Sunday, May 17, 2009

Not so over the rainbow - Self Publishing Success Myth Busted #1

Ok, nothing seems to get to me lately quite like these self publishing success MYTHS. They get spread around like rotting fish jelly to mire the starry eyed, and stink just as badly.

They're bad for the expectations of new writers who jump into this route, mistakenly believing that fame and fortune is simply a matter of time.

These myths sport various ranges of misinformation, exaggeration, and just plain fabrication - and are spouted right and left by both clueless writers and scam publishers.

The first one I'm going to tackle is extremely short and sweet, and features one of my favorite childhood writers: L. Frank Baum.

Originally, he was a newspaper writer; going on to write Mother Goose in Prose, Father Goose: His Book, and my favorite as a small child - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Baum's first book, Mother Goose, was published in 1897 by Way and Williams.

The Wizard of Oz and the subsequent 13 books in the Oz series were published by the George M. Hill Company of Chicago.

Now, the chorus of self publishing will caw and squeal about how Baum self published.  While technically true, none of the enchanting children's books that he is known and loved for were part of that project.

Nor were any of the numerous short stories, nor the writing he sold under a pen name.

L. Frank Baum did self publish - a pamphlet about chicken farming.

Not quite so exciting now, is it?


  1. Just wanted to pop my head in and say good post. Nothing riles me up more than people twisting facts to prove their point, and self publishing advocates tend to do that a lot.

    I have no issue with particular issue with the concept of self-publishing, myself, but i do take issue with things being misrepresented.

    So cheers for this series of posts

  2. Thanks, Issac!

    I'll be finishing up with the biggest of these in the next few weeks, then moving on to real self pubbed successes - with a look into how they achieved that success.