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