What Does "Published" Mean?

One of many "publicity" photos.  Self-promotion.
One of many "publicity" photos. Self-promotion.

Finding Your Fiction

The word "published" used to carry status, marking a personal, usually cathartic event, after years of toil and "blood on the brow" and indicated that a "publisher" thought you were good enough for them to take the enormous risk of trying to sell your novel. Normally it meant that someone in New York, or possibly Los Angeles, was going to copyedit your work, send you galleys, receive your final changes, create a professionally designed cover, develop a marketing plan, and sell. It meant that you would make a little money, probably not much, but some. But it also meant that you could get lucky and strike a cord with the public, that they might enjoy your talent when even you doubted it, and you make enough money to work on your next novel without having to worry about finding another publisher. "Published" was distinctly different than "self-published." Self-published meant using a "Vanity Press." Self-published meant you were usually a bombastic outsider, a self-promoter, more of a marketer than a writer. (With exceptions like William Blake and others.)

Now "published" means that you decided to become a writer because you heard that some teenager wrote a Kindle-Nook-IPad ebook of only 26 "pages" with Justin Bieber’s name in the title and sold a million copies and is now working on a follow-up fantasy for preteens called Ga-Ga-Gone. Now "published" means you’ve written a blog for an ezine, or that you posted on several sites, and a few people have made comments. It means you write for Hubpages-Ehow-Gather and earn a few Adsense dollars. "Published" means that you created and self-published a novel using a Print-On-Demand (POD) company like lulu or amazon’s Createspace. Now even great works like Huckleberry Finn are ebooks with annoying spaces between paragraphs, along with amateurs who decline to fix even basic technical problems in their ebook, who word-process out one ebook after another. And sites offer thousands of ebooks for free, where the author gets nothing, except the chance to be noticed, to win praise, or online contests, possibly akin to American Idol, singing off key and cursing the online community. Do these free electronic books devalue the writer? One ebook provider boasts that they’ve "published" 1,999,284,947,936 words. Soon they will have a bigger number than our national debt.

Do we need a new word for published? Instead of saying, yes, I have published, I feel the need to qualify and say, yes, I am published but it was a legitimate publishing company. I did not pay a dime for the privilege. And just to make sure you believe in my authenticity, I add, even got a great review in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Some editors thought my work was good enough, that they might also make a few bucks. Unfortunately, I was "published" in 2008 on the first wave of the Great Recession and "my publisher" succumbed in 2010. I have had stories "published" in quality literary magazines, one nominated for a Pushcart Prize. But I am also now "publishing" via Kindle and Nook and others. Look for my ebooks. Search Jeffrey Penn May! So in commanding you to search my name (with an exclamation!) have I now become one of the bombastic vanity press self-published authors of the past? Or have times changed? Now experienced writers are lumped into the pool with the inexperienced. The sometimes haughty demarcation between "self-published" and "published" has blurred. Is this good or bad or both? What do you think?

More by this Author


Comments 64 comments

Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 3 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi Trish, Not sure what is happening but I thought I approved and responded already to your comment. Could be that I was so immersed in my current writing project that I overlooked this. If so, I apologize. Yes, you make excellent points. And given the current publishing climate, I would encourage you and others to publish ebooks. Thanks for the comments! Jeff


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi :)

I love my books, and my Kindle just isn't the same, but publishing for Kindle does allow the public to decide. A writer no longer has to hope that a publisher, who may or may not be in a good mood, will like an author's work.

Though I would love to see my work actually in print, I do think that this way of publishing is brilliant.

I appreciate that anyone can now write anything, and publish it themselves, but that doesn't mean that they will become / be considered successful authors.

I can see your point about 'needing a new word for published', but to imply that only those books that have been chosen by a publisher are 'legitimate' is unfair, I think.

Yes, 'times have changed', and, as with most changes, this will probably prove to be 'good and bad and both'.

Interesting and thought-provoking hub!


