Diary of an angry Indie Author Part 2: Bullying


So since my last rant I have been researching why some in the publishing world seem to dislike indie authors and the results have been disturbing.

I have read articles from self-proclaimed ‘experts’ who continuingly bash self-publishing time and time again. My mouth gaped open in astonishment when one particular blogger proclaimed that we indie authors should not call ourselves authors and that he laughs out loud at the very mention of it by any self-published author.

Apparently if we do not belong to the Writers Guild and produce sufficient enough evidence of our earnings then we are not authors but simply writers.

Yes, that’s correct, we have no right to call ourselves authors.

It doesn’t matter how many books we have sold because if we don’t make a certain amount of money then we are just foolish people pretending to be something we are not. I found it funny how he brought up earnings because there is that reference again that is playing over and over in my head.

Like my last article stated, the publisher who lit a fire underneath me, was prompted to write about how it was a bad idea to give your book away using the Amazon KDP free promos.

Remember? We’re desperate and have given up on our work?

The publisher wrote this in response to the question of how we indie authors have cut into her and her authors royalties and I found it interesting that every article I read bashing indie authors were all along the same lines.

Why are they so threatened by us and why do they feel the need to tear us down every chance they get?

Is it, in the end, all about money?

I also noticed the comments in each article I read by self-published authors and the majority of them made me want to high five every one of them, but some of them made me scratch my head. I had a few moments when I was blinking my eyes in confusion and then it hit me.

They are desperate to get out of their self-imposed bubble of the indie world and venture into mainstream publishing. I believe that they are still living in the dream world, which don’t get me wrong it does happen, that major publishers will take a chance on them and I can’t say as if I blame them.

I read my Twitter feed and the tweets of my self-published followers are pushing their books so diligently and I usually feel like such a slacker because I have had a hard time doing that. I admire their dedication and I know how hard they work.

Do I wish on certain days that I could hand my manuscript off to some publisher so they can edit, market and sell my book?

Of course I do, but those feelings evaporate when my heart starts racing at the thought of entrusting my work to someone else. I’m not ready yet and I know it down deep, but there are plenty of authors who are tired of being on this self-publishing hamster wheel and want to get off so they can take a breath.

I think that’s what angers me the most. I read these articles which is nothing short of bullying and I think of all the authors I have met on Twitter. To in any way, shape, or form tell them that they should not call themselves authors because they self-publish is condescending and ignorant.

I have had over 20,000 downloads of my work and have made more than $5,000.00 this year. According to one self-publishing basher that qualifies me to get a little card that says I belong to some well- respected writing society.

You know what? I’m all set, thanks. I do not need a card nor do I need a title to throw up on my author page so that people know I’m ‘legit’ because in my heart I know that I’m an author and guess what? There are thousands of other writers who are as well and I’m proud of each and every one of them.

I chose to write this article, as well as my last one, so that when an aspiring indie author looks up self-publishing they know that there are people out there who will stand up for them and take them seriously.

I’m also writing it because I’m getting a little ticked off and I hate freaking bullies.




4 Comments Add yours

  1. I read that blog post and I also had to respond (which I, like you, very rarely do). It boggles me that people who claim to want to sell books refuse to consider every possible way to do that. I do think they are threatened by us because we are not only strong enough to finish a book but strong enough to take on the rest of the work it takes to get that book polished and out to the reading public. And we’re strong enough to take a large bite out of the pie. I don’t have any of my books in KDP Select anymore, but I made the first book in my series free… and I’ve had about 400,000 downloads between my one KDP Select promo last year and the “perma-free” stretch from this March to present), made close to six figures in royalties and will likely (easily) cross that six figure threshold next year. It may not work for everyone, but it has certainly worked for me.

    This stigma against self-publishers like us is frustrating, to be sure, but I take heart in the fact that fewer and fewer readers care—because they’re finding those diamonds in the rough—and because we have quietly been able to go behind all the naysayers and prove them wrong in a big way.

    Giving my book away is not a devaluation of my work. It’s an invitation to readers to try my writing risk free because I love what I do, I work my backside off for what I do, and there is no greater feeling in the world than hearing from fans who love my books. While I am first and foremost about the writing—I’d keep writing even if I didn’t make a penny—being able to make a very good living doing it is incredible.

    1. I read your comments on the thread and I wanted to personally give you a cyber high five.
      I am relatively new in this self-publishing world and the free promo days have been a great tool for me to utilize and to get my name, as well as my work, out there. I never comment on blog posts but that one had me seeing red. I am so glad other authors, like you, stood up and had your voice heard.
      I agree that the stigma is lessening. I have had countless people tell me that most of the books they download are by self-published authors and that they enjoy them more than mainstream authors.
      Congratulations on your success, I think it is amazing and inspiring!

      1. Thanks 🙂 I started this journey in May 2012, and it’s been an amazing ride so far… and the sky’s the limit, so I’m aiming high. If writers aren’t willing to think like a business and aren’t willing to take the rests and test strategies to see what does and does not work in this business, they likely won’t see much success because simply waiting for readers to find us just doesn’t work. There are far too many books out there.

        May your sales and fan-base continue to rise, Shannon!

      2. Thank you so much. Your story is one of inspiration to many new authors and I wish you continued success 🙂

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