The Internet saw the light of day on January 1st, 1983 when ARPANET espoused TCP/IP. It became the “all-network” and today’s Internet. It brought with it unlimited possibilities as it grew — one of them, a competition to the traditional entertainment.
Just like many fields in entertainment, whether it is art, music, acting, or even writing, education can now be through the Internet. I took both traditional “going to school” art classes and online. It cost a fraction of the price, and I’ve learned more from workshops than I ever did by sitting in a class. Don’t let a building fool you when it comes to entertainment. Why? Because talent speaks for you. Your portfolio is your resume.
Art is subjective, all forms, including LITERATURE. It is not because you have a bachelor’s degree in creative writing that you are the next Stephen King. Just like it isn’t because you have no background education in writing that you can’t become the next New York Times Best Selling Author. Do not let a piece of paper fool you.
Times are changing. Embrace your guts, your rights, and what can be yours.
Fit In The Box
Back in the day, well, to be honest, it wasn’t that long ago. Remember when traditional publishing was the only way to get your chance at being an author? I remember my mother subscribing to those mailing lists—I mean a real mailing list in an envelope dropped in the mailbox. She would receive all those Harlequin books each month or so separated by degree of steaminess with color coding of white, pink and red.
I started reading novels earlier than most children my age. I started with Goosebumps and jumped to Stephen King. Even back then, I was part of those nerdy kids saying that Harlequin authors weren’t real authors because of what they wrote. I regret it now. Because it wasn’t right and never was, never would be.
Those authors wrote stories. Those stories got published. My mother and I are sure thousands more bought those books sold even in grocery stores, yes, I’m that old! Therefore, they were authors. Who was I to say otherwise? Because they were romance-novels that made my mother happy and weren’t about what I liked, the people who wrote it weren’t authors? Who the heck did I think I was?
That’s the rule of society people, and everyone must fit in a box predisposed to them. I want to break that box. I want to shred it because people aren’t things to put away. We are flesh and blood, with dreams, and we are artists.
The Traditional Way or the Highway
All right. Well, since those mailing, mailing list, time changed. We have the Internet now! It changed the entire entertainment industry when every single art company in all fields lost. It wasn’t about traditional companies anymore but the artist.
Napster did hurt the music industry, but with it, he created something new: a chance for those who would never know the privilege of a record deal to be live: YouTube arrived. Just like that, the music industry changed forever. One act, one result, millions of new artists of all kinds.
That’s only with music, what about literature? Well, it wasn’t the exception to the evolution of technology when Amazon settled in. Remember when it was only about books? Eventually, its owner saw a unique opportunity for his clientele: self-publishing.
Of course, at first traditional publishers laughed and laughed until it wasn’t funny anymore. The digital age grew, and their grip on people loosen — Kindles, Kobos, iPad, Samsung Tablets, Apps, among others. Oops, the authors had new opportunities. They laughed too long. They missed out on the evolution and caught up later than other opportunists.
However, the stain of traditional publishers remained, and self-publishing didn’t benefit the freedom YouTube gave musicians or illustrators.
Bullies and the Books
I saw and read many traditional publishing contracts, articles, and reviews. I’m not here to bad mouth any publishers. Some ask for 70% of profits because of the amount of money they do spend on marketing, editing, proofreading, advertising, printing, graphic design, and more. Some ask for less, and it all depends on the publisher itself.
However, while the indie community of authors grew, traditional publishers didn’t see a threat as they did at first. The reason was simple, and the quality remained better with a traditional publisher. WRONG.
People say that independent authors lack quality in their work because they don’t have the resources of editing. That isn’t true for all of us. I am friends with a quite vast network of independent authors who are quite serious about their work and the quality of it.
Also, not all published author from traditional means equal quality. I believe we all know that because it is no secret. Most people are blind to the indie author community because traditional publishers made it that way. Don’t let them fool you. What you see in the novels of independent authors is raw; it’s their voices, their stories, themselves. No fifteen different people are re-writing the story like many other traditionally published novels.
Self-Doubt By The Man
To conclude this article about the traditional way versus the new millennium way, I want to point out the truth about the independent community of writing. We are hardworking authors. We stop at nothing to have control over our art. We encourage network and support each other. We do not want to snob one another and accept
We encourage other independent freelancers while building our brand by hiring them for our book covers, editing, or other services we need. We’re not just authors. Because in the independent community, you need to know marketing, social media, design, and more! Some of us even study editing, proofreading, social media, and more. We reach out to others to help each other.
Not all of us are amazing authors, but we are AUTHORS.
Oxford Dictionary of English‘s definition of the word author.
1. A writer of a book, article, or document.‘he is the author of several books on the subject’Oxford Dictionary of English
1.1 Someone who writes books as a profession.
1.2 The writings produced by a particular author.
‘I had to read authors I disliked’
1.3 An originator of a plan or idea.
‘the authors of the peace plan’
So when someone tells you that you’re not a real author because you don’t have a contract with a traditional publisher, you have my permission and, hypothetically, Oxford Dictionary of English‘s permission to tell them to read the definition of the author before insulting an entire community.
No community is perfect, the drama is everywhere, but this post is for all of you wonderful independent authors out there: you are AUTHORS and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. We are strong for as long as we stick together.