My Opinion on Your Opinion About Self-Publishing

I’m sitting here waiting for my computer to do a long overdue backup and I remembered I have a blog. Yes, that’s how it happens. I could sit here and talk to you about my memory loss for hours, but I’ll save that nibble of goodness for another time.

Today, I think I want to talk about this battle and controversy on self-publishing, independent publishing, and traditional whateverthefuck. I’ve been reading all these endless blog posts about it for months and I don’t see any reason why an uneducated nincompoop like me can’t get in on the topic. So, watch now as I proceed to discuss this for a while without even researching it. Sounds like fun, no?

First, I just want to admit that the only reason I want in on this is because all these blog authors seem to have a oversize opinion on the matter and I’m well-known for having an opinion on things too… so I want to talk about everyone else’s opinion and have an opinion on their opinions. Yes?

The other day, a bunch of my author friends were practically livid over this blog post titled “Why Indie Authors Still Suck,” so I’m going to use it as a jumping off point. Took me a few minutes to find the link and I discovered the blog didn’t exist anymore. Shocker. Someone else re-posted it, but unfortunately you can’t read it. I tried. That’s okay, though, because if you search “Indie Authors Suck Ass” or any other combination of the like, you’ll find all kinds of uninspired blogs to read by authors as uneducated as I am on the topic. ::maniacal laughter::

I Googled (I’m good at it) and I’m going to pick a blog out from the top and take a dump on it. Why not?

“But Coey, that’s rude and you don’t even know that person.”

Who cares. Let’s do this. Our first victim of my opinion is going to be someone I’ve never heard of before named Chuck Wendig. Maybe you’ve heard of him, hell if I know who you know, but he’s not on my radar. Even if he was, it wouldn’t stop me from proceeding. I’m very self centered and reclusive, so if you’re reading this and your name is Chuck Wendig, well… five more people on the planet just heard about you for the first time and you can send your thank you letter to my mom’s house. She likes getting mail.

I looked this dude up on Amazon and I see he’s authored a shit-ton of books, which already makes him more experienced at sitting on his ass, making shit up about stuff, than I am. Good for him. It says on his Amazon author profile, “Emmy-nominated digital narrative COLLAPSUS.” Outside of this blog post of his, I don’t have the faintest idea what he writes, but the book covers are neat-o. I should be too intimidated to even attempt to talk smack on his blog, but… I don’t have a conscience to advise me against it.

His blog post is titled, “Why Your Self-Published Book May Suck A Bag of Dicks.” (See? I didn’t make it up. I couldn’t if I tried.)

Right away, he opens with this charming-ness that makes me want to get to know him better:

Dear Self-Published Word Badgers,

I’d like to take a little time out to commend you for your intrepid publishing spirit! And by “commend you,” I mean, “slap you about the head and neck with your own bludgeoning shame.”

He’s so mad he’s ready to deliver a flurry of slaps and he just got started. Not that I self-published. I’m an indie and I take none of this personally, but some authors do. In 99% of these types of posts, the author always states clearly that they aren’t referring to 100% of everyone who self-publishes or chooses an alternative publishing method, but everyone needs some kind of disclaimer. Am I right, or am I right?  His disclaimer comes right after the flurry of slaps, which states that he’s not talking to everyone. (By “not everyone” he means, “Well, I’m talking to all of you, but there were about two self-published books I thought weren’t entirely slap-worthy.”)

Don’t believe all the nonsense you read in people’s blog posts, because I guarantee you that they’re happy to tell you to go suck a dick if you disagree with them.

Think about it, this is my world and I get to say whatever I want to in it. If I’m having a bad day, I get to come here and vent because that’s my God-given blogging right. I only started a blog so I could bitch in the first place and I’m positive I didn’t invent the concept.

Back to this being opinionated thing… Okay, so, here we have one out of a bazillion examples of an author hating on authors for taking matters into their own hands and publishing their shit work. I fail to understand what the big damn deal is, frankly. More than once, I’ve been helped by a cashier who couldn’t do simplistic math well enough to give me change for a ten dollar bill. I didn’t run and get their manager or write a fucking blog post about it. (Well, technically, I mentioned it, but that’s not the point here.) I’m just saying, everything comes back to this “Everyone is Special” problem.

