Monday, December 23, 2013

Hugh Howey: Why Don't People Complain About Other Indies?

One thing that annoys me most about critics of self-publishing are the ones who sneer that indie authors self-publish because their books would never be published through the traditional system. They say that indie authors hurt the publishing industry as a whole, and most are not at the same quality as "regular" books.

What I don't understand is why this same backlash doesn't exist in other fields. No one is saying independent filmmakers are ruining the film industry or that garage bands are ruining the music industry. Why is it okay for someone to express themselves creatively in those genres without criticism? More than that, what's wrong with authors publishing their own work just for the fun of it, not to hit the bestseller lists?

Well, self-publishing phenom and advocate Hugh Howey gave a great rebuttal to that perspective.
And I talked about the joys of self-publishing--not as a commercial venture but as a way of producing art and making it available to others. I saw myself as a small-time painter or musician might. Nobody tells these people to stop putting their works in local galleries or to quit playing local bars. We don't rail against the proliferation of YouTube videos from aspiring filmmakers or DeviantArt accounts from future designers. We celebrate the act of bettering our craft by producing early works. Remember that it's okay to write and publish just to make yourself happy, to make yourself fulfilled. 
There will be authors out there, readers, publishing experts, and booksellers who say that this outpouring of unprofessional drek is ruining the industry, which makes me wonder if these same people drive through neighborhoods yelling and screaming at people gardening in their back yards, shouting at them that, "You'll never be a farmer!" Or if they cruise past community basketball courts where men and women unwind with games of pickup and shout at them, "You'll never make it in the NBA!"  
Well said.

Related Posts
Publishing Nightmares: Brief History of TOONS
7 Reasons Why WOOL's Hugh Howey is My Hero
6 Reasons Why Self-published Authors Are NOT Destroying Literature

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