I'm writing my very first book and I think it's almost ready to be published. Will publishing with a traditional publisher make me seem more credible? Is self-publishing just for people who can't get a real publisher?
No and no. You're either credible or not. Unless traditional publishers are prepared to
lie fib about what qualifies you to write a specific book, your credibility is only as authentic as the truth that makes you an authority on your book's topic, your talent and evidence that you are worthy of writing a book.
Can a publisher work with you and guide you to becoming more recognizable as an authority, hence making you appear more credible? Yes. You can also do this yourself. However, most people lack the creative talent and professional know-how to do this on their own. The skill of self-promotion can be learned but few people with demanding day jobs and responsibilities have the time to invest in doing this on the side while still maintaining a full-time job as most new writers do.
Many people are opting to self-publish, not because they can't get a publisher to take on their project, but because they don't want to share the profit. If a writer believe that he or she has a secure market and can sell directly to that market because the audience views the writer as credible, they may opt to take on the daunting collection of tasks required for successful self-publishing. Sadly, it can also become overwhelming and they can end up losing their credibility if the work is not up to the expected standard.
It's a tricky publishing world we live in. To avoid irreparable damage to your reputation caused by small errors in your first book, read my blog post on getting your head in the right space before you begin.
Write your questions to Diedre at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diedre Callam is a publishing specialist and layout/graphic designer.