I don’t allow myself to rant all that much. There are a couple reasons for this. One, I tend to think that listening more than talking is a good rule of thumb in life. Two, the more you rant, the less people listen, and I’d like to be considered someone that people listen to. However, now that I’ve officially jumped into the self-published author pool, there are a few rants that I need to make to maintain my sanity. Feel free to tune out if you’re not interested.
Most criticism in the whole self/indie-published versus trade published debate holds no interest for me. I’ve chosen for reasons listed here to self-publish and I’m very proud of that. I’m assuming all the risk for (hopefully) future reward and the satisfaction of playing this game by my own rules.
That said…do not #%$^& make assumptions about me, my book, or my writing process because you choose to label me a certain way. You think all self-published writers are crap? You think we’re all publishing house rejects? You think we all dash off work and post it on Amazon without giving a crap about quality? $%!#@ you. I don’t curse all that much because my grandmother told me it was the sign of a poor vocabulary, and I happen to have a kick-ass one, but seriously, impale yourself upon your own appendage.
You want to know how many times I’ve been rejected by a “real” publishing house? Zero. Because I have no personal need to be evaluated by the “guardians of our literary heritage” (thanks, Dave) who published this:
in order to know I’ve written a good book. Don’t get me wrong, I face bouts of self-doubt that would make the healthiest ego weep, but I’m old enough, smart enough, and have enough honest people around me to write a book, have that book edited by people I trust, and send it out into the world knowing that I’m not asking people to buy and read “CRAP.” Don’t make assumptions about me. You’ll just make yourself look stupid.
Now, for the indie crowd, it pisses me off when I read people who say that all writers who choose a traditional route are idiots. They’re not. They have a different way of looking at this business (and it is a business, people) that you don’t share, but don’t assume that they’re mindless drones who are following along because they’re doing the bidding of their overlords in New York. Also, keep in mind that most of the people in the great, evil publishing houses in New York or elsewhere got involved in a very competitive industry because of one main reason: They love books. No one lives the life of a rich celebrity by being successful in publishing. I have friends who work in that draining business, and I know that they work their asses off most of the time. It’s not for fame and fortune.
Finally, indie writers, don’t rush your book off with poor editing, proofing, plot development, weak characterization, and more and then get on your high horse when you get called “crap.” Just don’t! Don’t make your standard be: “Better than the stuff that (insert publisher here) puts out.” Don’t! Don’t you know, you’re going to be held to a high standard by readers and reviewers? They don’t care how long you’ve dreamed about seeing your book in print or in the Kindle store. And most of them probably don’t care who publishes it. (Seriously, think of your favorite book. Now, who published it? Don’t remember? Neither do most people.) Readers care about getting a good book, so make them glad they spent the money, whether it’s $0.99 or $9.99. Doesn’t matter. They paid for it and your name is on it. Don’t put your name (or your pen name) on crap.
I’m sure I could go on, but I won’t. Why? Because rants are annoying (especially my own), and I’m almost out of coffee. Plus, my son’s judo class is almost finished and frankly, I’ve got way more important things to do.
If you’re still reading, thanks.