Badly written self-published books don’t make me feel embarrassed to admit that I am self published.
Neither do poorly edited ones. Or bad covers. Or even gay dinosaur erotica. As far as I’m concerned if an author wants to publish a text file that is the word “banana” repeated eighty-thousand times and a reader wants to pay money for it, both have my blessing.
No, what makes me ashamed to admit that I am a self-published author is the constant begging.
PLEASE buy my book!
PLEASE leave a review!
PLEASE support my Kickstarter!
PLEASE donate to my website!
GIMME! GIMME! GIMME! GIMME!
Seriously, people, stop it. You’re making us look bad.
Believe me, I understand that it is tough to support yourself with a full-time job and also write full time. It’s frustrating to spend a year of your life on something and see it selling like pork chops in Mecca. Most writers will never support themselves with their creative work.
Neither will most musicians, most graphic artists, most stage magicians, and poets never make a living from their work until they’re dead.
Deal with it.
I have nothing against honest promotion. Selling a product is part of the job of producing a product. I know I ought be doing more promotion than I am. It’s the part of the job that I hate, so I don’t do as much as I should.
There is a difference, to my mind, between offering a product for sale because you believe that customers will get a decent value for their money and asking for people to support you because you are tired of holding down two jobs.
That line has been crossed so often and so quickly by self-published authors that it’s all but eradicated from the skid marks. And it makes me very hesitant to talk about my work at all, because I know that people, as soon as they hear “self-published” start waiting for the charity pitch. I don’t want charity. If my work doesn’t stand on its own it deserves to fall.
My finances are not your problem, and your finances are not my problem. Neither of our financial states are any business of our readers.
If your work is worth publishing you will find a way to get it to the marketplace. If it isn’t, then no one else should be asked to subsidize it. I know that’s harsh, and I’m sorry, but life is harsh.
Deal with it.