Self-publishing is not for everyone. It's like doing anything yourself. Do you want to take the time and effort to do something yourself, or have someone else do it for you. Of course, it's more involved than that with self-publishing, because you're not just building something for yourself, you're building something -- something that is an inherent piece of you -- for multiple people, an audience.
There are proponents and detractors aplenty in both camps of traditional VS self-publishing, and a plethora of articles and opinion pieces and new ones popping up every day. And I have always told myself that I will not be drawn into those, that I will read, absorb and learn from the best portions of both. But when I read the particular one that got me to write this post... Well, it just got to my fucking goat!
Hey, I get it. You wrote some books. You're traditionally published. It's a great accomplishment. You feel great. I know I would get a head the size of a mammoth's inflamed prostate too.
What I don't get is all the negativity and fucking hate for self-publishing.
OK, let me rephrase that. I do get it. But not why you might think.
This article, which was published by a UK newspaper website and written by a traditionally published author, is full of so much vitriol you'd better have a glass receptacle to store it safely away in.
I'm not going to link to the article, nor am I going to tell you where to find it. And I'll tell you why at the end -- not in the hope that you read this whole thing but because the why and not telling you are tied together, and if you really want to find it I'm sure you can.
The first thing that pissed me off is the author compares traditional and self-publishing to good and evil. Yeah. Not making this shit up. The author actually says, of someone suggesting to them that they go down the self-publishing route as the author is not making enough, that it is like telling Luke Skywalker to join the dark side.
But wait. There's more.
Then the author says, right after saying anyone who self-publishes is akin to Sith, that they "think self-publishing is a terrible idea for serious novelists (by which I mean, novelists who take writing seriously, and love to write)."
I just needed to leave a few spaces there to let that spoon-full of sugary supercalifragilisticexpialidocious go down on you. Because Yoda knows I certainly had to read it a few times before I could move on.
The author then expounds on the why, saying if you-re self-publishing you're not in it for making a living.
I'm sorry but, what the actual fuck does that mean? You're self-published so you're an amateur hack who just does this for fun on the weekends to amuse yourself and the words you pump out are only so much literary masturbation? Unlike the author who, by their own admission, does not make enough to scratch out a living from their writing.
Then they go on to say that self-publishing can make you act like a fool. Well, we all know that's true. Just as true as any traditionally published author or person on the street. You got me there! I should concede defeat right now, go back home and rub one out on some A4 and mail it to myself so I seem more important. Tou-fuckin-ché!
The one thing that the author says that makes sense is about, surprise surprise, nothing to do with either publishing camp, but rather how many hashtags one uses on Twitter posts.
OK the author touches on people selling their shit constantly on their Twitter too, which I hate also. But again, not about self-publishing and traditional publishing. BUT, and this is where it gets super douchey, THEY PUT IN A PICTURE OF SOMEONE'S TWITTER POST AS AN EXAMPLE SHOWING THEIR HANDLE AND NOVEL! In a fucking newspaper article! At least blur it the fuck out, come on.
Then the next point in their conversation deals with ego and the author talks about cabinet-making and trying to sell your first hand-made, wonky cabinet. Yep.
And let's not forget a mention of Donald Trump. The Booker prize. Fiver. And calling authorpreneurs pyramid schemes.
NOW we'll get to my why.
I will not link to this article, mention who this person is or even their gender, or anything that will lead anyone to them because THIS IS FUCKING CLICK BAIT.
To me this is an obvious attempt to drive traffic their way and potentially get some book sales. I have seen several response blog posts and on the author's Twitter to it. For the love of Cthulhu, people. STOP! If for no other reason than the fact that on their twitter, the author has stated that they consider themselves hybrid and self-publish non-fiction. CLICKBAIT!
I for one don't even want to know what the author's books are about, and hopefully the storm they have tried to create will pass quickly and this little blog post won't contribute to it very much (Mum, Dad, DON'T GOOGLE IT).
Anyway, enough on that rant.