As a self-published author (and someone who is still very new to the game), I know firsthand just what difficulties face an indie writer who is trying to forge ahead on his or her own. There are certain doors that are just not open to people who self publish and have not literary representation. That said, there are many doors that are now opening up for us, and it is largely due in part to the sheer number of self-published authors who are emerging every year. The number in 2013 alone had expanded by over 50%. Not only that, more people and institutions that carry literary clout are coming to realize that truly great works can and do come from indie authors. So way to go us!
As most authors who publish themselves are, I am hopeful, optimistic, and I love and very much believe in what I write. I stand behind it and believe others will enjoy it as much as I do. And I believe in my ultimate success. When I came across this article on HuffPo the other day, it really struck an off chord with me. The overall theme of it is the dispelling of the myth that many mega-famous authors began as self-published ones. That alone might make it just a slightly interesting, if not overly important article. But what got to me about it was that there was a clear message throughout almost the entire second half that essentially declared all current self-published authors to be naive fools. To prove my point, here is the last paragraph:
"Shorter version: you are not Baum, King, Poe (not that you'd want to be him, anyway), Strunk, Twain or just about any one of the famous writers who once dabbled in self-publishing. And, barring a miracle, you're not going to be."
It sounds more to me like, those who cannot or will not would rather just dismiss and take down those who can and will. Perfect message for promoting literary creativity, right?
Just to prove them wrong, I will point out immediately two fantasy authors who have greatly inspired me in their journey from being part-time, self-published authors, to full-time authors who have courted the backing of bigger publishing houses: Michael J Sullivan and Jeff Wheeler. They are successful, they believed, and they made it happen.
So what do you think? Do you agree or have I just completely misinterpreted this article and gotten all hot and bothered for nothing?