Image credit Lynn Kelly Author via WANACommons
I came across this quote while reading Kristen Lamb’s Steve Jobs and 5 Tips for Being a Successful Author, and it really got me thinking about self-publishing. But first, a thought about self-publishing:
Self-published authors aren’t always the most well-liked people. We’re viewed as sloppy because some self-published books contain typos and story flaws and, well, fewer say it better than the people on Goodreads. For example:
“Aren’t best sellers. Not even worth reading most of those books. All those spelling errors. Its called spell check damnit. Imts not worth reading something that isn’t well known published. Real authors are j k rowling james patterson stephen king, ect. They make they big $. While these people. Hardly make anything for half of these books. They aren’t even in stores, how shitty is that. Therefore they aren’t “real” authors. They are more like ‘amazon’ authors”
Also by the same person:
“All the ‘self published’ book I’ve read are all full of shit! They need to go back to college and leearn some grammar. Its called spellcheck people!”
And again by the same person:
“You mean to be a good writer. Yes they may be writers but honestly anyone can “write” a book these days. These ‘writers’ hardly can even say they wrote a book that’s only on kindle format or not even sold in bookstores. These are the low income writers.”
All right, so this may be the case of a Goodreads troll. However, this person isn’t the only one to share this viewpoint. And I can see where they are coming from to a certain degree. Sure, it’s easy to click a few buttons and put your book up for sale. It doesn’t have to be good, and, sure, it may be filled with typos; but that doesn’t mean all self-published books are like that.
Yes, I know that has been said a million times. Self-published writers are shoved into a stereotype, and that sucks. But, the way I look at it, in the context of this quote by the late Mr. Jobs, self-published authors are like the pirates of the publishing world. We don’t abide by the rules of what traditional publishers say we should do. We go out and, with the help of other self-published authors and/or freelancers, and we pillage and steal from the traditional authors. We sneak up on them in the middle of the night when they’re sleeping and unleash our cannons on them. Then we board them and, with a few hacks and slashes of our scimitars, we take their money and their readers and sail off into the night, counting our treasure and seeking our next victim.
All right, maybe it’s not that intense. But if you really think about it, self-publishing is sort of the underground market of the book world. And sometimes it is more fun. We have full creative control over all of our work. We don’t have someone breathing down our necks telling us what we need to write next or how to write it. We don’t have to answer to the “higher-ups,” hoping that they deem our work “publishable.” Actually, “publishable” isn’t exactly the right word. “Marketable?” Yup. Nailed it.
But as the “pirates” of publishing, self-published authors don’t have to worry about that. We have a story to tell, and damn it, we’re going to tell it!
You know what? I like the sound of that. The Publishing Pirate. There’s a business idea in there, I just know it.
Anyway! Despite the beliefs of others, self-publishers are writers. Self-publishers are authors. I am a writer and an author. And I will continue to be one.