read, packed with current info and published what feels like way too often (just my humble…)

The newsletter writer said this today:

“But on the other hand, there are still people who won’t read self-published books—I have a friend who says he won’t look even at ones friends recommend to him simply because he knows there are already more books that passed by a professional publishing gatekeeper than he could ever read and sees no reason to look outside those lines at something that may be awful. And it’s not clear yet whether a replacement gatekeeper will be found.

Italics are mine. This thinking says never go to an off-Broadway show. Never try an ethnic restaurant. Never watch a minor-league, or indeed, a little league game. Never listen to an unknown musician. They might be bad.

TeleRead, I really like subscribing to your site, but choose some more open-minded friends, will you, before all the up and coming talent in the world starves? Wait a minute. Aren’t you self-publishing??

Read more Ontext

Which is better – self publishing or traditional publishing?

Can writers find jobs through social media?

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  1. Tweets that mention Why people don’t read self-published books | ontext.com -- Topsy.com - June 4, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mkpelland, Maryan Pelland. Maryan Pelland said: TeleRead offers a reason not to read inde pub and self published books. OnText says you might want to read them. http://bit.ly/cExTsF […]

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