Be Self or Be Pro – a false choice


William Caxton showing specimen of his printings to the King

Everything changes but the human mind. This could be a good title for this post and also a way to start thinking a bit about a false debate that’s running under the lines in the social media scene. Since the very start of the self-publishing modern era I’ve read thousands of post and status about how silly was the choice for an author to put himself/herself out in the market alone, away from the organization of the publishing houses. That was the very voice of fear, in my opinion. Fear about a market that was changing, for the first time since the 1800’s.

There’s no real way to stop progress, everybody knows that. But still cultural resistance shows up every now and then, from people who’s afraid of any change. There’s a kind of phobia against e-books that leads to an irrational argument against any form of electronic device made for reading purposes. It’s just curious that this phobia rages on the social media, using computers and smart phones, isn’t it? Similar arguments are made up against self-published authors, pointing the finger on the lack of quality and/or about the lower level of professionalism involved. Again, that happens on social media, the same virtual place where authors may find people able to design covers, giving any kind of service and so on.

Then we get the final frontier, the last move against indie authors. The basic idea is to establish that once crossed the line you can never come back. An indie author, they say, could never try to get one of his/her story published thru a publishing house and/or in a magazine. That implies also a rigid choice from the beginning of a writing career. Be in or be out. Once again, this is fear and nothing else. The market is still changing, more and more in the direction of novel/novelette only mode. This kind of change is worrying a lot of writers, maybe because they think that they can’t change.

Please, take a look around. Things will never get back to 1990. It’s the nature of our civilization to change and nobody can stop it.


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