Is there shame in self-publishing?

I’ve self-published my book.  I’m proud to tell friends, family, acquaintances I haven’t talked to in years, people I’ve only met once, and strangers on the street that I have a book available at

But I keep saying it with a disclaimer.  When that person gets super excited, I calm them down and tell them it’s self published.  But I assure them it’s good.

“It’s been professionally edited,” I tell them.

In the latest edition of “The 3rd Degree”, the newsletter of the Mystery Writer’s of America, there’s an interview with Karin Slaughter, best selling author of the Will Trent series.   She warns aspiring writers to be cautious regarding self-publishing because writers need to be edited to make them better writers.

I agree.  My work has been put the keen eye of an editor.

I hired Anne Dubuisson Anderson ( to edit my book and she did an excellent job.  She helped me make the language smoother, brainstormed ideas to strengthen the ending, and pointed out some plot holes.  But, the story remained the one I wanted to tell.  (I’ve often heard how authors made compromises in their stories based on editors/agents/publisher ‘suggestions’).

‘Gone…But Not Missed’ is a much stronger piece of work because of her.  I plan to hire her again before self publishing the sequel, ‘Lost & Found.’

I’ve self-published because I felt I’d done everything I could to get “Gone…But Not Missed” traditionally published.  I hired someone to re-write my query letter.  Anne edited my book and re-wrote the query.  I’ve researched agents tirelessly.  I follow many on Twitter (even the ones who’ve rejected my work. **Notice writers, I didn’t write ‘Me’.  They didn’t reject me.  They just didn’t feel my work was right for them.  I keep my feelings of rejection reserved for my dating life.)

I sent out 112 queries, I received 62 rejections.  It was time to change my game plan.

I have no shame for the work I produced.   I have no shame that I’ve self published.  Just because I couldn’t find an agent who believed in ‘The Nathan Miccoli Mystery series” doesn’t mean I shouldn’t believe.

”Ya, gotta believe!” – Tug McGraw, Mets relief pitcher, 1973


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