Yesterday, someone I respect and trust told me “Indy” publishing is no different than vanity press, and I am ruining my future hopes of a career by publishing before I am good enough for the big houses.
Because I trust her opinion and consider her both a close friend and a sage voice of reason, I’ve agonized over her words for the last day, and I have to say that, despite all the ways I have turned the problem around, there is still only one answer that comes to me.
On this point, sweet lady, I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not upset. I don’t see her suggestions as an attack. She said these things to me because she believes in me, because she thinks I can go further, because I can grab the brass ring of an agent and a book deal with a big company.
However, in turning this problem over and over in my head, I realized maybe her brass ring and my brass ring are completely different rings.
Maybe this means I am only a hobbyist (I hate that word.) Maybe I am selling myself short by not playing by the rules. But here’s the deal:
I hate following rules.
If I’m going to make it, I’ll make it on my own terms, doing what I want to do the way I want to do it. And if I can’t find a publisher who will put up with me, I’ll self-publish. I’ll give away ebooks for free. I’ll travel the world, leaving flash-drives in men’s rooms… Okay, maybe not that last part.
Is that setting myself up to fail? Does the wise money say that I’m stupid? Well, okay, I’ll give you that, but to quote Slartibartfast, “I’d rather be happy than right any day.”
If you don’t know how that quote ends, go ahead and look it up. I’ll wait…