In sitting through so many panels during this weekends Vancouver Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention I found myself faced with a variety of questions that reflect where my writing needs to go next.
One point that has stayed fresh in mind due to it’s arrival near the end of my third day, is the question of what having a manuscript House-Published gives you over going the Self-published route. Or more importantly, the answer: To get the attention of a House-Publisher, you must present a piece with sufficient polish to rise above the noise.
People like to throw out stats such as the number of Self-Published authors who never sell more than X dollars over the life of their book(s) to show how bad self-publishing is. Unfortunately, such stats ignore the difference between the earnings of an SP author who has made the effort to polish their work and one who simply throws up their first (or even second) draft. I mean, what would the numbers for House-Publishing look like if they were required to include rejected manuscripts in their stats? Or even every book for which they hold a licence regardless of In Print status?
Thus I’ve reached my main point: Is it possible to build a reliable system that would help readers differentiate between Self-Published books that have been polished to a standard at least equal to that of a House-Published book and those that have not? I honestly don’t know if the answer is yes.