After much stating to myself that I would not (never – ever) self-publish, well I finally self published. I didn't like querying. I didn't like hearing what new thing could or could not be 'done' in writing every week and then feeling as if I had to correct every manuscript I’ve written or be shamed forever.
In other words, I finally found my voice and decided to use it.
Since then, one thing has really struck me. There is a definite double standard in acceptable ways to act when you’re an author.
Traditional publishing authors...
Celebrate your release day with photos, tweets, FB announcements, contests, giveaways, retweeted tweets of others... In other words, a party of sorts. The party is free to continue with excitement over every new step into the world your book takes.
Self published authors... If you even mention your publishing date in tweets there will be followers lost. If you try to do a contest or giveaway people will pretend they don't know you. If you mention your book more than once you are a spammer. If you try to be excited you shall be shunned.
Ok, I understand that by self publishing I have 'something to prove' that a traditionally published author doesn't. The reader doesn't have the guarantee that a handful of professionals have agreed in the merits of my book beforehand. I'm telling you I feel confident in this work, which generally means I've edited it to a perfectionists degree and had a lot of feedback from various readers. But still, until enough reviews are posted, you'll just have to take a chance on me. Ok, that's fine. I'm comfortable with that. I chose that.
What I don't understand is why I have to act like this accomplishment is somehow less celebratory than any other writer's accomplishment. Why do I need to pretend?
I worked hard and I'm excited.
That doesn't mean I expect everyone I know to read it. In fact, if it's not your genre or it doesn't sound appealing to you, then please don't read it. That's not our goal.
Also, I'm not talking about every other tweet being a plea to come buy my book. Heck, the authors who do that, traditional or self published, annoy me and I don't follow them. But if you didn't mind me tweeting about #amwriting when I had nothing published, then why are you so offended when I tweet about #ampublishing? They are both involved processes and they are both part of my job, but one brings you followers and the other is taboo. I don't get it.
So, if my book is free on Amazon for a day and I tweet about it, please don't be offended. If Starbucks was giving away free coffee at all the shops in my state I might tweet that too. It doesn't mean you have to come and get one. It also doesn't mean I will now go on to tell you every hour all day long. Because that's annoying, not informative. But I hope you'll understand and allow a little excitement about my job now and then. I don't do it to pressure you or force things down your throat. I do it because it matters to me. I do it because it is a small part of my every day. And that is what we're sharing, isn't it?
So please, don't hate me just because I’m happy with the choice I've made. Maybe we're on similar journeys, or distinctly different ones, but either way I think we should be able to enjoy and celebrate those journeys together. Don't you?