"I'm a self-published author."
Sounds like introducing yourself at an AA meeting, doesn't it? We seem to have a similar stigma attached to us.
I haven't tried that line at a bar. I'm guessing I'd bomb out badly. Not that I try lines at bars anymore at my age!
But seriously, there's an epidemic of us, and VIVA US!!!
So my blog today is part of a concerted effort by a group of self-published authors to stand up and shout, "We are writers too. Writing is not owned by the publishing industry, the Establishment."
Now, there are all sorts of aspects of self-publishing that I could discuss, but I'm singling out democracy and free speech. Let me elaborate.
Self-publishing is to writing what the Internet has been to communication: a democratic free-for-all. And YES to democratic free-for-alls! If you can't embrace the finest traditions of western liberal democracy, then go live somewhere else and try that. Perhaps North Korea, or Iran, or Saudi Arabia, or Russia, or China; the list goes on.
Every society in history has expressed its free spirit though its writers. When writers are stopped from expressing themselves, the truths they reveal, in whatever genre they're writing, then fascism creeps in and freedom wilts away. And we should never take that freedom for granted. The camps and the barbed wire soon follow, when we lose sight of liberty and its values.
Self-publishing has become a open avenue for those so inclined, and more power to it. Sure, there's crap out there in the self-published world. But there's crap in the publishing Establishment, too.
The crucial point is this: the traditional publishing Establishment has been an all-powerful censor of what's written and published. But time has moved on. No more can the Establishment have total control over what gets published in books, and therefore what is available to readers everywhere.
This is the true beauty of self-publishing - your voice can be heard. Look, if you want lots of people to buy your writing, you're still going to have to produce good stuff. And so you should. But, and this is the kicker, you now have an avenue to exercise your right to express yourself to readers.
Gone are days of a select group of pretentious, egotistical wankers in the publishing industry determining what our whole society gets to read.
Power to the people, folks!
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