Home > Getting Published, Self-publishing > #TraditionallyPublished vs. #SelfPublished Authors

#TraditionallyPublished vs. #SelfPublished Authors

I happened to read (for the first time) The Hindu interview I did on August 7, 2015, and was aghast. The writer, obviously, has no clue what self-publishing is all about, despite the long email interview I typed up for her explaining how it all works. Here’s part of her article (obviously her interpretation of the state of publishing):

“We are all familiar with the story of an unpublished writer. He has spent a year or more writing a book, keeping it a secret from almost everyone. Then, he spends another year writing to all the publishers he can find. Soon after, snooty rejection letters start trickling in, and the story ends slowly with the writer getting himself a job.

However, the onset of self-publishing has pierced a severe dent in this clichéd story. Though the “serious” breed of writer will never want the ignominy of having to publish his own work”
Only ‘serious’ work from traditionally published authors? Really?

There are excellent books that traditional publishers have published; that goes without saying. But how do you explain the 50 Shades trilogy, all the ‘campus lit’ books penned by ‘serious’ authors?

I might be wrong, but I don’t recall them being complimented on the quality of their writing (or editing).

Serious Indies (Independent/self published authors) spend serious money on quality editing. To call us ‘non-serious’ is not only elitist, it is derogatory: not the kind of ignorant/disparaging comment I would expect from a newspaper like The Hindu.

I need to put in a note here: I *chose* to self-publish. I declined a traditional publishing contract in order to do that. So this downgrades me from serious to non-serious? Wow! Imagine that!

I have been noticing more and more that these reporters ask for interviews, then cut and paste things out of context. One of the interviews I did with The Times of India talked about self-publishing in the same breath as vanity publishing. This, despite the fact I took the time to explain the difference. That paragraph was just hacked off, probably because it didn’t fit in the word count prescribed for the article.

I don’t want to turn this into a battle between ‘us’ (the Indies) and ‘them’ (the traditionally published). All of us work hard on our books and deserve to be judged by the quality of our writing, and not how we chose to be published.

I’m seriously ticked off. I think it is time ‘serious’ Indies in India talked about this. I’ll be at the Publishing Next conference in Goa, Sept 11-12. If you want to discuss this, please find me at my panel and we’ll connect.

  1. August 22, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Gosh, such partiality. Good you are sharing this. Please speak out more. I wholly support indie publishing. I will be sharing and speaking more for them now.

    • rasanaatreya
      August 22, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      Thank you, Interpreet. Appreciate your support!

  2. August 22, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Finally, they will live and they will learn that to own your own books in toto, is far better than being with a trad publisher. Rasana Atreya would not have been a Brand if she had been following the traditional publishing route. I know, we are inspired by her and want to follow her example.

    • rasanaatreya
      August 22, 2015 at 4:01 pm

      Appreciate your words of support, Samasti!

  3. August 22, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    That is SO elitist. They clearly have no idea what they are talking about. I think that they have already decided what they want to write, and are not open to any other line of thought.

    I have read ‘Tell a Thousand Lies’ and I have found the story, narration and editing a lot better than some books by “serious” authors. I am not saying that anyone who gets published traditionally is no good. Just that the credibility of the author should not be judged by the medium he/she chooses to publish.

    • rasanaatreya
      August 22, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      Exactly my point, Shantala

  4. Jasbir Jagdeo
    August 23, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    When the newspapers and media in general these days are so serious about news, it is not surprising that they consider independent writers as non-serious, jokers in fact (or is it jokers in the pack?). Just notice how serious they are when moderating those debates on television. Their debates have solved problems as complex as Kashmir and rising cases of rapes. And seriousness has to be measured by relationships. Closer the relationship with the writer/publisher, more serious the ‘breed’. Imagine the gravity when a journalist herself becomes a writer!

    • rasanaatreya
      August 23, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      Being an author is more about celebrity than writing, unfortunately!

  5. sagar
    August 31, 2015 at 12:21 am

    It’s thing of proud to make aware indian authors about self publishing
    I am about to finish my very first book about success but i want to know more details about publishing so please give me your email so i can solve problems
    Thanks mam

  6. sagar
    August 31, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Fantastic job!!
    Dear mam you are now a successful personality and helping others its thing of proud for me as Indian
    I am about to finish my first book next month , and this book is my dream project .I am working from my first year of engineering .I amstudying in Nashik at k. k. wagh engg college
    My question is about how to set banking information ?
    Plz do reply in detail
    I would like tu publish book under your guidance
    Thank you mam!

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