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Opinion: Why Self-publishing is Like a Farmers’ Market

What analogy would you use to describe the world of self-publishing? English author Lynne Pardoe finds it reminds her of the farmers’ market, conjuring up images of foods that are all the more delicious for being appealingly non-conformist and sending profit directly to their point of origin.

Photo of a farmers market stall full of colourful peppers

Farmers’ markets – full of delightful surprises

Anyone for smoked chilli?

Who hasn’t discovered the joys of unearthing gourmet hidden treasures in a Farmer’s Market? I don’t know how I ever lived without the memorable treats of handmade rose chocolates, ancient historical varieties of strawberries deemed too fragile for the supermarket shelf and yes, smoked chilli.

I was at Salisbury Farmers’ Market recently searching stalls for new treasures, niche products that someone has lovingly created in their home and bought to a deserving public, when I realised how much like the self-publishing world a Farmer’s Market is.

Selfpublishing as  Personal Quest

A self-published book is a different beast entirely to the mainstream tome. It exists because someone has lovingly created it in their own way, with their own vision, not because some publisher or agent thinks it’ll appeal to a broad enough audience to sell loads and earn shedloads of money. Sometimes so many agents, editors, proof readers and all have had their sticky fingers on mainstream books they’ve lost their very essence. After all, taking risks by publishing radical works is way out of the accountant’s comfort zone.

I’m a child care social worker about to publish case studies of the people I’ve worked with, under my maiden name Lynne Pardoe.  Social Work is not an easy topic to sell. People have pre-conceived ideas about it. I’ve lost count of how many folk’s expression goes deadpan at parties when I tell them what I do. It is true that it is one of the most challenging and dangerous jobs in the modern world, yes. Yet it’s one of the richest, most rewarding jobs ever possible.

Self-publishing as a Vision

The world of self-publishing is not mainstream. These books exist because of the vision of the author. They are entirely unique, the fruit of the author’s passion for their subject. Discovering someone’s newly published baby is to discover someone’s exclusive way of looking at a subject, gone with the mundane in with the unique. I find it impossible to resist the vast melting pot of unblemished, raw, human ideas that is self-publishing and the world is a better place for it.

Books can change the world and innovation starts here.

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“Why #selfpublishing is like a #farmersmarket by Lynne Pardoe: https://selfpublishingadvice.org/farmers-market/ via @IndieAuthorALLI & @spabbygirl”

7 Responses to Opinion: Why Self-publishing is Like a Farmers’ Market

  1. jilljmarsh September 29, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

    Lke your thinking Lynne – just written something very similar to encourage people to come to the Indie Author Fair in November. It’s all about discoveries! http://triskelebooks.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/book-your-table-for-this-autumns-indie.html

    • lynne September 30, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

      That’s a great idea Jill. Can we have a virtual one too? 🙂

  2. Jessica Redland September 29, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    Great post, Lynne, and wonderful imagery. Good luck with your quest to go indie. I’ll be watching with interest.
    Jessica x

    • lynne September 29, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

      Thanks Jessica! I’m looking forward to reading your debut in spring! x

  3. clare weiner September 29, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    Interesting ideas here, love the analogy, and your illustration. So, whyever do people do the glazed-eyes thing at parties? Social work very interesting, and quite dangerous! (As a writer, they say ‘Ooh, and should I have heard of you?’, fixing the beady eye on you! Or, they say , ‘Oh how lovely. I’ve always wanted to write!’)

    Have you read the Crater Lake books by Francis Guenette? She uses her experience as trauma counsellor as background to her fiction writing: very readable novels.

    • lynne September 29, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

      Hi Clare, I loved the analogy & Debbie found the fab illustration, it’s great isn’t it.
      I hadn’t heard of Francis Guenette so I googled her and found her books, They look excellent so I bought one straight away, I love discovering new authors. Thanks for the recommendation Clare!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Self-Published Authors, eh? What Are They LIKE? | Pills & Pillow-Talk - October 19, 2014

    […] Like, say, a cut-price Ian McEwan or a downmarket version of a Julian Barnes. Or maybe a Maggie O’Farrell with spelling mistakes. A Ruth Rendell minus the mystery. Gone Girl without any suspense. Perhaps even Jeanette Winterson with random capitals and grocers’ apostrophes. You know the type: potatoe’s, lettuce’s, Orange’s aRE Not The Only FRuit.   As it happens, more than one commentator describes the indie scene as a literary farmer’s market (see posts by JJ Marsh  and Lynne Pardoe. […]

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