Fake News! In Self-Publishing

POSTED ON Apr 3, 2017

Joel Friedlander

Written by Joel Friedlander

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The world has been changed by “fake news” over the past couple of years.

This odd concept came to us from the battlefield of politics, and now it seems that we all have to start learning how to tell the “fake” news from the real thing, the news you can trust.

That’s a big burden to put on the individual, and many will probably just tune out. But the idea of “fake” news can reveal some truths and falsehoods in self-publishing, too.

In fact, it’s undeniable that there’s plenty of “fake” news out there, and although it may not be coming from teenagers in Macedonia, the sooner we learn to spot it, the better off we’ll be.

Here are some examples I’ve come across recently. I bet you’ve got plenty of examples of your own.

Fake News! in Self-Publishing

“Nobody makes money self-publishing, it’s basically an ego trip. Sad!”

More and more authors are reaching far more readers than ever through self-publishing. Top-selling authors get the best of both worlds, publishing some books through traditional publishers, others on their own. But there’s no denying that there are now thousands of authors making a living—or better—from publishing their own books.

“Really good writers don’t need to self-publish, so obviously you are all losers. Sad!”

Methods for publishing your content have exploded in recent years, with all kinds of new digital channels like podcasting, serialization, and live video feeds. Combined with print and audio formats, self-publishers have more ways than ever to reach their audience. And that’s exactly what they’re doing, at a speed and with an agility large corporate publishers can’t match.

“Everything that’s self-published is low quality crap and can’t stand up to books from trade publishers. Sad!

Simply uninformed. Self-publishers are producing some of the best quality books being published, often because they are not confined to the same type of economic models as larger publishers.

“Subsidy publishing is a great way to make your book available to readers.”

Wrong. Subsidy publishers ask you to pay all the money, while they acquire the rights and set the retail prices. Bad idea. They are in business to sell books and services to authors. Why participate in that?

“Completely automated social media sales funnel guarantees massive passive income.”

There is no completely automated system, everything that’s worth learning takes time and commitment, and you know that as well as I do. But sometimes we forget what we know when we’re clicking links in a semi-dream state, and we suspend our normal disbelief. Typical “fake” news.

“Ebooks are the future of books, print is dying. Sad!”

Yeah—no. What we do know at this point in the evolution of digital reading is that there is a large and stable market for ebooks, and a reading public devoted to the medium.

And there is an even bigger reading public buying print books, as they have done for years.

Both are good things for independent publishers!

“Let me show you my 7-step method to write a bestseller this weekend!”

Why do ordinarily smart, savvy, people keep buying into ridiculous claims like these? Is the lure of easy, quick money so intoxicating that we lose our ability to remember the obvious?

No, you’re not going to “write” a bestseller in a weekend, no matter how many testimonials there are on that sales page.

But you knew that.

And knowledge is the best defense against “fake” news no matter where you find it.

Look at the source. Do you trust it? Does it correspond to other reports from other sources?

What does your common sense tell you?

Don’t fall for “fake” news. That would be sad!

Joel Friedlander

Written by
Joel Friedlander

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