Perhaps that’s my little way of describing self-published author. Before you start snarling, dripping saliva on your keyboard and firing off some diatribe at me, consider this—are you really doing yourself a favor by going this route? What are you hoping to accomplish? Self-pub fame and wealth by selling a bunch of 99¢ e-books on Amazon?
In my opinion, all self-publishing does is promote horrid prose, bad grammar/punctuation/spelling, and most importantly—no editing!
I think the main issue with aspiring writers is they’re looking for the big banana. A breakthrough novel to appease the masses, or their parents who have been telling them to get a real job, and prove once and for all they are a gawd unto themselves in front of the keyboard.
Keep living in your delusional world, pal. It gives me a topic for my blog.
But Kastil, you say, look at all these self-pubbers who have made millions! It’s like they’re best sellers or something but the New York List snubs them! E-Books are the dirty little whores of the snobby elitist swanky nightclubs. Have you read most of the trash that makes the NYB? If you have, well, I suggest you scour for those ‘awesome’ wannabe self-pubber books to read. They’re right up your alley.
Best sellers are often tailor-made for the person on the go who really isn’t looking for anything too thought provoking on the train ride to work.
Now before you go bat-shit crazy and say I have no idea what I’m talking about because I have publications under my belt, let me offer this advice:
Get over yourself.
I’m not here to wave my small successes in your face like I’m living large in Beverly Hills eating Beluga caviar. None of them were handed to me. My publications aren’t of a novel size (yet) and I worked damn hard, never giving in to emails such as this:
Thanks for letting us see ((edited out)). Nice bit of horror that didn’t work for me. Predictable, maybe? Keep trying.
Thanks for your submission to ((edited out)). I’m afraid this one didn’t quite work for me, but there’s still time to submit another. I apologize for not giving you feedback on your work, but I wanted to place the emphasis on quick replies.
Most likely, you’ll get this kind:
We regret to inform you that your story ((edited out)) does not currently meet our needs. We’re going to pass.
The last one is considered a form letter and, by the way, these are all rejections I have received. One piece is at seven rejections and I don’t think it will find a home. Horror pieces are an odd animal to place because most publications are looking for something that breaks the mold. I haven’t honed that niche yet.
I was once in the same boat, writing only novel-sized monstrosities, and trying to get someone to notice me. I entered a novel contest boasting they were open to new young writers only to see the company shake hands with someone tried and true. Then another from the same company that ended the same way. I swear the one form rejection letter they didn’t even wait for the ink to dry before shoving it off to me.
Ouch, that hurt.
It taught me one thing. While it’s nice to try for the big dogs, prepare to gonads to be repeatedly kicked until they, figuratively, kill your babies one by one. Finishing a novel is a daunting task full of immense word counts and aching joints. Just imagine if we all still used typewriters.
If I was to give anyone wanting to dive head first into the shark tank with an epic piece any advice it would be this:
Slow down, hombre. Find a writing group or a great place online like Scribophile to get other writers to help you with polishing your baby. Take criticism well and learn from your mistakes. No matter what stage you’re at in writing, you can still offer your input because most writers also read.
Try your hand at smaller pieces of works to get small publications. By trying to compress a story, I believe it helps in understand the components of a story.
Never pay to enter a contest or to get your book published. I find these avenues almost as bad as out and out self-pubbing. Better to get published and receive only a contributor’s copy than nothing at all. Even then, it should be a last resort.
And most important—don’t give up. If you’re lucky enough to get a more detailed rejection letter, listen to them. They are the people you’re hocking your wares to. Their opinion does matter.
If you’re still hell bent on riding your own imaginary gravy train, just remember not everyone is going to like and not everyone is going to be quiet about it. Reviews aren’t always rainbows and puppies. Sometimes they’re shit storms of epic proportions.
I’ll be here waiting with my pitchfork and vat of oil.