Why I Self-Publish


By Dolores J. Nurss

Chapter 5

Consider this website an experiment. I have decided that writers do not deserve the present state of the publishing industry, and so I seek to help pioneer an alternative.
 
In the current state, a writer devotes years of painstaking attention to every word in a novel, only to turn it over to an overworked, underpaid editor, who has a whole stack of novels on her desk waiting for her to rush through at a slave-driver’s pace, letters blurring before her eyes and one tale fuzzing into the next. If the story somehow manages to capture her jaded attention against the odds, she must correct it; if she makes no corrections on what she receives, she will appear not to have done her work. Sometimes also she must hack or stretch the work on the Procrustean bed of some form for which the author never intended it, but which fits one of the few slots available in the publishing house’s current menu. She then passes on what’s left to a higher editor for further mutilation, and so on to the top, where business-savvy executives make the final decisions based on the fads of the day rather than literary merit for the ages.
 
In the case of my own work, I often write in a fashion more suitable to a weekly media than the bound book anyway. Episodic chapters might drag in a book, rambling all over the place without moving the story forward at a fast enough clip for something that one wants to finish before dinner. Yet sagas ramble, and the rambling can satisfy certain needs which no one ever meant a book to answer.
 
Admittedly, all manner of flaws, to which my bias blinds me, could creep into my style. Many could justifiably argue that I need a Mommy Editor to whack me upside the head until I write in the Approved Style. Yet even if these tales--my children--could enjoy a much improved, Hollywood-standard face through a liberal application of plastic surgery, they're still my children, and I'd need some extremity to subject them to anyone else's shaping. As for the supposed necessity of having someone else copy-proof my work on all the little particulars, I used to transcribe for doctors, where a typo could kill a patient. While I no longer type at that hyper-stressful level (and occasionally it shows) I daresay what few typos do slip through do not outnumber those allowed or added by an exhausted editor nodding over her desk. Besides, in the computer format, I can make corrections at any time. And believe me, people will let me know promptly what needs correcting!
 
I realize that I will, at least at this point, receive far less money or notice this way than I might through an established publisher. But I will get it for my own work in its original state.
 

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