DDE profile image

DDE 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I have a few kindle publications and I am quite pleases with my results


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 4 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi Janinamarie. Thanks for your comments. Yes, I've experienced the "closed door" too many times to count. Publishing has changed continually since I started writing and trying to publish. In 1980, I had a great dialogue, through the mail, with Scribners. They complimented my work. By the time I'd rewritten, the game had changed forever. Word processing became readily available. Publishers were inundated with writers who cranked out too many words without rewriting, without the blood on the brow required when using pen and paper and manual typewriters. They became overwhelmed and their doors slowly started to close even more than usual. Today they are virtually shut. The same process seems to be happening with ebooks. Everybody seems to be counting words with not enough regard to the quality of the words. While I still write rough drafts with pen and paper, of course I embraced word processing and have been doing the same with ebook publishing. You are correct. We must adapt. But it's not simply because of closed door publishing. (Small publishers have flourished. I wonder if they will survive.) But will we writers dumb down our work or merely crank out words? I hope not. And then there's the marketing... Okay, I've blathered on enough, but I hope you will buy all of my ebooks, at 99 cents apiece. Jeffrey Penn May, author of Where the River Splits, No Teacher Left Standing, Cynthia and the Blue Cat's Last Meow, and Finding Your Fiction.


JANINAMARIE profile image

JANINAMARIE 4 years ago from New York

I think so many have gone this "self publishing, e-book route" simply because so many publishers have CLOSED THEIR DOORS to new writers..it's incredibly frustrating...when you are a writer, you want to be READ! But is it "good" this new world of "published?" Yes and no, but no matter how you feel about it, I don't believe it's about to go back to what it was, so us writers must adapt! I myself have thought of "selling out" and writing really dumb books that I think will be popular, since that's what seems to be selling....


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi randslam. Haven't printed anything on CreateSpace yet, but might eventually if I get enough ebook sales. I know others who have, like you, been satisfied with their experience. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you are well.


randslam profile image

randslam 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

CreateSpace.com is the most inexpensive venue...I just got three proofs of a book I designed and created myself in less than three hours on CreateSpace.

The proof needed more work...and hasn't been approved by me...but it forced me to do another final edit for my manuscript.

The three beautiful proofs only cost me $27. I received them in three weeks--sure beats $1000 on iUniverse.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi seedplanter, sorry it has taken me this long to respond to your thoughtful comments. (Apparently, hubpages changed the way we are notified.)

I have also “published” a few ebooks and am considering lowering the prices on them, especially my "Finding Your Fiction," also available as a series here on hubpages.

You're right. No need to apologize. And you topic fills a niche in the ebook world. Good luck with your work.

Thanks for stopping by. Jeff.


seedplanter 5 years ago

Jeff, you raise a legitimate question. I wrote for publication (with "real" magazine publishers) for ten years before I dove into book writing. I remember when I first heard the phrase "self-published" in a Writer's Digest article, cautioning writers to steer clear of companies that required us to pay for the privilege of seeing a byline.

I've known several friends who went the self-publishing route. One had her book picked up by a mainstream publisher a year later, not because the tide had turned but because her topic had not been covered well up to that point. It was timely and her research was thorough.

I dove into the world of Kindle e-books recently, mostly as an experiment. My first (365 Quotes to Go) sells for a measly 99-cents, and hasn't left the bestsellers' list since the day I uploaded it. I don't apologize for the price because it says a lot about buyers. In this economy, most of us are after bargains.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

My apologies to randslam and Enlydia. Apparently, I wasn't notified of your comments and am just now getting to them. Both of you make excellent points and I appreciate your contributions to the discussion. I'm reading an iUniverse self-published book right now, reviewing for a friend's website. The cover and binding and general format are excellent. The story, however, needs some work.


randslam profile image

randslam 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

The "multi-platform" approach isn't wrong-headed, but for many of us it may cost more than we wish to spend.

In writing classes, I've had students ask the question about agents and publishers and at present with the eBook sales outperforming old school publishing it becomes a very personal decision.

Dave Burdett, a croupier, has become number one on Amazon recently and as a first time author--it took him two and a half years to realize the completion of his first book you can see how quickly success can arrive...go to http://logannash.com/news.html

Dave gave us a short one-hour insight last year in a writing class and found that using iUniverse...worked for him. It doesn't work for everyone as it is a vanity press--but it helped Dave establish a completed book, have multi-platforms to sell from--and he created two of his own websites to share news and info because of his self-taught HTML history.

It's just one example...J K Rowling could be another. It is a question of persistence and talent--and or course--that one lucky break.


