Today I'm excited to welcome the awesome Jessica Bell to Operation Awesome.
There has been a lot of talk about self-publishing floating around the blogosphere (and internet in general) lately. With authors like Amanda Hocking (who since self-published 8 books in April 2010, has sold over 185,000 copies) landing huge deals it seems like self-publishing is a good idea. Jessica has just released a self-published collection of poems, Twisted Velvet Chains, and has come to chat about self-publishing.
Take it away, Jessica...
To self-publish or not to self-publish.
To be honest, I was hesitant to self-publish this collection of poems because of that horrible stigma related to self-publishing. Due to my debut novel coming out with a traditional publisher this November, I was worried that people were going to think that the novel will be self-published too. See? WORRIED. Why was I worried about such a silly thing? Because of the STIGMA. That horrible green worm that burrows its way into our heads to try and make us think something isn’t worth reading or spending money on.
PEOPLE!? Let’s destroy that immediate feeling we get when we realize something is self-published: “It mustn’t be up to par with what I’m used to reading. I want quality, not something some author was desperate to get into print.” That is what we all think, right? Well, I’m hoping that this poetry collection can be a teeny-weeny stepping stone towards thinking the opposite. Well, it certainly is for me, from the point of view of an author who has more often than not felt the same way about other self-published books.
I’m not going to beat around the bush. I’m really PROUD of this poetry collection. I believe it’s different and powerful and worth reading. People who have never even read poetry are getting into it, and I think that’s something really positive. I just want to share this book. And I also want to ignore that need to have a publisher validate my work. I don’t want a publisher to validate it. I want to be confident about it on my own. I want to trust myself.
And let’s face it. Poetry is hard to sell. Even well-known poets are lucky to sell 50 copies of their collections. There just aren’t enough people reading poetry anymore. So spending all my time and energy seeking out a publisher who would probably only print about 100 copies anyway, just didn’t seem worth the effort. Because in the end, what would be the benefit? The only benefit would be that I get to “say,” my book is being published by a reputable name. That’s all it is. A name. Just like Prada is to fashion. So I bit the bullet and self-published a poetry book. I hope you can all give poetry a chance. You never know, you might really enjoy it and start writing some yourself!
Do you read and/or write poetry? If so, what sort of poetry do you get into? Have you read any poetry lately that you would willingly recommend others read? What made it worth the recommendation?
Jessica Bell Bio