How not to sell your literary masterpiece

I’m not going to lie, I tend to dislike about half of what is printed on Pimp My Novel. Not out of jealousy or insecurity or anything – I have not yet started submitting manuscripts, so I’m not your typical jaded crazy. Sometimes he just irritates me. I know I’m not an expert, but sometimes I disagree. Sometimes I just don’t like what he’s written.

But today Eric has written something I will staunchly defend – why, if you intend to be taken seriously in the literary world, you should not self-publish your book.

Click through to see his thoughts, all of which are stated more professionally and more hilariously than I could.

Besides, why would you take me seriously, anyway? He works in sales. I work in…wait, I don’t have a job. So he’s already a step ahead of me there.

(And by the way, most of the self-publishing success stories you hear are simply not true. Harsh, maybe, but that’s life, toots.)

If you’re considering self-publishing because you’ve been rejected by every agent and house in The Book, then the real bottom line is that you either need to overhaul and rewrite your none-hit wonder, or shelve it and work on the next one. And if you keep submitting the revised copy while you’re writing, it always helps to have book #2 (or 4 or 8 or 16) underway.

My favorite quote from Pimp My Novel is:

What you’re essentially saying when you self-publish is “I want the entire world to read this novel that was declined by dozens, perhaps hundreds, of experts in the publishing field.” Again, this is either because it’s not considered salable in the existing market, not very good, or both. Again again, there are exceptions. Again again again, your novel is probably not one of them. Write a better one!

And if you’re convinced that it isn’t your book that’s the problem, maybe it’s your query letter.


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