Enlydia Listener profile image

Enlydia Listener 5 years ago from trailer in the country

Hi Jeff..congrats on being published...I chose self publishing for a reason...I wanted a book to hand to people to say..."here I have experiences with guided imagery" and you can read it. I planned to have it available to my reflexology customers...I didn't have to spend much money on publishing, so it was worth it. But of course it would have been nice to have a publishing company behind me...but at this point, not necessary.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi James, somehow I missed your comment, sorry it took so long for me to respond. Good luck.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

It is non-fiction, Jeff: "A History of the Christian Faith"


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi krazikat, welcome to hubpages. After spending 35 years looking for agents and publishers with only moderate success, I can tell you that it started out difficult and has become almost impossible. I have had publishers, and agents, but not top caliber. However, are ebooks and self-publishing the answer? I suspect something in-between. We need a filter of some sort, so that authors avoid "publishing" anything but their best work. And often developing the "best" takes time, patience, willingness to learn the craft. All of us invariably think we are more talented and intelligent than we really are. Producing a "personal masterpiece" takes years, and humility. Sorry to have gone on here, but thanks for commenting! Jeff


krazikat profile image

krazikat 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Love the way you spin it. I first explored Hubpages when I was looking into getting published. It would be great to get "for real" published but between finding an agent and a publisher, it is crazy! Good stuff!


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi James, I suspected you might be working on a book. Is it fiction or nonfiction? Feel free to email me if you have questions. Jeff


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

Things have surely changed. I am nearing completion of my first book. I have decided to try three publishing companies that specialize in my type of book. If I get no response, I will put it out myself, maybe using Createspace. I want to see what happens. I know it is very hard to interest a publisher these days, what with the rapid decline in paper book sales.


Cocoa Fly Fishes profile image

Cocoa Fly Fishes 5 years ago from Wherever the fish are!

Dear Mr. May & randslam...

Here's some writer-friendly advice for you to give you the courage to keep that beach in your hearts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9RchGMmizg (or http://youtu.be/p9RchGMmizg).

Warm regards...Cocoa Fly Fishes


randslam profile image

randslam 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

It was a deluded 'la loteria,' but sure fun to think about that clear, dolphin-filled water lapping at my frosty glass of Jamaican rum and fruit juice as I drift in the time and tide.

"Someday...over the rainbow...way up high..."


Cocoa Fly Fishes profile image

Cocoa Fly Fishes 5 years ago from Wherever the fish are!

Oh, Mr. May, you've made me laugh & laugh! I love that you said "borders on delusion". I laughed until I cried. Bless your heart.

My feeling is that the world has gone so cynical that healthy optimism is considered a communicable disease to be avoided, in most cases.

I still see you gents on the beach, raking in the rewards of fine writing. Gosh, I'm glad you can live with that.

Warm regards...Cocoa Fly Fishes


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Crystal clear green-blue water and white sand, dolphins leaping through the surf, kayaking and fly fishing, and autograph seekers. With all of that, randslam, I would think you could afford your own drink.... I'll just run up your tab.

Cocoa (is that in like say cocoa beach), your optimism borders on delusion, but I'll take it, and I appreciate every word.


randslam profile image

randslam 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

Hehehe..."resting on a beach" sounds like the grand finale on a perfect planet, Cocoa. What color is that planet whelps the salt-and-pepper-maned lion from the great white Northwest?

I do like the picture, and Jeff, if we're reclining on the same beach--you're buying the drinks...lol...cuz I don't have pockets attached to my beach attire--and no, I'm not charging it to my suite.


Cocoa Fly Fishes profile image

Cocoa Fly Fishes 5 years ago from Wherever the fish are!

You gents have caught a theme that I see when I work with BNI clients. The silver-maned lions & lionesses who know how, where, & when to hunt are not honored & respected as they should be...especially in the writing & publishing industry! Hear, hear! This is a hobby horse that I ride far, far too often.

Branding is everything, & branding based on consistent, superior performance will always, in the end, trump any Millenial's little shennanigans born of an overweening sense of entitlement & that combustible mix of arrogance & ignorance.

What is that old American saw? "Age & ability will always triumph over youth & beauty." I'd like to edit that to say, "Age & ability create eternal beauty."

There. That's my payment for bringing up the ol' "hubris" matter.

