Does Fear of Rejection Encourage Writers to Self-Publish?

I was reading Michael Hyatt's Blog the other day on Thomas-Nelson's recent decison to help writers self-publish. http://michaelhyatt.com/2009/10/should-you-consider-self-publishing.html#more-3317

This is a sensitive issue in many ways. I was reading Laurie Alice Eakes blog this afternoon at http://seizethechance.blogspot.com/ on the same subject and answered as follows:

One concern I have for those who are self-publishing is all about fear. I know many writers who are confident in their skills and feel led to self-publish and some of them have been successful. But my caution would be that a writer should not resort to self-publishing because they are afraid of rejection.

No one likes to be rejected, but sometimes there are lessons to be learned via the old rejection letter. If those seeking to be self-published are not confident and filled with doubt and think this is the way to avoid criticism they could be in for a world of hurt when their reviews come out if they are less than complimentary.

It's hard enough to face rejection in any form, but it's down right insulting to pay a publisher and then face criticisms that could ruin a writer's career because they were afraid of the traditional route.

My hope for every writer is that they have faith and perseverance to make their words the best they can be, and to choose wisely their path to publication.

What do you all think about this? If you have the opportunity to self-publish will you do it and why? Do you see a big difference in self-publishling non-fiction vs. fiction? How do you think readers will respond? Will this cause an unhealthy split between those who publish traditionally and those who self-publish?

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