Friday, February 20, 2015

February 20, 2015
It's a funny thing the sort of ultra-elitism that exists out there in the writing world. Hey, I get it, I am a bit of an elitist in some ways, favoring certain forms of writing over others. But that is about the art.

How often do you hear a musician say "well, he doesn't really have a CD out because that was a self made CD?" While I am sure it happens, the truth is that musicians recognize the struggles that all have had to overcome to get a record deal and do so with much less acrimony.

But ask a writer who has been published by a "traditional" house about those of us who are self-published and you will certainly get the most elitist of answers "that's not really being published" as if somehow what we do is threatening to their perceived status of literary elite.

They forget that at one point, they too were unpublished and, in most cases, not because their work was poor, but because getting someone that wants to market YOUR material is extremely difficult.

So what some of us have chosen to do is take the bull by the horns and do this thing ourselves. If we keep our nose to the grindstone and push a little harder, success will follow. But it is similar to being a musician; we have to build a following. The problem is, there is no club where we can go to "play" our stuff. Where is that club? Self-publishing.

Yes, many of us will keep plugging away and submitting each work to literary agents, but in the mean time, we are working to get our stuff into the hands of others. Form letters from agents are worthless and provide very little value. We need readers to rate the work; make us better.

And, while those literary elite are busy riding along the coat-tails of their high horse, they fail to recognize just how much more effort it takes to self-publish. They do their work, let an editor hammer away at them make their changes, etc. When the book is complete, their job is done. Think they have to choose a cover designer? Or create any marketing material? Nope. They get to go to work on their next piece.

Over the past couple of days, I have spent in excess of 10 hours creating a three minute "book trailer" because, hey, that's what needs to be done; all forms of social media must be targeted. And, unless I become independently wealthy sometime soon, I don't have my own publicist.

This weekend the final two phases of my second novel should be completed (hopefully) as I have commissioned a cover designer to do the work to make the book look much more professionally done than my own cheesy "CreateSpace" covers. Live and learn.

The trials and tribulations of a self-published author seeking to weed out his own rubbish is a never ending task. But, I guess my words don't count? Sure. Gotcha.


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