There’s no doubt that since the advent of self publishing, the number of people ‘getting their shit out there’ has sky rocketed. Personally I think this is wonderful but many people are commenting that the quality of the work that is ‘out there’ now has fallen. That is probably so if you’re talking about spelling errors, punctuation (or the lack thereof) and other various grammatical faux’s pas, but writing isn’t just about spelling, punctuation and correct grammar. It’s also about imagination and ideas; taking the reader on a journey away from their same shit different day existence for a while. I’ve read many books that were traditionally published and found errors of all kinds in them, but this doesn’t stop me enjoying the story; nor does it stop me re-reading them.
With so many people now publishing their own work, the number of folks actively ‘marketing’ their wares on the various social media sites is phenomenal and trying to get one’s own tweets noticed amongst the thousands of others is almost impossible. You can go in two different directions with this – funny or saturation. If you go the funny route then your tweets/posts will be cryptic or clever and designed to catch the eye or make the reader wonder “what the heck is that about?” so they click the link and find themselves at your book page with the ‘buy me’ button winking at them seductively. Or you can take the saturation route and post an honest “here’s a link to buy my book” link but post it a lot more often. Whatever route you take, there are a lot more books on sale but the same number of customers as before so the chances of making sales are slim these days unless your name is known. It can be disheartening not to make enough sales to either make a decent living or at least to make you feel good and ‘the book crowd’ can be a little judgemental towards you if your sales aren’t high and your books aren’t among ‘the top 100’ at whatever website.
One thing tends to be forgotten in the rush to market and sell and that is that at the end of the day, you got your shit ‘out there’ and no one can take that away. In a hundred years your shit will still be out there, available to read and folks of the future will be able to see inside your mind and share the imaginings you had. Even if no one buys your book, it is still out there as part of the universal whole, the great consciousness and will forever be a part of it. The chances are still pretty high that you’re the only one in your street that has published a book, that’s something to be proud of. It’s your legacy to mankind and when everything else has withered into the far mists of the future, your words will still be there taking folks on journeys of imagination and wonder.
Your work may not make you a household name, it may not make you wealthy but your work is helping to make history. Get some perspective and step out of the aggressive ‘book wars’ that seem to be going on nowadays. I love that my books are now adding to the greater universal mind; that is so damn cool that sometimes just have to sit and think, “damn I did that, I actually did that.”