As I’ve mentioned in other blog posts, I have chosen to self-publish my novel Kingslayer. But the truth is, the self-pub community didn’t always have it so easy. It used to be that if you self-published, you were treated as inferior by the elites in the publishing industry. Quite the stigma, if you ask me. But what they never told you is that a large portion of the books out there were writen merely to make money and nothing more. There wasn’t much of an art form with writing in that period.
However, that all changed when the eReader was invented. Now self-publishers can share their work with other writers, but in a lot of ways, the greed of corporate publishers still exist. The problem is, they’re not interested in telling a story that deserves to be read. In my opinion, they have destroyed the notion of creating art in their authors’ fiction. And, also in my opinion, that is why indie writers are in a lot of ways superior to their traditionally-published counterparts.
If you listen to indie music and compare it to mainstream music, the principle still applies. A lot of it is generic, and in some cases boring. So, is it a good idea to “sell out” in the interest of your career, or would it be better to focus on telling a good story, whether it sells a lot of copies or not? I think the second option is far better. Keep in mind that some genres of fiction (like fantasy) are, by their nature, generic. That’s not what I’m talking about.
The point is, write the kind of stories you want to write, and don’t worry about making a career out of it. If you just happen to be able to write what you want and make a career out of it, more power to you. But making money should never be the priority. Doing so would make you a part of the problem in the publishing industry. In other words, focus on making art, and let the rest take care of itself.
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