Oh yes. I’m feeling a bit ranty this week, which would explain the frequent blogging, I suppose. I’ve penned similar posts in the past. Hell, you have probably blogged about this too. I think nearly every self-published author has. Well, it’s time to say it again:
I am self-published and I am a REAL author.
There are some folks out there who will tell us self-publishing isn’t legit because we bypassed the gatekeepers (agents and big publishers), but I didn’t write my books for agents and publishers – I wrote them for readers. While agents and publishers might not respond to a query letter, leaving you to wonder if they hated the idea of your book, or if they just never got your email, the readers are not shy about telling you what they think when they review your book. In the end, readers are the real gatekeepers.
There are also some people who say we’re not real authors until we can make a living from selling books. But I know a lot of people who work “real” jobs as accountants or nurses or car salesmen who still struggle to make ends meet. I’m pretty sure their financial issues don’t make them any less “real” as employees. Whether my book sells a million copies or just a few, it’s still a real book. If a reader – a complete stranger who I’ve never met online or in person – selects my book, reads it, and leaves an honest review, it doesn’t get more real than that.
Oh, and then we have the people who say, “With self-publishing, anyone can publish a book. There are no standards.” Okay, maybe anyone CAN publish a book, but how many people actually do it? Yes, there are lots of published books out there, and with self-publishing, there are some that slip through the cracks in a fairly unedited state. So what? That has nothing to do with your book. If your book is the best book you can write, that’s all you have to answer for. You are only responsible for yourself and your own books. An author with Harper Collins doesn’t have to answer for every book ever published with that company. So why are all self-published authors judged negatively because of a few poorly written books?
If you are a self-published author, please don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t a real author. For too long, I allowed the negative notions of others to influence me. I had a hard time truly accepting myself as a legitimate writer. As a writer, I never felt quite good enough. I always felt hesitant or embarrassed to talk about my books. While I can’t say I’m completely over this roadblock to success, I can say it is getting better. At this point, I don’t really care what anyone else thinks. I don’t have to answer to anyone. And neither do you.
If you write, you are a REAL writer. If you have published anything, you are a REAL published author. That is something to be proud of!