Ros Barber Waxes Blithe on Self-Publishing in The Guardian

I fine response to an article that had more than a few of us grinding our teeth.

James Cormier

ros-barber_bw_19Novelist Ros Barber wrote a piece for The Guardian’s Books blog last week that tacitly pans self-publishing in favor of traditional publication.*  Entitled “For me, traditional publishing means poverty. But self-publish? No way,” the article is a list of points explaining why Ms. Barber won’t self-publish, and why you shouldn’t either.  Here’s my point by point rebuttal.

“You have to forget writing for a living.”

“If you self-publish your book, you are not going to be writing for a living. You are going to be marketing for a living. Self-published authors should expect to spend only 10% of their time writing and 90% of their time marketing.”

Barber’s first assertion, like all those that follow, is anecdotal at best and a blind assertion without any evidentiary support at worst.  The only explanation for the 90/10 percent ratio she cites is that a single self-published author who commented on her…

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2 thoughts on “Ros Barber Waxes Blithe on Self-Publishing in The Guardian

  1. For many unless you have an inside track you should self publish if you want to make some type of income. I have friends who are published writers and they are not doing well. Overall the industry has a few booms and whole lot of busts.The only way to stand out is to build up a proper fan base, market like crazy, do videos and podcasts and publish quality material. There is no easy way to do this, but it will look easy once it all comes together for someone. The backstory for each success is usually years of poverty, long hours and endless suffering.


    1. Couldn’t agree more. Each writer’s experience is as individual as the writers themselves. I hate it when people group everyone together and make assumptions on all of their experiences and motivations, and all based on the comments of one or two people.

      Liked by 1 person

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