I hate to admit that when I wrote my first book, I had the completely wrong attitude toward my fellow self-published writers. I looked at them as competition. I failed to see them as ladies and gentlemen who are going through the exact same stresses, successes, and failures as me. After all, we are all in the same boat.
As a self-published writer, I’ve discovered that certain elements in the local media simply do not respect us the same way they do writers who were published via the traditional route. In a previous blog article, I expressed my discontent with this.
But as I began to beef up my social media connections, I finally became aware of all these other people who are struggling to make a name for themselves and are pretty much hitting the same dead ends that I’ve been unfortunate enough to encounter. Luckily for me, there have been some who were kind enough to take me under their wing in different ways (e.g. giving my promotional posts re-tweets and shout-outs, sharing kind advice and words of encouragement, etc.). So it was at this point that I realized I my attitude had been a very crappy one.
I see no reason why all of us cannot stand up together and fight together to demand the same respect for the field of self-publishing that traditional writers often receive. All reading is subjective, not just that of self-published writers.
There are some snobby writers I’ve encountered on the world-wide web who have made comments like: “Self-published writers serve no purpose other than to butcher the American language and muddle up a perfectly fine profession.” My response to that was: “Readers can choose to read or not read whatever they want. Who the hell is some snobby-ass publisher to tell me or anyone else that my writing is not good enough to make it?
I also drive my point home by reminding such snobs that the highly successful and traditionally-published Vince Flynn started out as a self-published writer. Where would the world of action thrillers be if he had accepted the word “no” from such snobbish publishers?
Please do not get me wrong. I’m not saying that all traditional publishers are snobs…mainly the ones who look down on other writers who have decided to take a different route than the one they offer. I’m not saying that I will never sign on with a traditional publisher. All I am saying is that I will be entirely careful with whom I sign, knowing that there are some real devils out there with phony angel wings attached to their backs.
In the meantime, I am more than happy to help my fellow writers, though to a point. I’m no idiot! I will gladly help once or twice. But if I feel that anyone is taking advantage of me, the tit will surely go dry before too long. I expect at least a little bit of that same love too, and I hardly think this is too much to ask.
So for those of you self-published writers out there who are running scared of the rest of us on the market, please chill out, take a breather, and have a cold brew and understand that we are all in the same boat. There’s no reason we can’t all work together.