The Self-Published Author is No Different than the Salem Witch
By Emlyn Chand
Let's face it - the publishing industry is changing. We can all pretty much agree on that, right?
What we've got on our hands is an oncoming era of enlightenment (I prefer that to the often-touted “revolution”). ‘T wasn’t long ago that being a self-published author was practically as shocking and horrific as being a witch in Salem, Massachusetts circa 1700.
“What damnation have you wrought upon yourself? Upon us all?” The traditional pub villagers would cry as they rushed for their pitch forks and torches. “Be gone with you, unnatural creatures!”
And those unkind words were enough to send us packing. They didn’t have to chase us out of the village, for we never had any real magic, we were never any real threat.
We opened our eyes. We saw the true powers we possessed, and we saw the villagers for what they lacked.
We are able to manipulate our circumstances. We have more control than any who’ve gone before us. Self-publishing truly is magic.
But we can’t just walk around all blasé, showing off our green skin and harry warts while levitating our way through the park. That would be a mistake. We need to put on a little bit of concealer and keep our feet on the ground. We wouldn’t want to scare them away.
Similarly, a self-published or indie author needs to put on a bit of a show. We need to know when to conform to the “village” way of life and when to do our own damn thang. If we can get them to come in for a closer look, they might understand our allure. Then they’ll stop being so afraid.
Our make-up isn’t Maybelline to cover that green skin (I ♥ you, Elphaba). No. We apply our foundation by writing a truly fetching and well-edited manuscript. We dab on the blush when we take the time and expense needed to don an attractive book cover. Our lipstick is a professional, personal, and functional web presence.
Don’t we look pretty? We do, I tell you. And we’re all the more beautiful for knowing that we possess something so much deeper within: creativity, stick-to-it-ness, bravery, and of course – magic.
If you really examine the state of the publishing industry, it’s not the traditional house execs that populate the villages. Oh, they’re definitely the mayors, the cryers, and a few other choice townspeople. But if you want to see who lives in the village, go and knock on a few doors.
It’s the readers, bibliophiles, book addicts. They’re the ones who built this town. The mayor would have no village to govern if ‘tweren’t for them.
And thank God for it!
We arrived on their doorsteps – beaten, bloody, in need of a hot meal and a bit of rest. They may have been put off by our bedraggled appearance, but they ultimately let us in and showed us the true nature of their hospitality.
I kind of like this town; I think I’ll move in ;-)
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