Incognito Press

truth. knowledge. freedom. passion. courage. Promoting free-thinking, activism & rogue writing.

You’re not a REAL writer if you self-publish or blog

Posted by E on April 23, 2007

Today I ran into yet ANOTHER website where someone poo-poos self-publishing. You know those kinds of people.

Does this sound familiar?
1) self-publishing will never benefit you or get your foot in the door to an “established” publishing house
2) you’re NOT a writer if you write blogs
3) even if you buy a marketing plan with a POD, you won’t sell a single copy of your book on Amazon anyway
4) self-publication will always carry a “stigma” as crap churned out by “vanity” presses
5) you’re a loser for wasting your time and money
6) you’re better off attending expensive conventions and workshops (ran by them, of course)
7) if you REALLY want to know the SECRETS of becoming a successful writer, buy my book / seminar / online course.

It’s all bullshit. Don’t fall for their elitist, superior attitude. And most certainly do NOT buy their book / online course / “professional” advice.

These people are scammers who make their money on the backs of people they seek to intimidate. To scare you into NOT publishing. They are nothing.

Before you feel discouraged by all those nameless faces out there (you know who you are if you are reading this) who say that you are NOT a writer, or that blogging is NOT a form of writing, and you can’t POSSIBLY have any hope of becoming successful unless you get published by a traditional press, ASK YOURSELF THIS:

1. How many of those assholes are really well-known anyway? I mean, are they coffee-table names? Go to the corner and ask someone waiting for the bus “Hey, have you heard of Ms. XYZ?” I bet they haven’t.

2. Is the person saying this conveying an act of superiority, as in “I am better than you because I can spell better and I had a poem published in a magazine once”?

3. Is this person trying to peddle their own material on how YOU can be successful as a writer? That’s a RED FLAG, folks. Kinda like setting up a room at the Holiday Inn and running a workshop on the Secrets of Becoming Rich Fast and making lots and lots of money – but pay me $500 to teach you. Guess who’s becoming rich fast? Not you.

4. THE SECRET: The only, ONLY way to become a writer – drum roll – is to WRITE. You must read lots and write lots. That’s it. Now give me $25.

SO HOW CAN I BECOME SUCCESSFUL WITHOUT A CONVENTIONAL PUBLISHER?

1. My former Creative Writing professor, with whom I still keep in touch, recently handed me a list of critics and book reviewers. Now I just have to forward everyone a copy of my book and take it from there. They are the same guys who review conventionally-published books.

2. For about $100, I can get my book on Amazon, Ingram, and Barnes&Noble – using a distribution/marketing package available on sites like Lulu.com. And hey, look – I didn’t charge you money for the information 🙂

3. I have friends in several different countries. I can get them to plug my book and distribute it there, thereby increasing my distribution levels

And lastly, the SECRET of getting into “conventional” publishing:

4. If your book is well-written, interesting, and you can generate enough publicity for it, it WILL sell.
5. If you keep track of your sales and can prove that your book has “caught on” and sold say, a thousand copies, rest assured that you will get picked up by a conventional publishing house.

The simple reality – the whole publishing industry is just that, an industry. It’s all about money. If they think your book will sell, that there is demand for it, they WILL pick it up. End of story. I know people for whom this has actually happened.

Several months ago the vice-president of a very popular, top POD company was in town and I, along with a couple of other Canadian writers, met him over dinner. It was very interesting to find out that several of their top 10 POD-published people were being solicited by actual agents and publishing houses. Yes, it DOES happen! Don’t let others tell you it doesn’t happen because they are lying.

All of us writers and bloggers are at the mercy of publishers and editors who would rather drive talent into the ground than allow the freedom of diversity to take over literature as we know it. Guess what? They won’t succeed.

We are the way of the future. Just last week, a video podcast was offered a 6-figure publishing deal. Podcasts and blogs are being bought up right and center. Be a part of the future. Change the world, one book at a time.

Whether you believe that you can, or whether you believe you can’t – you’re right.

Take charge of your success – starting today. Start a revolution.

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7 Responses to “You’re not a REAL writer if you self-publish or blog”

  1. Thanks for your great post! I was upset by your title but quickly relieved when I read on…

    I’d love to write a book one day. I just need to find something worth spending a couple hundred pages talking about. Hmmm…someday 🙂

  2. Elisa said

    Got you there 🙂
    I used the title because a week ago someone posted a blog titled “Bloggers are not Writers” and it pissed me off. There are so many people who think they are entitled to pass judgement on everybody. And after seeing another website today with that same attitude, I thought I’d write about it. Glad you liked it!

  3. mousewords said

    Did you know “Legally Blonde” started out as a Publish-on-demand book? “The Faith of George W. Bush” is another POD book that hit the best-seller list and was promptly picked up by a big-name publisher.

    I’m pursuing POD, mainly because you get to keep your copyright. :):) I’ll let you know when it hits the bigtime! :);)

    Elisa, great points!

    Justevolvin, what would you like to READ a couple hundred pages about? Write that. :);)

  4. Thanks Mousewords! I’ve never thought about it that way – you may have started something…the wheels are turning 🙂

  5. mousewords said

    Yay! Go for it! Oh, and BTW, take it from a writer–don’t wait till you have something you think is “good enough” before publishing. Trust me, any creative person is their own worst critic–your work is better than you think it is. :):)

  6. macshaggy said

    Excellent post. After 30+ years of wanting to write I’ve finally started again. My first post is a beginning of a short story called Waking Up I’m working on the rest.

    My only question is how do I copyright my work myself? Should I fear putting something on the web? Any help is appreciated. Thanks again for an encouraging post!

  7. Elisa said

    Congratulations for picking up the pen again! (or the word processor, as they call it these days 🙂

    Your work, once created, is automatically copyrighted, by the simple fact that YOU wrote it. If you put a notice of (c) Your Name at the top or bottom of it, that makes it even clearer.

    About publishing online however, there’s always a small risk that someone might see and appropriate your work.
    You can try to find established literary websites, however, where your work can be featured and get some exposure. Also, try to submit to both online and conventional journals.

    Writing is a lot like building a career – you’ll probably want to build a work history, experience, that sort of thing to make your “resume” as a writer stand out. Submitting your work for showcasing in various venues is how you’ll get more and more of that work experience and exposure, and build a name for yourself.
    Put it this way – any publication is better than no publication at all 🙂

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