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Self-publishing - a step in the right direction?

10 September 2007

'So here's the essence of what I learned as a do-it-yourself author: a publisher is far, far more than a printer and distributor of books, and an agent is more than a deal-maker. Industry insiders may get a chuckle out of the sheer obviousness of that, but I'll take the hit; I admit it, I had no idea. Until I'd found an agent who loved the book as much as I did, and saw more in it than I had, until I'd found an editor who led me to make this story better than I ever could have made it alone, I really had no idea. And... I didn't find them, I wasn't even looking for them. They found me, and I'll always be grateful for that.

Was self-publishing a step in the right direction, then, towards a big deal in traditional publishing? Yes, in some sense I suppose it was, but it only works that way in hindsight. In truth, I was just persistently following the advice of the big, blue coffee cup on my desk. It quotes Thoreau: Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. My wife bought that cup for me, five years ago, in a bookstore.'

Jack Henderson, author of Maximum Impact, in Publishing News