Self-Publishing Whiners and Malcontents

Yikes! From AmacordI’m completely towed-up with self-publishing malcontents. I mean those people who look down on self-publishing as some kind of modern leprosy. They chaff my undies, big time. They need to just settle down and find something else to whine about.

Now, I probably have little right to rant about this subject. My books have been traditionally published, mostly. But I’m irked by people who mock the self-published writer, claiming anyone can do it. Of course, the complainers typically have not done it. But that doesn’t keep them from spewing nonsense. For those traditionally-published writers who are among the malcontents, you are an embarrassment to our trade. Give it up and be happy.

Then, there are those universal prophets of doom who claim the entire publishing industry has been obliterated by the ease of today’s self-publishing tools and opportunities. These are the alleged guardians of what is good for the rest of us. Who appointed them my keeper?

Swamp gas to you all! A pox on your querulous houses, one and all!

The whiners completely miss the point of why a writer wants to see his or her work made available to others. For most writers, self-publishing is the only way to achieve that goal. It really hasn’t much to do with their talents. Great writers often never get published. Lousy writers sometimes do. Traditional publishing is a hard, specialized game in which only the lucky few get through the door. Publishing houses are not the arbiters of art. They often make mistakes and they are in business to make money, not preserve or promote great literary accomplishments.

Mr. BillSo, why should other writers, sometimes very good writers, not have the opportunity to be read by the widest possible audience? Self-publishing makes that happen for many writers. It can level the playing field for young, talented authors, for those who would never see the light of day in the old way of doing business.

For the complainers who believe in the value of the police state, in which a few publishers determine what gets to the marketplace, self-publishing must seem like Armageddon. They claim that the openness of today’s publishing process degrades the quality of work available to readers. That’s absolute doo-doo. Who are these people to make reading decisions for you or me? I don’t need or want the Reader Police messing around with my literary pleasures. I want to make that decision for myself. Give me the widest possible selection and get off my collective back.

Self-publishing makes all kinds of reading experiences available, everything good, bad and in-between. As a reader, it gives me choices. I like that. I’ll do my book-voting with my money, not based on the Reader Police or the selections of a few publishing houses.

For the writer, self-publishing makes complete sense. It marks the end of a long, tough process. It’s the reward for the writer’s work. If the writer allows crap to be released in his or her name, that’s on them. They still have the right to publish. I still have the option to buy or not to buy.

So, to all those malcontents who persist in the argument that today’s publishing opportunities have ruined the literary landscape, I say biddle to you and your whining. Get over it.

Instead of croaking about the opportunities available to today’s young writers, go put it in a book. Self-publish it so I can vote with my money.


14 thoughts on “Self-Publishing Whiners and Malcontents

  1. I have to agree wholeheartedly with your post. I have had the opportunity to have my works published by companies AND through self-publishing. Just because a book comes into existence because the writer shelled out the money for a publishing company versus the publishing company footing the bill, doesn’t make their work any less valid. I’ve read books from best-selling authors that should have never even gone to print and I’ve also read books from unknowns that have offered such an interesting journey that I could not put the book down.

  2. Have you read Be the Monkey by Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath? They discuss self-publishing and legacy publishing in a way that I found refreshing. (Just don’t click on the video links, you’ll know what I mean when you get there)

  3. Great post – it is interesting that the view of self publishing is so derogatory and yet we applaud people for getting of their backsides and working to achieve their goals by self help in so many other ways. I think people see publishing houses as some great artisitc gatekeepers and arbiters of some esoteric valhalla (as they portray themselves too) when as you say they are just there to make money. Cheers.

      • Yep, this is one of my big bug-a-boos. Having been a writer all my life, I know all the old stories about ego, etc. Sadly, this is sometimes true. But not for all writers. Most of the writers I know, the writers who do it for a living, are not that way. They grunt and grind through their trade, suffer the ups and downs, that kind of thing. In other words, they all put their pants (or pant suits) on one leg at a time. However, there ARE the others, the ego-driven. I say, swamp gas to their egos! Get over it. It’s just a job, after all. It’s not life.

  4. This is SO SPOT ON! I am so tired of hearing from folks who think that one cannot be called a writer unless that writer is “traditionally published”. Thank you for this post. I will be sharing it with my self-publishing writer friends.

  5. Pingback: Self-Publishing Doom, Gloom and the Police State | Crows Dream

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