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  • C. J. Korryn

Is The Self-Published Book Being Censored?

Okay so this might be more of a rant than anything else and might be quite short as well, but what I have noticed, being a self-published author, it is nearly impossible to get on the “big bookstore shelves.” By self-published author I mean I paid for someone to edit, advertise, create e-formats, and distribute(ish) my book (a vanity publisher). This, in my opinion, was a mistake, but it did teach me a lot about writing. So, is the self-published book being censored? Probably not, but it sure as heck does feel like it. I have gone to several of the big bookstores as well as a few Christian bookstores, and it seems that no bookstore accepts books that do not come from a big, well known traditional publisher like Penguin, Zondervan, Ingram, Tyndale House, Random House, etc. Now, I am sure there are other publishers, and even small “no name” publishers that have successfully contracted with these big stores to get their books on the shelves, but that isn’t even the big deal for me.

Not only do these big stores make it so tedious, if possible at all, for a self-published book to be on the bookshelves, they don’t even let the author host any events at their stores, despite the fact that the author would have to fund the advertising, as well as give a portion of the earnings from this event to the particular local book store that hosts it. I have been in contact with a couple book stores who claim that their policy only allows to host events from authors whose books are sold on their shelves. This is quite irritating, especially given the fact that I had offered to pay for all costs for the event. The store would literally not have to pay a dime in advertising or supplies. They would in fact (hopefully) make money from the sales. It doesn’t really make sense to me to deny this, if the store would not lose any money in allowing such an event - but, it is what it is. One of the issues that I have faced with my current book is that it is a “print on demand” book, which, it seems, that the big book stores do not allow on their shelves for whatever reason.

I am considering creating my own “publishing company” so I can have the simple title of “publisher” behind me which might…..might make it a bit easier to get approved to have my books sold on the shelves. I need to research this and see if it will be a wise decision or not. I already have a local printing company in Dallas that has the resources to print large quantities that I can go with which will hopefully allow me not to have to label my books as “print on demand” or anything. I have already researched and learned how to make e-books, which is extremely easy. My next few steps are to research advertising strategies and places (like those old magazines that my family used to get that had books you could order and upcoming books with a synopsis of the plot and the such) to advertise my books and upcoming books.

Personally, I don’t think going with a vanity publisher is the way to go, as you can pretty much do everything they do for free or a fraction of the cost they charge (but that is another blog). It simply takes a bit of research and time to make sure everything is in the proper formats and all. I will most likely be going entirely self-published, doing EVERYTHING myself, but until I make that decision, I will continue to look for traditional publishers. I have thought of publishing with a company that is between vanity and traditional publishing. They do everything a traditional publisher would, but the author has to buy a thousand books upon the publishing date. This is how they make sure they don’t go bankrupt if your book doesn’t sell. This may be an option for me as well.

Anyhoo, that is my rant – not sure if I have ever posted a rant on my blog before…maybe the last, maybe not. I will soon be posting a couple more blogs that don’t really follow the “can God be in secular fiction.” One will be an informative blog about the different publishing options I have discovered and their pros and cons. Another blog will be talking about walking by faith and the such as it pertains to me and writing.

Thanks for reading.

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