Me: “I’m an author.”
Friend: “No you’re not. You only self-publish.”
Eligibility for literary prize: “Must not be self-published.”
What is this bullshit?!
I have chosen not to submit any of the manuscripts I have written to publishing houses for several reasons, the biggest being “Go f*ck yourself.” Thanks to the internet I don’t have to bow down to a publisher and write only what is on trend. I answer only to myself which means I get my stories professionally edited because I want to put out the very best story I can, I’m responsible for formatting, designing the cover and promoting my work. I get real enjoyment from this achievement. Independent publishing is what is right for me, other authors have their own preferences and like anything it is a personal choice.
We are living in the twenty-first century, how can we be discriminating against authors, segregating them based on how their stories are published? Traditional, independent, hybrid and so many others out there, they are all writers. Equals.
Sure, independent publishing has a stigma of lower grade but if you compare some to those from traditional you will find that stigma is no longer accurate. Some stories will be questionable for either parties, then there are authors (traditional and independent) out there who just want to deliver the best for the reader.
The rough statistic for unsolicited submissions to one un-identified publishing house in 2013 was fifty thousand, of that only fifty new authors received contracts. That is a pretty big gap. Now look at the new trend, editors have been trawling the independents, looking at how well they rank in sales on Amazon before approaching them. For example Isac Marion with Warm Bodies and E.L. James with Fifty Shades of Grey, both were independent and then picked up by traditional.
My point is, there is a distinction yes and it is a personal choice which way to go, but the lines of distinction are blurring and shouldn’t define what sort of writer you are. Don’t discriminate or segregate, we are authors.