You two gents are fine writers, & I just know that as the economy continues to correct in a positive, supportive way here in N.A., as well as globally, you'll be resting on your well-earned laurels on a lovely, tropical beach somewhere, being served hand & foot, with young, eager writers & fans gushing at you & wishing you every good thing, as they stumble over the beautiful question, "Sir, may I have your autograph?"

How do you like that visualization? Welcome to Cocoa's world of writing! :)

Have a beautiful weekend!

Warm regards...Cocoa Fly Fishes


randslam profile image

randslam 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

I'll wait for the moment...zeitgeist epiphanies are always so tasty.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

randslam, well said, and I shouldn't check my email late at night when I'm too tired to respond. I've bemoaned missing my "zeitgeist moment" but even that remark has receded into the past.


randslam profile image

randslam 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

Just turned 49 a few weeks ago and hubris is definitely needed because arrogance no longer works for a half-century-old male with experience, with little sexual appeal, trying to capture a youthful audience's ear, attention and search for meaningful, and humorous, literate blather.

It's all fun for the youthful, hopeful first time author, but for those of us with too many decades it becomes a pursuit of zeitgeist, relevance and constant pursuit of the next spirit of the times.

It is a wonderful quest, but certainly well-seeded with obstacles and traps called nostalgic reminiscences or golden boy syndrome. One need only watch some terrible B-movies from the 80's and 90's to realize...nostalgia can be a deathtrap...fresh literate excellence should always be the goal.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi randslam -- I echo your remarks.

Really though, to write, at least while you are a beginning writer in the throes of it, you do need a bit of arrogance and an overabundance of self-confidence, otherwise how could you write anything? Now that I’m older, it’s called hubris, and that is a lot harder to muster.


randslam profile image

randslam 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

Love Cocoa Fly Fishes' comments. It's a jungle out there, so grab a vine and learn how to swing with the winds of change.


Cocoa Fly Fishes profile image

Cocoa Fly Fishes 5 years ago from Wherever the fish are!

Dear Mr. May...

You came to mind directly when I realized that, in searching "HubPages" through the Starting Page, the first predictive search that arises is "hubris".

Now, this is not because you have this unfortunate characteristic, but rather because some sorts of "publishing" (dare we call it that?!) may smack of hubris. *wink*

Just thought you'd enjoy the chuckle & the irony.

Have a beautiful & productive day!

Warm regards...Cocoa Fly Fishes


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi Cocoa Fly Fishes,

Thank you for such an in-depth, optimistic, and insightful response. You shed more light on current publishing dilemmas with your examples.

Thanks again, Jeff


Cocoa Fly Fishes profile image

Cocoa Fly Fishes 5 years ago from Wherever the fish are!

Dear Mr. May...

This hub is delightful! As a longtime editor, ghostwriter, copywriter, & now publisher, I do feel your pain, confusion, & frustration!

It's just brilliant the way that you took all of these energies & powered up a "thinking person's hub" that directly addresses the current publishing climate.

I know folks all along the spectrum. One of my girlfriends is a top-selling fiction writer who is much in demand. She was relieved to sell her last manuscript & horrified that it was at auction. Then there's the bitter little gal who is in denial about her self-publishing & hasn't any encouragement for anyone. I know a gal for every tone in between these two.

The way I see it, the evolution of publishing in the U.S. ~ & globally ~ allows folks to jump right in & do what they love the way they love to do it. Some may have higher standards than others, but, bless their hearts, they trundle right along & achieve their goals.

For you, as a successful, traditionally published author availing himself of the latest electronic publishing options for print media, publishing will always be a mark of distinction that I would dare say you've earned a thousand times over.

Congrats on your review from such a literature savvy media outlet, too! Now, that's not too shabby! I celebrate your successes & thank you for sharing this hub.

Here's to greater & more success personally & professionally for you & yours in future!

Warm regards...Cocoa Fly Fishes


kathryn1000 profile image

kathryn1000 5 years ago from London

Yes,it's quite astounding!


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

kathryn, yes, and the Bible is full of wild stories that people have been rewriting and reforming for hundreds of years.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Randslam, from what little I know about neuroscience, the brain does change quite a bit, neuroplasticity; that is, new "connections" are forming continually... so, if you read crap, or establish an unhealthy connection, does that "destroy" brain matter? Not sure. All I know is that if my doctor even mentions I might have an aliment, I quickly form a bad connection


randslam profile image

randslam 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

These are not the only stories for if all had been written about the stories of old--they would haved filled even the entire world.

