The other day I put up a link to one of my posts in a writers group I’m in. Everyone was pretty into it and then I got one comment calling into question my reasons for self-publishing. It wasn’t offensive, but the person felt strongly that traditional was the way to go. I responded, making all my reasons clear and received no response after that. I took that to mean my points were made and she better understood where I was coming from.
Later on I visited her blog (She mentioned a post in her comment to me.) and read a few of the entries. Mostly she was trying to enlighten new authors on what to expect with self-publishing, but the posts had a pro traditional slant to them. In reading them I realized we were kind of the on the same page. Many of the pitfalls she wrote about are the exact things I’m trying to avoid in my publishing. The only place I disagreed with her was the idea that you SHOULD go the traditional route. As my Dad likes to say, “I only gotta pay taxes and die.”. True dat, Dad.
This trad vs. self thing is one of the dumbest arguments. The prime reason is because the only people who care about this are other writers and publishers. I doubt readers even know this is going on and if they did, could care less. They’ve got exactly two questions in terms of writing and publishing. “Is this good?” and “How much?”.
Sort of reminds me of the East Coast vs. West Coast thing with the rappers in the 90’s. That worked out soooo fantastic. I’m pretty sure all the fans buying the music weren’t heavily invested one way or the other. Maybe the die hards, but overall, I think no. But at least their battle resulted in more record sales. I haven’t heard of any writers crowing about big sales because they told publisher XYZ to sit on it. So yes, we’re fighting for free.
It’d be great if both sides of the coin could work together because neither is going away, but the cynic in me thinks not.
I’m never going to tell you how to publish, I’ll only tell you why I’m publishing they way I AM. I’m not going to tell you why self-publishing is so good. I’ll tell you why it’s good FOR ME. It’s a personal decision for everyone to make, so how about we stop fighting and write.
Andrew’s Note: Don’t take my word for it, Zoe Winters has blogged about her experiences with internet arguments. In her case, she was defending her decision to self-publish and not trying to tell anyone what to do. Still, it was a time suck. You should check out her blog for more on that. One of many posts on the subject:
And Amanda Hocking wrote an awesome post about the differences between self and traditional. Hint: Not many.
So anybody else ever run into confrontation like this? How did you handle it?
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