You know what I love about this crazy world of ebooks? Anyone can publish. If you are into art at all you are probably familiar with the "outsider" art movement...kindle has created a world for "outsider" books, and I love it. Some of the worst edited, craziest formatted books are still truly spectacular works of genius.
You know what I hate about the crazy world of ebooks? The way the a new wave of self appointed gatekeepers have cropped up. People who whinge and complain and get their panties all in a bunch because they have decided very few writers are good enough to be part of what should be an elite club...
This world we are a part of, it's not elite mate.
If you so happen to be one of "those" writers, and think you ought to be the one who gets to pick what is good enough to publish, I have a little advice for you.
Go, find some rubbish for your kindle. Kick the lemon sucking little old English teacher out of your brain, and read a crazy, wild. book that some untrained genius has released into the world. Then, pray that you can be half that creative next time you write something.
I was terribly annoyed by one of these gatekeepers that popped up on my twitter feed a few months back. The suggestion was that we should pay an upfront fee to keep out the riff-raff out of Amazon which irked me no end...so I ranted in the comment section on the blog a bit.
We became self-publishers because the gatekeepers of the publishing world had decided, for various reasons, most of them commercial or arcane, that our words weren't allowed to see light of day. Only certain authors were allowed in the club. Everyone else who wrote stories that perhaps were niche and unusual (that wouldn't have appealed to the mass-market) were rejected by the gatekeepers.
Perhaps it was because the gatekeepers had sufficient existing authors, or maybe they just didn't want to risk a new voice, or a new story, however compelling or interesting. Perhaps all they saw were dollars, and instead of choosing the new author, went instead for the memoirs of the flash-in-the-pan celebrity or politician. Perhaps it was just too much hard work and dollars spent grooming the work of an up-and-coming, when established authors could churn out mind-numbing yet commercially viable stuff on a regular basis.
Anyway, we were rejected - no doubt many potentially great authors fell off their respective perches waiting for the opportunity to be published, and now their words are dust and likely to remain so, unless a kind descendant decides to publish on their behalf.
Yes, we should always strive to create a quality product; and no, not all of us have the mad skillz of seasoned writers. However, there is one thing that life has taught me, and that is to get your words out there, even if they are still a little raw around the edges, because frankly we don't know how long our lives will be.
I'm certainly not for turning self-publishing into another closed door like the big 6, and I agree some of the posts about low quality self-published books are a little too harsh and holier than thou. I think some blame others for their own low sales, especially when they read all the whining on the readers’ forums about self-pubed books. It was not Sarge who posted all but a few here write crap. I know who it is, but will not name names here.
Well, not all of us self-publish because agents or traditional publishers refused to admit them to their private club. And I am not speaking of authors who’ve been published by the big 6, but now want to take their careers in a different direction.
I imagine there are others – like myself – self publish because we are control freaks, and don’t want to rely on a publisher or agent. I really don’t trust people, why would I trust an agent or publisher with my future? If anyone is going to screw up my career, I would rather I do it myself.
Sure, there was a time when I sent out a few inquires to agents and publishers – yet so very few that it wouldn’t be fair to say I gave it a serious try. Plus, the couple books I submit back then, I wouldn’t even self publish now.
I started self-publishing around 1985.
Frankly, I don’t have that much respect for the big 6. I find the entire gatekeeper thing a way for people to feel better about themselves by holding others back.
That idea to charge a fee to publish at Amazon to keep out riff raff is a laugh. I suppose the people who came up with that brilliant idea feel it is okay for someone who is rich to publish crap, yet must stop any poor person from publishing crap.
I’m a capitalist and believe in the free market. I love this eBook revolution and would like the gatekeepers and censors to stay out of the free market.
Hey! You can self-publish whatever you like, in any form you like and nobody will stop you. If you sell a lot of copies, more power to you. The market will decide.
If I take issue with the quality and content of your book, the only gatekeeping I have to do is . . .not buy it.
BUT, If what you're offering is the literary equivalent of a Yugo or a Lata, chances are, I'll pass in favor of the Ferarri I can get for the same price. In this world of e-publishing, I have that choice.
amen and amen. I am all for well polished works, to be sure. And for the learning curve and growing and improving...but I still feel that the unpolished works of people who have never had a lit class have their own intrinsic value.
I haven't attempted the traditional publishing world. I don't know that I ever will. I might though. Or I might run a marathon. I guess anything is possible. ; )
Tas--that's what I like about this: the READER decides what has value to them. Barnes and Nobles search functions are very skewed to favor the traditionally published, and even then to only favor certain new releases and best sellers. There is a wild magic to Kindle and what can be found here. I don't think the "outsider" books need to become best sellers, but I LOVE that they exist to be read.