Let me explain… Self-publishing is a rather new-ish ability that came about around the time schools and programs started handing out participation trophies. You know, for participating. When I was growing up, there were winners and losers. If you didn’t win, you fucking lost and the other team would shake your hand and thank you for losing and that’s all you got. You hung your head in shame while the winning team laughed at you and then you kicked their ass behind the school for being cocky. You didn’t go home and kill yourself like they do these days. So, a bunch of people back then got all butthurt from losing, time went on and suicides were committed, and all of a sudden everyone gets a goddamn trophy for standing in the back field with a finger lodged in their nostril. Congratulations, ‘Merica.

In case you don’t see the problem here, when I was growing up, people didn’t kill themselves because some insecure taint gobbler called them a crab-riddled slut on the internet. It just didn’t happen. If any one of my sports programs tried to give me a trophy I didn’t earn, my father would have knocked it out of my hand and given the proprietors a four hour lecture on the retardation of giving people things they didn’t earn. Are you with me so far?

This is a generation of entitled, “special people” who feel deserving of stuff and praise because society, as a whole, fucked up and decided we can’t handle the emotions associated with being a failure. There’s no “we’ll get ‘em next time.” Individuals are killing themselves because someone called them a bad name. Back in the day, people committed suicide for real reasons, like, they had never done a single thing right in forty years and now the bank was taking everything they own and selling their children to the circus to be raped by clowns or some shit… real reasons. These days, a girl can’t fart in front of her boyfriend without killing herself over it, so what the fuck did you expect was going to happen?

In case you weren’t aware of this, taste is subjective. Books fall into the entertainment category, which is the most subjective of them all. Some people get a kick out of watching football. I get a kick out of shooting guns and smoking a lot of cigarettes. You dig where I’m going with this? It’s not everybody’s cup of tea and not everyone takes theirs with vodka like I do. To each their own.

This may be a little off-topic, but I read a few books from a famous author *cough.V.C. Andrews.cough* who had a thing for incest. When I say “I read a few books,” I mean, I’d read about five before I was old enough to realize what was happening and that this woman was incapable of writing a book without incest in it (and decided she must have serious psychological issues). Not to be an ass, but what’s that say about traditional publishing? There ya go. (Notice I didn’t kill myself over it?)

I didn’t invent the concept of giving out participation trophies and these writers simply want to see something “special” with their name on it before they die. I have nothing against traditional publishing, and I imagine they pay a hell of a lot more, but I can’t say I trust their opinion on terrific literature, either. I’ve seen some real stinkers become mega famous and popular for no good reason whatsoever. *cough50ShadesofGreycough*

Here’s what it all comes down to… telling a group of dyslexic pigeons with eating disorders to “suck a bag of dicks” is inappropriate and ridiculous. And that’s how I feel about a person saying, “Some of you should be really quite floored by the quality — or, rather, the sucking maw of quality, a veritable black hole of hope and promise that leeches the dreams from the minds of little girls sleeping and replaces those dreams with nightmares where unicorns are stabbed repeatedly by interlopers on icy sidewalks and left to whimper and bleat until the police come and finally end their misery with a single round from a service revolver bang – that your work puts out into the world.”

Because if that was a book, it actually sounds 10 times more interesting to me than contemplating a person’s drive to hate on a fellow author(s) for self-publishing a crappy book. Here’s an idea: Don’t buy it or read it. They’ve made their book an option, it’s not been added to the required reading list at your child’s school. Why are folks getting their panties twisted over it? Know what I mean?

“Everyone is equal and special and important” believers are the ones who created opportunity and possibilities, so things like self-publishing come about. People will exercise their options and who gives a shit what other people do as long as they’re not affecting you personally (or killing themselves, I guess. Although, I remain strictly under the “If you want to kill yourself, that’s not my business,” belief.). They’re the ones who are funding the whole thing and if they want to spend their time and money to publish a crappy book, who are you to tell them they suck a bag of dicks? I’m an asshole from hell, truth be told, and I still can’t promote jealous, emo-nonsense such as this.

I think it’s mighty arrogant to believe good ideas are only possible through big traditional publishing companies. People are so caught up with editing and format they have failed to listen to the message as it’s coming across. I’ve intentionally kept from bothering myself to edit this blog post. Ideas and stories have nothing to do with proper period placement or dangling participles. It doesn’t matter if your three-year-old drew the picture on the front. If you can’t get past the silly things, I don’t know what to tell you. As authors, I thought it was a given that we had imaginations. I thought we understood what it was like to dream better than anyone. Yes, I have a profound respect for grammar, but if you think that’s what it’s all about, kindly go suck a bag of dicks.

But please don’t kill yourself… because I really don’t want to see the day they create an award show like the Emmy’s where they pass out an Oscar to toddlers for succeeding at being potty trained. (Or at least for trying.)