Last week I was honoured to receive an invitation to speak at the Booksellers NZ Conference. On a personal and an industry-wide level, this means a lot to me.
Before deciding to ‘go indie’ and self publish, one of my concerns was validation. See, if you’re traditionally published, you have the publisher’s backing that your work is to a publishable standard. But if you are your own publisher, then you are declaring your own work as ‘good’. Surely that’s a conflict of interest?
Like the nomination (and later the shortlisting) for the SJV awards, and every purchase or review or compliment I receive for my work, this is just one little thing that reminds me my work is valid, relevant and useful.
I first started writing in 2012. I met Joy Findlay who became my self-publishing mentor for a while, and helped me build confidence in my role as a writer. At this time, self-publishing was beginning to gain validity in the broader industry, but really just finding its feet. It was still, very much, traditional publishing’s ugly duckling.
It is absolutely fantastic to see a national bookseller’s conference include a session on self-publishing. The inclusion reflects a growing acceptance for self-published books, which allow a greater diversity of voices to reach readers’ minds.
There is room for both traditional and self-publishing in the book world, and each offer unique strengths. I hope that as an industry, we continue to grown in support of one another.