DiggyPOD Writing Scholarship Runner Up

This year, we at DiggyPOD were so excited to be offering a Writing Scholarship to college students studying English or Creative Writing. At DiggyPOD, we’re all about helping writers, whether up and coming or established, and this Writing Scholarship allows creative college students some financial support to continue their education.

DiggyPOD’s Writing Scholarship

Scholarship applicants were asked to write a 500 word essay about the state of the self-publishing industry. Below, we’re happy to feature runner-up Susan Arnold’s essay. Ms. Arnold has been awarded $1,000 toward tuition, and DiggyPOD is so very pleased to have read her writing.

Respect for the Self-Published by Susan Arnold

Self-publishing has traditionally been looked down on by the writing community for years and only recently has become an “okay” act to pursue. Though more and more authors are self-publishing due to the digital age we live in, self-published authors still receive less respect than traditionally published authors; perhaps because self-publishing is “easier” than traditional publishing or perhaps because anybody can self-publish as long as they have access to a computer. Self-publishing is nowhere near as respected as it should be.

Self-publishing is a good choice for authors because it allows them to gain experience in the publishing industry. Traditional publishing is over competitive and extremely difficult to break into. Self-publishing is not easy by any means, despite what people think; but it is more fair to authors who want their voices heard. Self-publishing can jumpstart a career and so much more. Self-publishing takes hard work: you have to write the piece(s), you have to edit and reedit until you can recite your work backwards, you have to format the piece and edit it again, you have to design the cover; you have to be your own editor, publicist, agent, production editor, designer, and whatever else you need to be to get the work to where it needs to be. Authors believe in the art of storytelling and each story deserves to be told, so each author deserves the right to tell their story and self-publishing gives authors that right.

The self-publishing industry is growing. It offers so many more benefits to authors than traditional publishing. The author decides what is on the cover of their work, or if it has a cover at all. They get to decide the font and the line spacing and length. The author gets final say in what is published. The author makes a bigger profit. The author holds all of the rights and royalties to their work. Honestly, self-publishing is a whole lot better than traditional publishing.

Self-publishing is also better than vanity presses because the author is not at a loss of money. Self-publishing is not a guarantee to make money but it also does not require an upfront fee to publish your own work.

Self-publishing, overall, is an easier way for authors to connect with readers. Authors who use self-publishing as a means of making money create a network of loyal fans and readers through social media sites and platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. Self-publishing is a way for authors to connect to themselves through the many layers of creating and perfecting their work that they must go through. Authors learn what words they favor, what their favorite form of punctuation is, and so much more while they reread and reedit their work as many times as they can. Authors have the chance to learn new skills or strengthen old ones when designing their covers. Authors also connect to their readers by creating a network to promote their work. Overall, self-publishing is a better platform for the authors of today.

Susan Arnold is a student at Northern Michigan University and has been writing since she was eight. At the age of thirteen, her English teacher gave a life-changing assignment: that character development short story soon grew into her debut novel Blue Vigilante, which she self-published in May 2016. Blue Vigilante is the first in a series of four.