Is it me or is some of the furor (fever?) over self-publishing dying down? Or maybe I quit paying attention. I'm not sure. I kind of laid my path and I'm now fully investing my time into to-be-traditionally-published projects. Nothing against self-publishing at all. Every writer can find your own damn path and do it.
It was funny how people acted after I signed with Sara Megibow (the greatest agent in the world, love that woman). It was sort of like I was supposed to be elated, with post-coital glow emanating in my Twitter posts for days after. Truth? I felt relief after signing with her. There's just so much stuff I don't have to do any more, or even think about.
(I'd been a bit on the fence before whether I needed an agent or not. I'd been a bit of a fool. I can't do this at all well on my own. My husband oh-so-kindly pointed that out to me...he's run this artistic gamut with me before.)
Granted, some folks love to make some covers and do all the techy stuff to upload their books to Amazon, or they love to throw down some cash to have someone else do that. What they love is control, maybe.
I don't want control! I'm not to be trusted with it!
What I love is doing the part of an art project that I love to do and that I hope I'm best at: painting, when I did custom tiles or writing when I work on a book. I'm accustomed to firing the tiles and handing them over or typing the end and having it mostly be the end for my part (except for editing, of course, which is part of writing). When I painted for a client, I didn't really even care if I saw it installed. I don't need my art in a frame to have it feel complete for me...I'm all about the doing, man. Of course having your own book in your hand is uber cool, but really, for me, it's more the job-well-done feeling when I whip a book into some kind of shape for an editor, and then, laterm readers.
I do agree with this: from an interview of Ray Garton I read recently:
...the first thing that should be said about self-publishing — and it
should be said often — is that anyone can do it. Absolutely anyone. You don’t even have to be able to spell your own name correctly to
self-publish. ... Now, with self-publishing so accessible, any nutburger with a side of
bullshit can whip up a slick-looking cover and flash it all over the
internet, and still not know the first goddamned thing about writing, or telling a story.
(go read the whole interview; it's interesting. I don't even know who Ray Garton is but I want to know now)
But I think he's made a point, though I'd add, without sales, self-publishing doesn't mean much. I'm not even sure it means as much as actually finishing the damn book (which most writers are incapable of doing).
There's also this: I've pretty well worked my ass in to a point (well, it's actually more a fleshy blob...) over the past 9 years learning my craft. Critique, submitting, writing seven books (if the shitty ones count), reading, editing, rejections--omg, the rejections--and millions of words. And I tell you what? I don't know much. So yeah, sometimes self-publishing as a collective whole, especially those with their first books, annoys the fuck out of me, especially when they think they know what they fuck they're doing.
All that said, my ideas on awarding merit on work are changing. Dollars speak to me. A self-published book that outsells everyone I know? Dude. Obviously they did something right. Even that one poorly written colossal bdsm misinterpretation touched a nerve with a few readers, eh? Yeah, round the fucking world. You just don't argue with gold in your pocket. Or sparkly child-molesting vampires, no matter how fucking annoying they are.