The Self Published Author as a PAWN

It is more than a bit disconcerting when you find tons of opportunities for self published authors to have their work recognized, but it comes with a price tag.  Really?  Do people actually believe that the self published author is a self published egoist who would pay any expense to receive accolades for their work? I would hope the response to that answer is a resounding no.  But I would  feel a bit at ease if your answer is split between:  a “maybe” or an “I don’t know”.   Before I dive head first into this rant, let me take a moment to explain the reason for an interruption in my Saturday bliss to pen this entry.  While completing my share of tweets for IAI, I ran across an advertisement for the Self Published Book Awards.  Eager to share this information with IAI’s growing twitter population, I gave it a once over and immediately began the process of linking the url to IAI’s website ( and twitter account (@IAIChicago).  Upon further investigation, I learned that  potential nominees had to pay a fee as a prerequisite for having their book reviewed.   Moment of silence begins now!

I not only neglected to broadcast that link to our small but growing “twitter-verse”, I was tempted to send them a nice email.  Okay, I’m lying.  I was tempted to send them a “not so nice” email.  After enduring what turned out to be a very conflicting internal struggle, I decided to focus that energy into a much better venture: searching for legitimate opportunities for self published authors.  I must say this was a grand endeavor but a rather useful one. Most of the opportunities for self published authors come with a price-tag which means that a lot more advocacy has to be done for this type of genre. Namely, traditional publishers and industry experts need to rethink the legitimacy of self published titles and their impact on the future.  As a professional librarian, I have seen quite a few bestsellers  by  authors who used self publishing as a launching pad for their literary careers, renowned authors such as:

In most cases and after having received quite a few letters of rejections from major presses, these authors continued their literary pursuits at their own expense.  However, they spent money to market, not legitimize their works.  Fact is, your work will speak for itself.  Large or small, there is an audience for every book written.  However, the great “publishing barrier” has created an unfair stigma on works without major presses behind them.  In my opinion, major presses aren’t the HOLY Grail for good literature, as evidenced by the list of authors above.  They are a good marketing and branding source for delivering content to the masses.  However, online  giants like Amazon are making that market more accessible to indie authors who are proving that being an “unknown”author  is only a minor obstacle.  It is  in no way indicative of the potential of their work. Therefore, the only price tag needed is the one donning the cover of  the self published author’s book.  IJS


My Review of “American Gods”

Although I am somewhat of a self-proclaimed “self publishing” enthusiast, I do find myself occasionally engrossed in books published through traditional presses. Let’s face it, a good book is a good book! I just finished reading two books for work. However, one title quickly emerged as a personal favorite. Check out the review that I originally posted to my school’s blog.

If you are a reader who is captivated by the supernatural, then consider perusing the pages of author Neil Gaiman’s fantasy based epic, aptly coined as American Gods. Described as one of Gaiman’s best and most ambitious work to date, this book is a spellbinding trip into a mystical world of the supernatural. In it, Gaiman chronicles the life of an ex-con, musingly named Shadow Moon, whose destiny is leading him towards a dark and luminous battle in life tantamount to Armageddon. The action begins as Shadow is released from prison to attend the funeral of his beloved wife who dies in a tragic car accident. In route to her funeral, by way of a stormy plane ride, he meets an oddly eccentric deity named Wednesday. Forewarned by Wednesday that a bigger storm is brewing, Shadow blindly accepts a job as the deity’s emissary. Shadow soon discovers that he is caught in between a battle of gods. His life and the fate of the American spirit are at risk with every choice he makes. With help from his deceased wife, Shadow weaves in and out of worlds unknown trying to complete complex and often confusing tasks. In the end, he learns several surprising lessons about his past life and what is to become of his future. This story is lauded by many as a timeless masterpiece and was awarded the 2001 Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel.

Andrea J