Once Bitten, Twice Shy!

So I happened upon this web article and it stated that 76% of all books published in 2009 were by self-published authors. The author explained that large publishing houses had started losing momentum due to the demise of traditional brick and mortar book stores. Oh, how I love democracy and the power of consumer spending to invoke change. But just as I was comfortably settling into the notion that the generalized stigma towards self-published authors had finally been eradicated, it happened. The article opened an old wound. The author referred to self-published books as a sort of vanity press.
As a self-published author, I am more than a little bit offended at the notion of having the blood, sweat and tears of my literary work, likened to the self-gratifying badges that people place on back of their cars. But don’t get me wrong. I’m not criticizing the soccer mom whose license plates read: HOT Mama. However, I believe that the courage to share one’s life story hardly reeks of vanity. Now, I’m sure some of you reading this might think it a little sensitive to whine about a mere rhetorical reference made by some “vanity” free-lance blogger. Sensitive as it may be, I have been and will always be an advocate for people who attempt to influence the world through pen and paper versus bullets and guns.
In my humble opinion, I think referring to self-published authors as vanity writers is a colorful way of dismissing our work without even turning a page. It is a prejudicial way of telling us that our voice is (insufficient) for print- especially if it is not authenticated by a famous life style, political scandal, or tragedy of epic measures.
But there are still a few of us, who read for the love of the literary journey and not for propaganda. So, if you must compare us to any thing- compare the self-published author to the undiscovered shores of an exotic island. Or, compare us to a hidden treasure deep in the ocean blue. Better yet, liken us to other self-published authors whose work preceded their notoriety. Compare our unsung value to the ever-growing list of independent pioneers:
Deepak Chopra
Gertrude Stein
Zane Grey
Upton Sinclair
Carl Sandburg
Ezra Pound
Mark Twain
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Stephen Crane
Bernard Shaw
Anais Nin
Thomas Paine
Virginia Wolff
e.e. Cummings
Edgar Allen Poe
Rudyard Kipling
Henry David Thoreau
Benjamin Franklin
Walt Whitman
Alexandre Dumas
William E.B. DuBois
Beatrix Potter
(Thanks to Dan Poynter’s website for this info; see http://www.parapublishing.com)

Freshly Pressed: Friday Faves

The WordPress.com Blog

As always, the editors at Freshly Pressed Towers have enjoyed the sheer range and breadth of thoughtful, entertaining, or just plain challenging content you’ve been publishing to WordPress.com. Our Readers have seen everything from Cthulhu cookery to to grimdark feminism passing through, and as always, we’ve been more than impressed by the results.

If you’re looking for three stand out posts from this week’s selection, you might want to cast your eye over this week’s Friday Faves:

Fumbling For the Truth: The Freelancing Author, or Will I Ever Be Paid Again?

 . . . so let’s get back to the actual point: that writers are increasingly asked to exchange their services–whether to create entirely new content or to adapt previously published work–for nothing more than the opportunity to reach a larger, or different, audience.

If you’ve any interest in journalism, or writing for a living, you’ve probably seen the recent discussion…

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Carpe Diem!

If you are a self published author, I am sure you can recall a time not so long ago when finding ways to distribute and market your book was a Herculean challenge. You had to be creative, business savvy, and sometimes a little demanding in order to get the recognition and respect you deserved. Not to mention, you also had to be (and pardon the expression) a “little thick” skinned in order to deal with the rejection all self published authors face at some point in their burgeoning career.
As a self published author myself, I can vividly recall those days. I remember the great feeling of accomplishment I had when I completed my first manuscript. I was super elated when friends and family members commended me on my work. That feeling was only surpassed when I saw my work in print for the first time. It was official. I was an author. I was wide eyed and bushy tailed and ready to take my product to the world. Then it happened. Reality came knocking on my front door, and it came with a few thousand copies of my book- packed neatly in approximately 32 boxes.
What was I to do? I had a ship load of books and about 30 orders. Needless to say, I found places to put those boxes. At first they were well organized, accounted for, and in neat rows throughout my mom’s house. But…..at some point later a few of those boxes became clothing racks and places to hold random household items. Admittedly, I used one as a tv stand and I probably ate a few meals on top of one of them. Oh, and the books were still in them. As the years progressed, I was successful at selling quite a few books. I attended countless conferences, hosted book signings at local churches, visited schools and conducted book talks. I even managed to have a few local bookstores carry my book and was interviewed by a local tv station. Yet with all that labor, I didn’t even scratch the surface of the publishing industry. I was another small fish in a huge pond being overshadowed by those fortunate enough to have the commercial backing of big publishers/distributors.
Fast forward to 2013. New authors who choose to self publish their work are fortunate to have less complicated options. Major distributors like Amazon and Barnes and Noble are making it easier to compete with major publishing companies. Now I am not suggesting that the playing field is completely leveled, but you can definitely grow a few more scales. The advantages for self publishing are far more attractive now than ever before. Below is an abbreviated list of a few advantages:

-Quick turnaround time for having your book in print vs. traditional publishing that can take years.
-Higher royalties and the ability to receive payment directly from companies like Amazon on a more frequent basis (based on sales).
-The ability to have your book printed on demand vs. storing large quantities of your book at home.
-The ability to have your book offered as an ebook.
-The ability to market your book online through personal websites or social media.

Read more on the “Advantages of Self Publishing” at:
1. Publishers Weekly (04 April 2010). “Self-Published Titles Topped 764,000 in 2009 as Traditional Output”.
2. Robert Kroese. Self-Publish Your Novel: Lessons from an Indie Publishing Success Story.
3. Neuburger, Jeffrey D. (10 September 2008). “Court Rules Print-on-Demand Service Not Liable for Defamation”.
4. Shatzkin, Mike (11 July 2010). “Where will bookstores be five years from Now”.
5. Christina Patterson (18 August 2012). “How the great writers published themselves”. The Independent.

Why Settle for Your Reader’s Wallet When You Can Get in Her PANTS?

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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Okay, so I have to catch a plane to Tuscon this morning, so I’m taking this opportunity to rerun my all-time favorite post. Any of you who regularly follow my blog know that I am totally out of my mind a bit eccentric. Last time I was in Tuscon (speaking to their RWA group), after lunch, I had to dash to the Ladies’ Room. As I closed the door to the stall, I noticed all the advertising on the back of the bathroom door. This cluttered wall of ads made me think about all the authors spamming non-stop about their books on Facebook and Twitter.

Writers were becoming worse than an Amway rep crossed with a Jehovah’s Witness. I mean, could the author book promotion get any more invasive?

Wait…

Maybe it could.

I’ve blogged so many times about the dangers of automation and how spamming people is counterproductive. I’ve…

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