Is There a Stigma to Publication for Readers?

I think it is good to keep an open mind to all versions of publishing.  What am I talking about?  Well, Big Publishing Houses, small publishers, and self-publication.  A large publishing house is the one everyone out there wants to be a part of – the place where millions are made (or sometimes not.)  Then there are the small presses, which apparently most agents don’t like because authors can submit directly.  And third on my list is self-publication – the inspiration to this post.  There are lots of little details in each category, but the question remains is there a stigma to each? books

I suppose each method of publication has its stereo-types.  As a reader though, how does method of publication affect what you are going to read?  Obviously most small presses and self published authors won’t be found in book stores, so for traditional paperback reading that might cause a small problem.  For readers like me, and the fact I shop mostly online, this doesn’t bother me as much.  Do you scroll down to see who the publisher is before buying on sites such as Amazon or Barnes and Nobel?  Maybe you didn’t even know you could do that.

The reason I bring up the stigma, is that is appears even with the growth in popularity to self-publishing there are still a lot of people apprehensive to buy these books.  I had a self-published author share a fun fact about her current series.  Now it’s obvious that she has a smaller fan base as of right now and therefore participation would inherently be slower.  Why do I think that it is obvious she had a smaller fan base?  Well, most self published authors are their own marketing team, editing team, cover design team, etc etc.  They have to do it all on their own which can start out slower unless you have some big name connections.

The question I want answered is, is it a turn off to most people to hear a book is self published or even small publisher?  Would it be best to avoid these key words when marketing books in the aforementioned groups and why?  I know what my opinion is, but I would like to know what others think when looking for new books.  With the growing popularity in e-books, it is getting harder and harder to tell the difference of publishers vs self,  except in the case of the big six,  so maybe it is just a matter of time before any prejudice is forgotten.

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5 thoughts on “Is There a Stigma to Publication for Readers?

  1. Katie Checkley says:

    Great question! Though I’m not really sure how to answer it. I personally tend to go for traditionally published books…I’m not sure why, really. I’ve just never ventured into the self-published e-book realm. I imagine one day I will. I do think there is still a bit of a stigma to self-publishing…with time though, I imagine it will diminish. Sort of like online dating!

    • M. Ziegler says:

      From everything I can find, including forums, it seems like a lot of people stay away from self pubs due to the lack of editing. I’d love to look into the ones that ‘made it’ and see how much effort they put into making their manuscripts perfect. For now I read reviews and blurbs. It’s sad but if you can’t write the back of your book summary well, I and most people will assume the book is the same way. Thanks for your thoughts!!

  2. M.K. Kinnel (@MK_Kinnel) says:

    I’ve read a few self-pubbed gems that weren’t really great but maybe if the authors had went through a few round of critiques and spent the money on an independent editor, they could have had something worthwhile. I think that there are diamonds in the rough but I also know that if you’re going to self-pub, your mindset shouldn’t be to write your book and then run to throw it on Amazon or Smashwords. It doesn’t hurt to take it slow and perfect your MS. When I read a book’s reviews and all the readers can talk about are the grammatical errors and the lack of depth, I skip the purchase.

    So, to answer your question, I don’t have anything against self-pubbed books as long as they’re good. I’ve met a few authors through social media who have done it and their books were actually pretty good. Hey, to make it fair, I’ve read some dogs that were published through the “big” houses.

    • M. Ziegler says:

      I think a lot of people automatically assume the editing will be bad and I think for the vast majority that is probably true. I am not a grammar queen by any means so if I can catch errors it’s not good. I wouldn’t trust myself to try and edit my own book for publication – my editor is proving that to be correct. 🙂 Thanks for your thoughts on this. I agree – I read reviews. If they are promising then I would take the risk.

  3. Jennifer M Eaton says:

    In marketing I would not even mention it. I know when I look at a book, I check for a publisher. I have been burned by too many books that were self pubbed before they were ready. It’s sad, but for every self pubbed author out there that has put out quality work, there are 100+ who are self pubbing what looks like first drafts. As a consumer I like the comfort that someone else has read the book other than an author and deemed it good enough to take a chance on. What I take most to heart though are reviews. I’m Leary if there are only a few and the are stellar. 250 five star reviews with just a few low star ratings, though is something that will gain my attention

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