One just has to question, when is a written piece excelling--and when is it detracting and allowing brain matter to destroy itself? That is the question.


kathryn1000 profile image

kathryn1000 5 years ago from London

I guess it's all relative!Or irrelevant.Just think once there was only the Bible now there's all this......................stuff!


randslam profile image

randslam 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

The eBook craze is definitely marred by less than eloquent works--this is a fact.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi kathryn, thanks for stopping by and adding your comments. Too much published only if it buries what should be published.


kathryn1000 profile image

kathryn1000 5 years ago from London

I think too much is "Published"now but it seems unlikely to change.I've not got the drive to try for what I'd call real publication as i didn't expect to take to writing and only about a quarter of my work seems good to me.At least here a few people read it.But i think the old fashioned way is the best.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi Genna, Good points and I agree... there are degrees of publishing; for example, being published in The New Yorker is not the same as being published in your local university press. But what about ebooks? They aren't exactly Vanity Presses in the old sense. Are Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook "legitimate" publishing companies of the 21st century?


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Excellent hub, Jeff. To me, published means exactly as you have noted; published by a legit publishing company (books, magazines, etc.) and not self-published via some form of "Vanity Press." There is a huge difference.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi Mimi, good to be optimistic about this and focus on the benefits of online writing and ebooks. Thanks for stopping by.


Mimi721wis profile image

Mimi721wis 5 years ago

Hi Jeff, Times have changed. There are many good writers like yourself here on hubpages that 15-20 years ago could have made a living writing books or doing editorials. I'm not saying hubpages is the bottom of the barrel. Look at the newspaper industry and the sell of encyclopedias. They used to be a must. Through these blogs and hubs we can express what's on our minds and have an audience.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

And I suppose we still try to sell our work for a "tuppance" so we'll have just enough for that pint of beer while searching for our next inspiration. "Malt does more than Milton can to justify God's ways to man."


randslam profile image

randslam 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

I thank you for your quick reply...yes, I'm a real writer and teacher...but the world changes that as it always has.

Edgar Allan Poe was a self-publisher, along with many other famous authors, but that was how they got their work out--way, way, back in the day. They wrote chapters of their works and their serial productions were sold for pennies, or pfennigs, or tuppence and this was how they made money to write their works of art.

It's all relative--even standardized spelling wasn't standardized until recent eras.

Cheers to the real writers...Yay...self-promotion has always been necessary. However, quality will always show and that is where published works should be judged--not in contests, where whoever writes the most jibberish wins. That is quantity over quality...YUK!


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi randslam, Great to hear from you. Yes, Amanda Hocking is an ebook phenom, isn't she? Somehow I don't think we are her target audience. Have you gotten your ebook reader yet? Kindle and Nook apps are available free for your computer. Keep publishing those articles... especially if you're getting paid. That makes you a "real" writer.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi jo, you've stated it perfectly, times are always changing... but sometimes at a faster pace. Technologically, it seems we are lightning.


randslam profile image

randslam 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

As always, Jeff, you have a finger on the pulse. This year was the first that eBooks outsold traditional forms of published novels, memoires, etc--the 'old' way'--of getting published.

It seems the past Xmas, and accompanying gifts of eReaders have created a revolution--Amanda Hocking, is a hew phenom on the eSuccess stories--if your followers wish to research ePublishing.

Keep up the good hubbing, back to my real job, publishing articles in residential design, trends and architecture for the present and future at Niche magazine...lol.

Best regards,


jo miller profile image

jo miller 5 years ago from Tennessee

Let just face it. Times are changing. Aren't they always? The internet will revolutionize publishing.

I heard novelist Josephine Humphreys recently at a writers conference recommend to her audience to try the internet for publishing because it is more difficult than ever in the conventional publishing world. She said if she were starting out, she thought she would try it.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi Twilight, sorry, didn't want to depress anyone, and probably no reason for you to feel that way. "Real" books and publishing likely will never go away.

