Sunday, August 24, 2014

Positive Energy about Self-Publishing

One of the continuing memes from people attacking self-publishing, particularly those attacking Amazon for treating Hachette writers "unfairly," is that self-publishers are angry.  Like many of the arguments against self-publishing (like it's too "expensive") this one is the exact opposite of the truth.  As a movement, self-publishers generally are optimistic and positive, surprisingly willing to share tips and information and looking for new ways to progress as artists and businessmen.  It is actually the supporters of big publishing that are prone to doom and gloom scenarios.  Perhaps because their side of the industry really is rapidly losing power and prestige.

Unfortunately, the fierce disinformation spun by supporters of big publishing in their attacks on Amazon put self-publishers on the defensive.  Self-publishers been forced to be vocal in exposing those lies (like that Amazon is "censoring" books) and had to respond to some of the crazier suggestions, like government intervention to maintain big publishing control.  In the process, it started to feel to me like the negativity has taking it's toll on the self-publishing community.  Particularly with people like the almost supernaturally optimistic Hugh Howey, who has been the specific subject of many really nasty attacks for simply trying to bring out the truth.  For a while it seemed like he was going to be buried in defending himself.

So I was very happy to read his latest post where he seems to have completely moved on from the Amazon/Hachette fight.  He has returned his focus to optimistic inquiry about how to grow the self-publishing industry with many great suggestions:


There is barely a mention of traditional publishing both in his piece and in the comments.   That's because, self-publishers really don't care much about traditional publishing.  The Amazon/Hachette fight has been portrayed by big publishing proxies as a life or death battle for the future.  But frankly, it doesn't matter much to self-publishers (so long as the government doesn't get involved).

Hopefully, the other side has run out of crazy arguments to get self-publishers riled up, and self-publihsers feel they've had their say in a matter of relatively little concern to them.  Of course, that's just going to anger big publishing even more.  But as their desperate voices proclaiming the end of literature fade into echoes, now is the time for self-publishers move on to the fun stuff.

Writing and selling books.

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