In January of 2011 my first book was published by Wings ePress, a small independent publishing house run by some very kind people. They put out a nice, professional book and I was over the moon about it. I liked the size, font, color, formatting, and everything.
I was new to the whole publishing scene and didn’t really know the difference between Traditional and Independents/Small Presses/Whatever. I just knew my book was out there and people were liking it.
Four years later and I am officially a self-published author.
I know the stigma related to self-publishing. I’ve read article upon article upon article about Indie authors versus Traditional authors and the coveted-but-somehow-hated Big 5 and I’ve come to a major decision.
I’m tired of reading about this.
I’m tired of everyone saying that their way to the publishing business is the right way, that the old regime is coming to an end, that self-published novels are nowhere near the quality that traditional novels are, that the Big 5 have the monopoly on shelf-space in the major bookstores, or that people don’t really visit those bookstores anymore …
The list goes on.
And because I have decided that I am tired of reading these debates (the most recent one being how self-publishing is no longer a viable means to “hybrid author status”) I will politely pass them by.
Knowing these things will not make me a better writer. Partaking of the debate might obliquely influence my sales, but it will not make my storytelling any better than it is today. And honestly, I don’t have the time or the energy for anything that does not add to my “writer’s toolbox” and help me master my craft.
And I’m not saying all this as a condemnation to those who are actively engaged in the debate. If focusing on things in that light is what helps them put pen to paper at the end of the day then more power to them.
I’m saying it doesn’t help me. It makes me indecisive. It makes me second-guess the risks I might otherwise take in my fiction. And fiction without risks is dull.
I know it is.
It’s the underground railroad in space. There are religious refugees and political issues and a mess of family secrets to wade through and if I had listened to certain blog sites and articles about what not to write or what to avoid I would never have finished the book.
So this is me drawing a line in the sand.
Maybe my books won’t sell as much as a traditional author. That’s fine. I’ll read their work and see if I can improve my own craft because in the end, that’s the only thing that really matters.