Quick Link: 5 Ways Independent Authors Can Advocate for Themselves

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We all know there is a bias against self-publishing. While there are now more indie authors than ever, there is still a struggle to legitimize the choice of doing it yourself.  Brooke Warner has some great thoughts on how indie authors can help themselves as well as the rest of us.

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5 Ways Independent Authors Can Advocate for Themselves

by Brooke Warner

Earlier this month I moderated a panel at the Bay Area Book Festival called “The Future of Book Publishing.” We had an esteemed group of panelists from all areas of the industry, with Jack Jensen, publisher of Chronicle Books as the traditional figurehead, and Mark Coker of Smashwords representing the self-publishing contingent.

A question surfaced from the audience: Do some people avoid self-publishing because they don’t qualify for awards?

Jensen was the first to respond, telling the earnest woman that anyone can submit to contests — just submit. I almost felt bad to have to inform him of his industry’s bias — that no, you can’t just submit, and that countless awards programs bar self-published authors (and any author, in fact, who’s invested in their own work) from entering.

Jensen was shocked, and I was shocked that he was shocked. And yet gratified too. Even someone with such illustrious credentials who’s been in this industry nearly four decades thinks policies like these are bullshit.

A couple days later I was being interviewed for a podcast. The host started talking to me about the topic of bias in the industry, which seems to follow me everywhere I go (because I’m vocal about the aforementioned bullshit factor). She said she suggests self-published authors have their own imprints and submit wherever they want to and say that they’re published on a “small press” (their own) and no one will be any the wiser.

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