Though I understand that many are referring to what I would call drafts
or unfinished/unpolished works
when they dismiss self-published material, I was feeling slightly discouraged re: some folks' dismissiveness. Then I remembered that Andrew Hallam, author of the bestselling Millionaire Teacher, recently told me that The Wealthy Barber was self-published, so I looked that up.
Here are my favourite parts of this story, as told on wikipedia:
Chilton began his career by self-publishing his book The Wealthy Barber [...] one of the best selling Canadian books of all time, selling over two million copies since its release. [...] Chilton left his role in the publishing industry in 2007, primarily due to the guilt of not contributing to the development of the industry, while taking a third of all profits. [...] Chilton has stated that it is unlikely he will publish another financial guide book, as the writing process proved to be too strenuous...
I love that he self-published, and saw tremendous success via that path.
I love that it became one of the bestselling Canadian books of all time :)
I love that when he became a publisher of others' works, he ultimately left due to the guilt of taking more than a justified amount.
I love that (according to this account) he found serious writing "strenuous." (I'm not crazy, yay!)
The Joy of Not Working
by Ernie Zelinski was a similar self-published success in that genre.
Of course, not every book will see this outcome, but...I feel happy when I see evidence that "self-published" does not equal "crap", that stuff rejected by or not submitted to publishers may be that which proves to be most loved/helpful, that there are endless variables that determine whether a book reaches the masses or not, etc.
We write, we put it out there. The rest is up to Whatever. We have to be okay with whatever outcome, but I think it's important that we have resiliency in response to some off-hand comments. That's my journey, anyway!
How's your writing going today? :)