About Me

My photo
Bookish. Publisher at Louise Walters Books. Reader, writer, and editor.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

New year, old attitudes

Hope everybody had a relaxing break over Christmas. I ate and drank too much, but I did watch some TV, I read a great book, and I spent New Year's Eve watching my new DVD: Abigail's Party. How good is that?

So now I'm on a diet, and gearing up for my second novel's publication in March. This time last year I was on the verge of making the decision to self-publish. I remember my main worry was that it wouldn't be "real" publication. I no longer feel that way. Although in my darker moments the thought does rear its ugly head again. So what are these darker moments that cause me to doubt my decision?

Well, dreadful articles such as the Huffpost piece at Christmas time that managed to denigrate ALL self-published authors. Self-publishing is "an insult to the written word". Well, anybody with a brain cell knows that's nonsense, so it isn't the article itself that worries me: it's the fact that these articles are still being given space, the authors of such drivel are still being paid to write them (except this author wasn't paid, because rumour has it the Huffpost doesn't pay its writers). The joyless fact that too many people still appear to share this attitude is what worries me. Of course there are crappy, sloppy, laughable "insults to the written word" among self-published books. But exactly the same can be said of "traditionally" published books. Who hasn't read (and/or given up on) a book and wondered how on earth it got published? Traditionally published books aren't necessarily a guarantee of literary merit and we all know that. And a self-published book isn't necessarily crap. Please, this year, can we dispense with this false dichotomy?

"Yes, Beverley, there is such a thing as a good self-published book." 

Indie music and indie films are broadly accepted, loved and respected. And crucially, indie film makers and musicians are integrated into their respective industries. Why not indie books and authors? It can only be snobbery, and fear, and a failure across the book industry to embrace the exciting development that is indie publishing. Such resistance! And such a long way to go. But we indie authors will get there, because we can't fail. We've come so far, and there is no going back. Technology, Amazon, book bloggers and readers are all on our side. So are some bookshops and libraries. Even a few book prizes are tweaking their rules so as not to exclude indie authors. I think more will follow. It may take a while, but they will.

So, despite silly Huffpost articles, I'm excited for March, and I'm working my butt off (alas, it's a metaphor) behind the scenes on publicity and marketing. I'm also working on a third novel. How that one will be published, I don't know. But I do know I have a range of options, and that is exciting.

Happy New Year!


  1. Absolutely right! So needs saying. Indie published books are as important as Indie music or any art form. Another point is that big businesses control WHAT we read! So minority issues - like my book 'A Funny Kind of Education' won't have a chance to get out there and give readers what they need. And many, many people have told me how helpful this book is. So rock on Indie authors - we NEED your contribution! Why should big corporate bullies control what we see?!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Ross. I think the problem is that "diversity" is quite a narrow definition in publishing (as in life?) and anything that's outside of the mainstream, such as home educating, is either not known about, misunderstood, or regarded as "weird". Yet a growing number of kids are home educated, as our education system is failing so many. There are just not enough books around featuring/reflecting the lives of home educated kids and families. Your Harry books are much needed! x

  2. Such a good post, Louise. It made me think how much I hate anything that smacks of snobbery. I love the indie analogy and also the cover of your new book. Wonerful. Good luck for March.

    1. Thanks so much Elizabeth! I'm thrilled with the cover, and very thankful I decided to work with Jennie Rawlings who designed it for me. She has really captured the essence of the story.