I mentioned to a friend of mine that I was a little disappointed in the lack of comments/reviews/likes that White Wolf Moon has generated on the ebook download sites even though (through facebook messages & emails) I know there have been many. He said this could be a good thing as he had just read a scathing review of a self-published book. The review was written by a “real” author whose books are supposedly published by a major house. This author claims that self-publishing has destroyed the integrity of writers because anyone can now publish a book which results in so much “crap” being out there that it’s impossible to tell the good from the bad. I would question his credentials if he finds it impossible to tell the good from the bad but that’s beside the point.
I haven’t seen this review personally and even though my friend is a reliable source, I can’t verify it but it does echo comments I have heard from people that frequent the bookshop where I work.
To an extent I agree with the “real” author in that there is a plethora of new writers on the scene lately and yes, some books are perhaps not up to the standards set by traditional publishers (which doesn’t necessarily prevent them from being an entertaining or informative read). I also think this is one of the great benefits of self-pub downloadable books. Ereaders are giving a platform to those who just a few years ago would have been unable to get their voice out there and for readers to discover new authors. The old story about a struggling writer working in a Boston publishing house comes to mind. His superiors felt he had no abilities as a writer and refused to publish his work. He self-published under the pseudonym “Bostonian”, created a stir, and sold a lot of books when he was finally published traditionally. We all know Edgar Allen Poe’s story and maybe, just maybe there’s another Edgar Allen out there self-publishing today. The list of famous self-published authors is a long one. Ezra Pound, Rudyard Kipling, Anais Nin, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Dumas, Deepak Chopra to name a few. And titles? Ulysses, The Bridges of Madison County, The Joy of Cooking…again a list too long to complete here.
I am self-published and while I certainly wouldn’t place myself on the list above, I am proud of what I have accomplished. I have garnered encouragement and criticism from many people and I welcome both. When I received my first hard copy of White Wolf Moon I spent the weekend reading it from cover to cover. I found myself wishing I’d reworded some parts and reworked others but it was done and out there facing the world on its own terms. I’m finally getting some comments on the facebook page although I must admit I’ve also finally worked up the nerve to ask people to post comments instead of just telling me what they think in person.
For the first-time self-published author this is all a learning experience and advice from someone who has been there is invaluable. If Mr. (Mrs.) Real Author were at all professional he (she) would offer constructive criticism rather than a simple one-word put down. I have read of some pretty famous writers that take the time to address students and other novice writers in classrooms, retreats or even at book signings so I appreciate that the above situation is an exception. The self-published author is akin to the indie artist in the music business. Some fledgling artists have gone on to lucrative sales and recognition by the music establishment by taking that risk. Both platforms are proving grounds and, like their mainstream counterparts, the good shall survive while the rest will either learn and grow or fall by the wayside.