Self-Published Authors are Real

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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!

15 thoughts on “Self-Published Authors are Real

  1. Quite right Tricia. The Big Publishers have made mistakes and put through books that didn’t sell, we’ve all seen them in remainder bins and in Pound Shops. They’ve also let some Indies through the net that have sold over a million online. Some people go Indie because they feel a Big Publisher can delay a book unduly or because they can decide the price they want to sell at and make a bigger profit too.
    I know I’m a real author and am happy with some of the comments I have had from readers who enjoyed the works.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many authors have experienced the same thing from their local library. It’s very disheartening, but we can’t let anyone define us or try to invalidate our accomplishments. It’s not fun being snubbed or treated as if we aren’t good enough. All we can do is have faith and pride in ourselves.

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  2. Go Tricia go! I think any self-published author ought to be proud of the huge accomplishment of writing a book. It’s a project many people say they will do with the famous “I want to write a book one day” but few actually do! I’m cheering you on ♥

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  3. There’s also the point that just as you can be a very good writer and sell very few books, you can be a successful author and a lousy writer. Just because hundreds of thousands of people buy a book doesn’t make it good—it makes it popular. I comfort myself with this thought 🙂

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    • That’s so very true – just because a book is a best-seller doesn’t mean it’s a well-written book. In fact, just because a book has reached “best-seller” status doesn’t even mean it’s sold a lot of copies. (But that’s a subject for another blog.)

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      • I don’t know how I feel about this author business anymore. It certainly isn’t what I thought it would be, and that’s without any snide remarks about ‘genre writing’. Because it isn’t enough for some people to have written a book, to have published it, even to have had it published by a ‘real’ publisher. If it’s only ‘genre writing’ well, the cat could do that, couldn’t it?

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        • I think that’s why I backed off of writing for a long time. I enjoy writing, but the actual process of publishing is definitely not what I thought it would be either. For every author who has achieved success (however you define it), there’s ten more who have given up. Then there are those who have the same abysmal Amazon ranking I have that still can afford conferences, book signings, and personal assistants. I have often suspected I’m doing something wrong or that I’m missing something. At this point, I am just trying to get back to writing for the love of it.

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          • There are an awful lot of book buyers who aren’t looking for literature, just easy entertainment. I wish I had the knack of writing that kind of stuff. I’d actually make money. I think that’s probably where you’re going wrong too, Tricia 🙂

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