Go ahead, shout hypocrite at your computer screen.
Aaron, you say, you've self-published a pile of books (if e-books can be piled). Why shouldn't I self-publish my novel?
Let me start with this: I've killed Borrowed Saints. It was a weak book. I kind of knew it was weak, but I was lured in by the ever-present siren song: a ton of weak books sell, sell, sell. When I read through it the last time, just before publishing, I thought--yes, maybe. There's some good writing here, and some fun characters.
But really, is it the best I can do?
No. No, it's not. It needs work. Another ten-thousand words, at least. The ending, while attempting to be "cliff-hanger-eque" fell flat. I can do better. I know I can.
So I pulled it. One of the beauties of e-publishing. *zip* Gone.
It's easy to e-publish, for better or worse. In the case of Borrowed Saints, I think it might have been worse.
Last fall, I mentioned an e-publisher made an offer for my first novel. That poor book has been through the proverbial wringer, battered and abused and edited to death. I picked it up again, planning to give it one more pass before self-publishing. Hey, if a publisher liked it...
But it stinks. The ideas, characters, and plot don't stink (much), but the writing?
So I'm starting a rewrite (along with my other WIP, a supernatural thriller). I'm keeping the characters, plot, and general idea, but killing all the over-wrought prose. I can see the writer I was five years ago in that book. That writer is dead. Without the failure and success of the last five years, without the struggle to sneak into a few prestigious short story markets and find publishers for my books, I wouldn't have become the writer I am now.
Thank God for bad books. Thank God for the hours I've spent writing, editing, revising, and deleting. Thank God for failure and the willingness to do it again. And again.
That novel you've written? Is it the best you can do?
Just because e-publishing is easy, it doesn't mean you should.