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- author Jackie French

Sunday 3 April 2011

Guest Post: Self-Publishing with Wally

unlike his book title,
Adam is willing to share-a-lot
Adam 'Wally' Wallace is both a self- and traditionally-published author. In this thrilling interview, he discusses some of the myths surrounding self-publishing (and boy are there some myths).

It’s said that traditionally-published authors look down on self-published authors. Is this true?
No, I believe on average self-published authors are just as tall as traditionally-published authors.

Serious answer - I have found that traditionally-published authors have been nothing but helpful and accommodating towards me. They have offered advice, given names of people to contact and more. In short, they have been open and willing to help another author. This community spirit amongst writers has continued now I am traditionally published. It has been brilliant.

Is there a stigma attached to self-publishing?
Not that I know of. I was never offered a car.

Serious answer – Maybe there is, but who cares? If it is what you really want to do, if you really believe in your book and aren’t getting anywhere traditionally, go for it! Turn around that stigma. Make it a stigma for good and not evil.

Brilliant authors have self-published. Mark Twain, James Joyce, Beatrix Potter, Deepak Chopra, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Virginia Woolf, and many more. Check out this website simonteakettle.com/famousauthors.htm.

Another theory is that you can’t make any money self-publishing. Is this true?
I guess it depends what you’re publishing. If you’re publishing 10 dollar notes you would obviously be able to make money self-publishing.

Serious answer - You can make money self-publishing. But you won’t make money on a self-published book sitting on your butt at home. You have to get it out there. You’re the publisher, marketer, distributor, etc etc. You’re the man, even if you’re a woman. Whether it’s via the internet or selling at markets, fairs, shopping centres or visiting schools or getting yourself a distributor - whatever - it is on you to get that book out there and let people know about it. If you don’t, that is going to make it a hell of a lot harder to make this financially viable.

[Editor's note: as an author who has also self-published some of my books, I have made more money than I could ever make through a traditional publisher. Of course, I've had to work myself to a mid-life crisis to make that happen. . . and it won't happen overnight, but it will happen (trademark on that phrase pending)]

Does self-publishing mean a lot of rubbish makes it into the marketplace?

If it does isn’t that just recycling? Which is a good thing, what with the ozone layer and all. I actually don’t know what recycling has to do with writing but this is your interview, so I’m happy to answer whatever questions you ask.

Serious answer – Yes. There is a chance that self-published books may not have gone through as thorough a process as one released by a traditional publisher. It may not have as fancy a cover. It may look like crap. It may not even have been edited. 

Do not let this be you. It is up to you, if you self-publish, to make your book the very best it can be.

So edit, edit and re-edit. Read, read and re-read your work. Read it out loud, as this will very quickly show up sections that are clumsy and hard to read. Outsource if your skills are not as high as you would like. Get someone to edit your work, design a cover, anything really. Universities are great for this as well. Approach a university with a writing course and see if any students are willing to edit your work for extra credit. There are ways!

Self-publishing is brilliant in many ways. It gets your book published. It starts the process of building a following of your work. It shows publishers you have the initiative, the drive, and the dream of becoming a published author.

So last, but not least, keep writing, have fun and GOOD LUCK!
See much much (much!) more at adam-wallace-books.com