This post, by Liliana Hart, originally appeared on her site on 6/26/11.
I’m new to the self-publishing world. It was a long and dirty fight for me to get to this place (mostly I was fighting with myself). What I want you to understand is that I’m proud to be an indie author. I know there are other authors in my position who have felt the same triumphs and disappointments I have over this tumultuous journey, and they’re struggling with something that slowly eats away at a writer’s delicate soul: self-esteem. It could also be called ego. All writers have issues with this. I don’t care who you are. Whether you’ve sold millions of copies or one. Writers are needy creatures. We need to be reassured. We need pats on the back and words of praise. A bad review can spiral us into the darkest depression, while a complimenting fan can make us sit down behind the keyboard with enthusiasm.
I had another author respond to that statement on another thread with derision. He said he didn’t have an ego or need pats on the back. He was only writing for the money. My response to that was, WTF? It took me by surprise because I’ve never met anyone before who said, "I’m going to start a business and get rich. What should I do? Oh, I know, I’ll be a writer." It’s absurd. Writers write because they love it. It’s too hard of a profession to just take up on a whim. So if anyone else falls into the camp of the guy above, just know you’re in the minority and good luck with your business.
That being said, I have a confession to make.
I was wrong… (I know, it’s hard to narrow this statement down. I’m wrong a lot. Mostly about haircuts and infomercials, but that’s another blog topic).
I’ll gladly admit my attitude has changed since I joined the ranks of indie authors who seem to be popping up like proverbial daisies on the Interwebs. There are more than 700,000 self-pubbed authors out there, folks. And most of them don’t sell more that a single book a month. But they’re doing it, and they have hope.
There seems to be a negativity that follows indie authors around. Maybe you’ve felt it. I’ve certainly felt it on more than one occasion–that I might as well have a scarlet letter of shame tattooed on my forehead (Insert inappropriate comments here).
Let me explain…
I finished my first book almost almost seven years ago. I was 24 years old. The idea of ebooks taking over the industry was laughable. New York agents and editors were at the top of their game. Publishing houses turned their noses up at the idea of anything being better than print copies. I was bound and determined to see my book sitting on the shelves at a "real" bookstore. Nothing else would do. And it didn’t help that the organizations I was involved in seemed to separate themselves from authors who chose a different path. Loyalties were divided. Arguments were had. Many arguments.
I fell into the camp of thinking that ebooks were an inferior product. Once again, I was wrong, so hear me out. I listened to my published friends. I listened to my various writing groups. At the time, that thinking was the majority. I was on my first agent (the first of three I’ve had in my career), and I was sure the next big contract was going to be mine. But as the rejections came, and I moved from agent to agent, my thinking changed somewhere along the way.