On the other hand, I have felt depressed quite a bit with the idea that I may have missed my Zeitgeist moment, fearing my work obsolete before ever being "published." I wrote "Cynthia and the Blue Cat's Last Meow" and people have loved it for 30 years, so maybe one short novella is timeless. Sometimes that has to be enough. And it is only available as an ebook. Normally, no room for novellas in traditional publishing. But I’m rambling, not normally something I’m prone to. Perhaps the online universe encourages it.

Because I can click quickly and run.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

Now I'm thoroughly depressed. I don't like vanity press, I'm too much of a Luddite to even own a kindle or whatever, I would like to see my name in print... and better still I would like to see my writing in print.

I thought being published was something about those book things with illustrations and book shelves and you looked on page three or five and it said, with all my love from Aunt Charlotte, Christmas 1987


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Good luck Bruce, and thanks.


Bruce Lucas 5 years ago

Thanks Jeff. I will not put anything on line until the novel is completely done. I know that could be a trap. Too bad about your publisher going out of business. Thanks for throwing out the topic.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi samiaali, Your theory is sound. In fact, I alluded to the same thing in a response to a comment on my hubpage "Kindle Crossing." On the other hand, with the market so flooded, there is the possibility that not only will "old fashioned" publishers and agents be unable to sift through the tsunami, but readers as well. In this way, something that does not appeal to a hugely broad general audience, but otherwise has outstanding merit, can drown. (As in my comment to Bruce... must be a morning for bad metaphors.)


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi Bruce, nice to see you on Hubpages. Good points! Although, publishers seems to have always, for the most part, had narrow "vision to those books with formulaic plots geared to the latest trend." They are in it to make money. That doesn't seem to have changed much. I agree that publishing online is a great way to at least make your work available. However, I would wait until the novel in completed and polished. Why "publish" something that is only half done? (Bad metaphor warning.) Why not let it bake? Who wants to eat raw turkey? If you need encouragement, however, I suppose letting friends and acquaintances read it online might work okay. I'm not sure. And you know instead of changing your name, you could become tansgender:)


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi Cogerson, Thanks for the support! Although, I'm not sure "vain" is a comfortable approach; I would settle for confident and a paltry monetary award. So buy my books! I am the greatest! :)


samiaali profile image

samiaali 5 years ago

Hi Jeff May, Very interesting write! You are so right in that 'published' means so much more than it once did. But I think that in the end it still turns out the same. While it's true that anyone who aspires to writing can easily have their work 'published' on any number of websites, blogs, etc., I still think that the cream of the crop does rise. That cream will go further and have their work 'published' the old fashioned way! Great Hubpage! :)


Bruce Lucas 5 years ago

Having been rejected in less than three minutes over the Internet and then being told that I should change my name or use initials because agents don't look at books about women written by men makes me think. This is not a one-sided process. The publishing industry seems to have narrowed its vision to those books with formulaic plots geared to the latest trend. On the flip side, I don't understand the numerous type-as-fast-as-you-can contests that promote mediocrity based on word count. I agree with John S. that self-publishing is a way to get your work out there. I intend to publish the first part of my novel on my website and then let the reader decide if it is worth purchasing the rest. I'll take the risk. I don't have the rest of my life to hope that trends go my way.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

It is ok to be vain Jeff, you have produced some very informative hubs for the hub page nation.....the least we can do is show some support back. Interesting points you have made in your hub. Thanks for posting.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi John, I understand. It took me ten years to find a publisher, and that path wasn't easy. Good luck with your work and thanks for stopping by.


John P Safranski profile image

John P Safranski 5 years ago from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Hi Jeff,

Some, like me, cannot wait for a publisher to decide if the material in question is good enough. I just want my novel in production, and I have patience. Hopefully it will meet some level of respect, if not my self-publishing was a risk taken, without reward.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi Happyboomernurse,

You make good observations and your phrase "the old-fashioned way" helps clarify the point. It seems we've adapted well enough to this frenetic online world.

Thanks for stopping by.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

I think it's both. I've had non-fiction and fiction published in literary magazines and professional journals but I really value the interaction and instant feedback that I get when I "publish" a hub and I enjoy reading what my favorite hubbers are writing.

It seemed easier, however, to earn money the old-fashioned way and it felt good knowing an editor and/or professional peers would be reviewing my work and making suggestions on how to improve it.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working